This weekend I’ll be mostly listening to… the Able Tasmans… June 28, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
I’m indebted to Wednesday for pointing me towards the Able Tasmans, a band I’d never previously heard of. Pretty much all their stuff is deleted. Still, thanks to the wonders of the internet it’s now possible to make a half decent stab at collating their output. So. Who were they? From Auckland they were yet another Flying Nun band. In some respects only their early work sat comfortably within the Dunedin sound that typified FN bands.
For me their finest moment was “A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down” which blended a strongly 1960s, almost Love-like sound with a harder FN style approach in songs such as “Sour Queen”.
Actually, I read on one blog that they were more like Split Enz – famed precursors of the much much more mainstream Crowded House – than any other of the Flying Nun stable. Not so sure about that although without doubt they brought a 1960s psychedelic and pop sensibility to the feast. But wait, wasn’t that what all the FN bands did in one way or another – warped or not?
Later albums such as “Hey Spinner” moved towards a less 1960s influenced sound and provided a broad range of styles from near-Go-Betweens style pop through My Bloody Valentine excursions to something approaching prog rock.
Anyhow, here are a couple of videos I’ve dug up – sadly none of which show anything from “A Cuppa Tea…”, starting with the rather fine Big Bang Theory, from their early Shape of Dolls EP…
This is Hold Me taken from a Flying Nun DVD, and perhaps typical of a maturing style, again not entirely dissimilar to the Go-Betweens.
And here’s something a bit scary, a more recent gig since they apparently reformed and have been gigging again. Perhaps they’ll come to Dublin. Perhaps they’ve been?
I think it tells us something about Flying Nun that even their more obscure signings were able to combine a level of experimentalism and quality that ‘indie’ elsewhere with one or two shining exceptions simply couldn’t match. What is it about New Zealand?