Monday, February 22, 2010

The Chicks of '86: Jay Clarkson - s/t + Sandra Bell - Black Birds

No, no -- not those The Chicks.

Two great records from NZ, 1986: Sandra Bell's 'Black Birds' 12", and Jay Clarkson's self-titled mini-LP.

Jay's work is lovely melancholy indie, with supporting musicians Chris Matthews and Peter Jeffries. Reminds me a bit of Look Blue Go Purple, but that could just be because they both have songs about someone called Penelope. Coincidence?

Sandra's is definitely the darker flavour, evidenced on opener "Industrial Nite" and closer "Working Men's Club". Love the hand-screened Palangi-nesian record cover (black singlet and lavalava). The opener later appeared (as "Industrial Night") on her 'Dreams of Falling' album. I used to have the cassette of that one, which I'm sure was on Xpressway. She worked with Peter Jeffries as well on 'Dreams of Falling', along with Alastair Galbraith, Peter Gutteridge, Kathy Bull, Bruce Blucher and David Mitchell. Might have to see if I can find that one again.

Sad Hands [Link removed -- now available again here (with extras!)]

Siesta [Link removed -- now available again here or here (with extras!)]


  1. PS -- If yr looking for a hit of NZ Chickpop circa 2010, do yourself a favour and check out Dunedin's 'Haunted Love'. You won't regret it.

  2. Jay Clarkson's first awesome band was the playthings. I had a single of theirs called "Birds eye view" I would love to hear it again, very hard to find. Here second awesome band were the Expendables, I had an EP of theirs also very hard to find, if you have any of these please post.