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Here's Five: Essential Chris Knox Tracks

Here's Five: Essential Chris Knox Tracks

Friday 29th August, 2014 9:17AM

This Sunday the Audio Foundation in Auckland is hosting a super rare show from lo-fi champions Tall Dwarfs, with an expanded line-up that includes Chris Knox, Alec Bathgate, Ary Jansen, Jol Mulholland and Stefan Neville, which will only playing songs off the first four TD albums. As if that isn't enough to drive you off the couch on a lazy afternoon, the gig will also feature a set from Chris Knox and The Nothing's original line up. In anticipation of the special event we asked Stefan Neville (otherwise known as Pumice) to tell us about some of his favorite Tall Dwarfs tracks, and he took us for an entertaining down walk his personal memory lane...

1. Tall Dwarfs - Turning Brown and Torn In Two (1987)

When I was 12 and living in Matata we got a video machine. I started recording Radio With Pictures on Sunday nights and watching it on Monday after school and this song got played. It really scared me and I thought the people responsible must be really, really evil. But I was fascinated by the collage flickering video and spent ages pausing and examining it. Later in high school in Hamilton I got the CD of Hello Cruel World out of the library and I could understand its weirdness a bit better. 'Turning Brown and Torn In Two' seemed especially deep and meaningful and tortured and profound so I wrote the lyrics out in felt pen on top of a desk in my English class. I stole the pages out of the CD booklet to hang on my wall. I did an English research project on Chris and got an A.

2. Chris Knox - Statsis

In high school my best friend was old family friends with the toughest scariest guy in the whole school. We would always play league with him and his rugged mates on the concrete at lunch time. When we reached the getting wasted age we would get wasted with him too and we got really really into the Chris Knox Guppiplus EP. One morning after a party a group of us sat round with toothbrushes in our hands waving them like wands, singing along to Jesus Loves You and giggling. That guy murdered an old lady a few years later. (I couldn't find anything off Guppies online so 'Stasis' will have to cover for it).

3. Toy Love - Sheep

There was a fish & chip shop in Hamilton that stayed open really late so you would always end up there at the end of the night. The guy who ran it got stabbed one night so he put up big iron bars over the counter and then after that everyone started calling the shop "Stabbies" and the guy who ran it was "Stabby". They had a jukebox in there that had a pretty ordinary selection except for this Toy Love 7". The only way I could ever hear it was to go to Stabbies and you were usually pissed and stoned so it was hard to remember it. Sometimes we would creep out Stabbies' wife by playing Marvin Gayes 'Sexual Healing' too.

4. Tall Dwarfs - Two Minds

I think it was on the 3 EPs album that Tall Dwarfs invited people to send in tapes to be used in making their next album. I had started making music and me and my friends had just put out a compilation tape of all our stupid bands so it seemed like a good excuse to send one to Chris. Then they actually went and used a piece off our tape on the next album Stumpy! They credited it wrong - it was actually Morrinsville band Scud that they sampled where they credited C.J.A., but it meant the world to me! I got a free copy of the album and Chris has been tremendously supportive of me ever since.

5. Untitled - Chris Knox & The Nothing

I was drumming in The Aesthetics and Chris saw us play at the Kings Arms. He was gushing about it afterwards so I said if he ever wanted to play with a drummer to let me know. He said he would love to but couldn't face the thought of all the practicing. I said that I don't like to practice either and his eyes lit up. A few months later there was a Chris Knox/Pumice gig at the Dogs Bollix. I drummed with him and we had no practices. That lead directly to The Nothing and two albums that my teenage self still wets his pants over. Playing with Chris at the launch of the Stroke album was especially special.

Sunday's Tall Dwarfs and The Nothing show at Audio Foundation is SOLD OUT. Unfortunately there will not be doorsales due to the intimate capacity of the venue.


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