The And Band was the continuation of Wellington, New Zealand’s late ‘70s DIY pioneers The Spies, who received a posthumous release (The Battle of Bosworth Terrace) on Siltbreeze in 2014. Renamed the And Band after moving to Christchurch, the group wound down sometime around 1982, but not before influencing local musicians and releasing an incredibly rare split 7” EP (with the Perfect Strangers) and this LP—originally available on cassette only. Outhern features George D. Henderson, who would later go on to form the Puddle (Flying Nun), and should appeal to fans of early Red Krayola and The Godz.
Jointly released with Selection Records. Limited to 500 copies.
Go on, shout the phrase “late ’70s New Zealand DIY” and see if I don’t come running over, or at least pick up my gait a bit. The And Band’s split 7″ with Perfect Strangers has been sitting on my want-list for a good number of years now (little help anyone?), so it was a nice surprise to find out that they also actually released a cassette called Outhern back in 1981, now put to vinyl for modern consumption. It’s pretty much right in line with the scattershot pre-punk / post-punk DIY music of that era, mostly avoiding punk in favor of unique musical circumstances and unusual instrumentation. Through these fifteen tracks, one will encounter freewheeling guitar jangle, unplugged and re-plugged electronics, unorthodox percussion, a nicely buzzing Farfisa, the occasional eruption of an autoharp and a cello played more than one way. There’s a surprising amount of tenderness in these songs, replacing the more frequent tones of bitterness, rage and sarcasm that one might find in their early ’80s DIY underground groups – maybe that’s just New Zealand for you? If This Heat grew up among bright green lagoons and cuddly kiwis instead of London’s unwelcoming factory grime, I wouldn’t be surprised if their turmoil morphed into the loosely melodious clatter that comprises Outhern.
--Yellow Green Red
It's a game any seriously frivolous music lover has played, making up names for bands and albums.
My imagined album title – probably for some lousy rhythm and blues band – is Cheap Muscatel and a Korean Guitar.
I remember at school my mate Barry came up with The The and The And Band.
And lo! It came to pass . . .
This actual And Band was George D Henderson (later of the excellent Puddle), Mark Thomas and Susan Ellis who recorded this in Christchurch in 1981 and it was released only on cassette.
But it has now been given a vanity project/collector's item vinyl release.
Now let's be clear, this lo-fi, sometimes languidly stoned, frequently quiet sonic noise from guitars, organ, percussion, autoharp and cello will not be to everyone's taste.
But if your listening has ever run to the most minimal end of Tall Dwarfs or some of the more marginal things which came out of Factory Records then it will be right in your zone.
The second side opens with She Done Dead which has declaimed lyrics adapted from the horror writer HP Lovecraft and comes at you over percussion clatter and discordant prepared guitar, like some post-punk poetry recorded in the kitchen.
Elsewhere there is cheaply recorded free form piano and clanking drumming (with moaning and sometimes barely decipherable vocals), suggestions of a chorus occasionally, meandering improvisations on the pleasant March on the Stronghold . . .
Some of this might be described as “experimental' (it's in the nature of experiments that not all are successful) but Henderson has said it was the sound of a band breaking up.
And soon enough the Puddle would emerge.
--Graham Reid, Elsewhere