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Simon Says...Dunedin Double

Zac Arnold

Every month we are joined by Simon Grigg of who shares his thoughts, feelings and recent posts from “the noisy library of New Zealand music”....

The Dunedin Double story has, since we launched in June 2013, been on the AudioCulture priority list. This landmark album changed so much on its release back there in the winter of 1982. They were extraordinary times – Muldoon’s New Zealand still restrictively gripped a country convulsing after the 1981 Springbok Tour. And yet there was a sense of inventive optimism in the music community. The punk and post-punk explosion of creativity had fired up a raft of exciting record labels, radio stations, magazines and venues, all of which were dedicated to exposing the countless new bands that were queuing up to record and entertain.

For those of us in Auckland, our eye was very much off Dunedin, and when Roger Shepherd rang me in early 1981 to tell me that he was thinking of starting a label in Christchurch to record local and Dunedin bands I was skeptical and told him so. How wrong I was and more than ‘Tally Ho!’, which could have been seen as a fantastic one off, the Dunedin Double nailed just how much I was.

So jump forward 32 years and we at AudioCulture have tried to dig deep to celebrate the re-issue of this extraordinary release which not only changed what we listened to, but helped change the way we made music. First of there’s the story of the album itself – we have a Russell Brown penned piece (‘cos he was there) which looks at the way the album was conceived and recorded by Doug Hood and Chris Knox, and the page has the original Roger Shepherd penned Flying Nun schedule for the month it was made. We’ve also got a hand written letter from Roger to Murray Cammick at RipItUp where he talks about this impending release and more Flying Nun records. It captures just how small and intently hands on this label was in the early days.

Then there are the band profiles: The Verlaines, The Chills and The Stones are already live and are easily the definitive online stories of these bands. Sneaky Feelings will go live this week, and like the others, it’s written by Andrew Schmidt, who was also there.

In a month where famed New Zealand albums are being celebrated we’ve just published a page on the Auckland punk compilation, AK79, named as the 2014 New Zealand Classic album by Independent Music New Zealand, and it’s filled with images of the bands and other shots of the scene, several previously unpublished.

- Simon Grigg heads up AudioCulutre among many other things, you should check out his website here.

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