Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bill Direen and the HAT (1990)

Couldn't resist putting this up after the last post. This is perhaps my favourite Bill Direen album, only ever available on this South Indies cassette as far as I know. The HAT stands for Hamish Kilgour (The Clean, The Mad Scene, Mood Expansion Chamber, etc.), Allen Meek (Victor Dimisich Band), and Tony O'Blaney, with help from Liz Silver, Lisa Siegel and Steve Cournane. I know at least one of these songs (Nil-Nil) made it onto another album (Cut) in another form (and three others appeared on the 1994 CD version of Bilderine 'Split Seconds'), but this South Indies cassette presents a far better version, at least to my ears. The band just really gels, and the addition of atmospheric, sympathetic synth gives these songs an unexpected melancholy lushness.

I'd rather be a yellow hammer falling from the sky (link  removed -- buy it here!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bill Direen - Live at the Gladstone, Christchurch (1984)

Our man Bill Direen was recently selected as University of Auckland/Creative New Zealand writer-in-residence at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport from July this year. In honour of this award, here is a tasty little bootleg live recording of the man alone, from a 1984 solo performance in Christchurch. It's approx. one half Builders/Bilders/Bilderine/Soluble Fish songs, with a Doors(!) song, a couple of blues classics (Leadbelly's 'Red Cross Sto' and Ma Rainey's 'See See Rider [Easy Rider]'), and 'Mack the Knife' as murder ballad.

This intimate recording is taken from an old audience cassette, and as such is filled with stops and starts, crowd noises, pops and clicks (tho' it still sounds great, no worries).

I Drink