Peter Gutteridge spoke. You only had to stand in Records Records for a couple of minutes on a Friday evening before a Dunedin musician of note would burst in, shout “Hi Roy”, flick through the bins and tell you where the weekends parties were. Under Exclusive License to Flying Nun Records. Ben: If you travel there by bus or car, you feel like you’re traveling to the end of the world. Roy was always there and despite, or because of, the Cousin It hairstyle, beard and glasses was always very cool. Look Blue Go Purple wasn’t me thinking, “Oh look an all-girl band, this is a huge commercial opportunity.” It was more, “Well actually I really like the sound of their music.” The sound was different and the songs were differently structured and I just knew that people would love it. They were more of an aggressive industrial thing. The omens had been good for the shift from the very first. He had also formed one of New Zealand’s first punk bands The Enemy in the late-’70s, and was an often vocal critic of anyone on the label expressing less than righteous punk spirit. Bill Direen checked in for words about Conch3. It’s predecessor, Sister, one of the defining albums of the 1980s had been released in New Zealand on Flying Nun Records and it seemed half of Paeroa was at the show together with everyone we knew from Hamilton and Auckland. The Christchurch music scene of the early 1980s was jumping and Shepherd drew heavily on it, releasing singles by The Pin Group, Mainly Spaniards, 25 Cents and The Builders. Dreaming, thinking that all the roads through Paeroa lead out, and feeling very alone,” I wrote. Flying Nun Records in 1991 was a large trading concern with 10 years’ worth of records and hits to its name. I like Dunedin, but it is like the land that time forgot. The label, its groups and their fans were no less enamoured of England than the early New Zealand punk and post-punk acts had been. The Human Lawnmowers had been playing quite a bit up north in Auckland and Hamilton. ONE of the world’s great independent labels, Flying Nun Records was founded in 1981 by Christchurch-based Roger Shepherd.But the locus of the emerging New Zealand punk and post-punk scene and many of its key players were further south, in Dunedin: all bar one of the following bands, Christchurch’s JPS Experience, hail from the university town in the region of Otago. Records Records was the communications nerve centre of Dunedin’s all important interconnectivity right through the 1980s. Specialising in Vinyl Records, CDs, Turntables and Music Related Merchandise. Among the assembled ranks that day was Paul McKessar, whom I vaguely knew from Hamilton. It’s not a period that Roger and Ben seem particularly keen to talk about. The first real darkness in that enlightened movement. The pop charts were exciting part of that unfolding dynamic and available to all. The okay ‘Doledrums’ backed with ‘Hidden Bay’ that climbed to No.12 in the pop charts in December 1984. There was only the promising Lost EP in 1985 and ultimately that was the problem. “We were all still Flying Nun groupies then. Ben: ‘Not Given Lightly’ from that album is kind of an informal New Zealand classic. Original Records Records shop on Stuart Street. Back then it was for the sheer fun of recording with The Clean and being able to make records in your living room and seeing them in the shops.”. They had instant, unexpected success; The Clean’s anthemic ‘Tally-Ho’ single hitting the NZ top 20, and throughout the ’80s and ’90s Flying Nun managed the rare feat of releasing amazing, adventurous music that actually reached a large audience. Universal bought the Festival Mushroom Group in 2000 and the label became wholly owned by Universal in 2006, at which point Flying Nun stopped releasing new material. Behind the counter is former Look Blue Go Purple and current Olla drummer Lesley Paris. They were always kind of experimental, it was about the experimenting rather than selling out. A long haired Mike Dooley, Toy Love’s drummer, joined them unannounced, rat tat tatting out a masterful ‘Maybe’ from Louie Likes His Daily Dip before going straight into an upbeat note sprinkled ‘Nothing’s Going To Happen’ powered by Dooley’s motorik drumming. “But as Flying Nun have been able to get hold of more money, the pressure from Mushroom for higher production standards has come and things have changed. It’s an interesting contrast to today when people have been demoing in home studios for ages before they go into a studio. People often send me something from the US and I think, “Well, this is really good”, but just ‘cause I don’t know them I can’t relate to it. In the mid-’80s, all female quintet Look Blue Go Purple turned that statistic on its head, releasing a string of classic EPs that were compiled in 2017 as a double album reissue. If the Dunedin Sound ever existed it was because of Records Records. My friends and followed the tour up to Auckland that weekend, crashing unannounced into Chris Knox and Doug Hood’s Summer St, Ponsonby home. But little of that was ever caught on tape. None of Looney Tours bands had released more than a handful of songs when The Chills, Children’s Hour, The Expendables and Doublehappys set out from Dunedin. Most of Flying Nun’s best records racked up significant public sales indicating a wide support base, tellingly for those groups who toured extensively and often. He took advantage of the trip to arrange distribution networks in Europe. It focused primarily on Dunedin and the Flying Nun Records roster, but coupled that with a rough construction of musical antecedents from indigenous punk and an acceptable lineage of musical outsiders, including The Go Betweens, The Cramps and Jesus and Mary Chain and casualties such as Roky Erickson and Alex Chilton. They were a clannish bunch, the Flying Nun crowd. From hugely influential ’80s stalwarts such as The Clean, The Chills and Look Blue Go Purple, to a dynamic new roster including Aldous Harding, Fazerdaze and The Courtneys, Flying Nun mines a rich seam of antipodean eccentricity and creative spirit. Two weeks on, Sonic Youth were in town for their first New Zealand show at the Powerstation supported by S.P.U.D. Visits to his shop broadened my musical horizons considerably and many of my all time favorites were purchased from Records Records during this time. The first Flying Nun newsletter, April 1983, A Flying Nun Europe PR flyer issued by Rough Trade in 1989 - Simon Grigg collection, Flying Nun Records, the Dunedin Sound and the myth of isolation, Flying Nun: Getting Older - the 1990s and beyond.

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