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February 22, 2010 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Bands to Watch


Welcome precocious first year! Are you feeling tired of the interchangeable and unremarkable mainstream bands that the circle-jerk New Zealand music industry is trying force-feed you, yet feeling unsure as to what your alternatives are? Well guess what kid, you’re in luck, because Kim and James have put together a list of ten underground Wellington bands to watch out for in 2010.


Diana Rozz

These three girls are veterans of the Wellington underground scene, and with Diana Rozz they’ve joined forces to form one of the tightest live bands going. Expect riffs, riffs and more riffs (with a sprinkling of organ on top). They once had a raffle at one of their shows and the prize was 5kg of frozen meat. So I guess they’re probably the band to see if you want some handouts to help you through the winter.

Tommy Ill

Just as likely to sample The Lion King Soundtrack as ‘The Message’, Tommy Ill’s live show is as unpredictable as his choruses are memorable. His debut album is going to drop later this year and the little I’ve heard of it sounds fucking awesome. So go check him out before he signs with Def Jam and splits for Brooklyn in a second-hand concord.

The Crackhouse 5

These three drunken reprobates probably played more shows than anyone else in Wellington last year thanks to their extended curatorship of Crack Wednesday at Mighty Mighty. Their new set of Red Country powered post-Beasties raps was perhaps the highlight of the Renegade Room at Campus a Low Hum, and they’ve got a new EP in the works as well.

47 Diamantes

Q: What do you get when you mix 1/3rd of Diana Rozz with 1/3rd of The Crackhouse 5?
A: An erotic d-floor duo that deals strictly in bangers. Be warned though first years, people sweat ecstasy in Wellington, so lap that shit up and dance.

John the Baptist

I never thought I’d find myself partaking in a hoedown in a barn, but strange things can happen at Campus a Low Hum. Blame John the Baptist, because their machine-gun banjo brand of hipster country was just too damn catchy to resist. They also covered ‘Down by the River’ once, and it was awesome.



Matt and Hugh picked up their instruments of choice a little too late on in life to be ‘Da Next Hendrix’, so instead they and Will listened to lots of Die! Die! Die! and played as fast and as loud as they could. That was in Dunedin. Now they’re moving up here to scorch Wellington up with their super energetic brand of noisy punk. CHECK IT.


A singer with a voice of gold and the stage presence of a pre-collapse Morrissey. A drummer who can recite The Lion King verbatim. A band who can incite riots with their charismatic punk feelings, heavy on petting and on intense rhythms.


Homo-erotic speed metal. Once they played at San Fran and the bar ran out of beer. AWESOME.

Secret Knives

Ex-Over The Atlantic member takes reverby guitar cues from his old band and forms them into a completely different machine—80s cheese is thrown out the window in favour of dark, intense guitar lines, wispy vocals, and one of the best EP releases from a Wellington band in the last few years. They don’t play often, but when they do (such as their upcoming show opening for NZ luminaries The Chills), it’s pretty much unmissable.


Part-time Ruby Suns member Bevan Smith’s brand of chillwave disco has won him a legion of fans in recent months, dealing in totally gleeful bangers that are guaranteed to turn that frown upside down. Like handclaps, ear-to-ear grins and wide-eyed joydancing? Then Signer is your bag, baby.


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  1. brokeback says:


  2. blink says:

    awesome though to see every band on this list either played on official lineup or renegade room at campus! ;)

    Notable new welly bands you missed out – Seth Frightening, Orchestra of Spheres, Richard Paul Alexander and Old Grey Wolf. I reckon all those acts gonna make an impact this year.

    and though, not exactly new/fresh… So So Moderns new album is awesome, and Grasyons new record should be ace as well. And, fuck his Siamese set at camp was amazing. and, shit..Thought Creatures “Monster Mash” set was awesome too, hope they do that again.

    PS. New Red Steers EP dropping some stage VERY soon…and its fukn good. get excited.

  3. + Seth Frightening, Richard Paul Alexander (now Vaults), Old Grey Wolf, John the Baptist, Tommy Ill are all playing COOL TOWN next week.

  4. totes anon says:

    plus that diamantes band is playing on wed as part of o week with hawnay troof! oh cool! the singer is john in the baptist is a babe by the way

  5. President Ronald Reagan says:

    lol “circle-jerk New Zealand music industry”

    *goes to camp a low hum*

    *is ironic*

  6. sad sad person says:

    lyk.. supa sad dat midnyt yuth r not menshuned hea.

    almost as sad as i wuz when dey ddnt play at campus

  7. totes anon says:

    yes how much of a circle jerk is it that a list of underground wellington bands all played at an underground music festival mr raegan!?!? the irony!!!

  8. President Ronald Reagan says:

    i’m the president show some respect

  9. President Barack Obama says:

    no i am go home ronald

  10. MBS says:

    totes anon doesn’t understand the irony of being ironic. lol. Go be a hipster irony kids.

  11. Raptor says:

    I wear tight black jeans and smoke. Kill me now.

  12. i·ro·ny
       /ˈaɪrəni, ˈaɪər-/ [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-] –noun,plural-nies.

    1. The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

    2. The fact that i’m entering this circle jerk while enjoying a real life circle jerk… “arrr you missed spot”

  13. totes anon says:

    stop pigeon holing me you cunts

  14. Raptor says:

    I’ll corn hole you then.

  15. totes anon says:

    fuck this you guys are just bullys. im a hipster and your too scared to talk to me in real life. stop cyber bullying me from the safety of your home

  16. tony says:

    the moral of the story is James has better taste in music than Kim.

    blink, don’t let any bands Kim likes play.

  17. bob says:

    2 of them already have you big dummy

  18. totes anon says:

    3 of them actually…you big dummy

  19. blink says:

    what just happened?

  20. Dave says:

    Old list….

    The only band worth watching are Wellington’s very own Black Dice, Surveillance Station…

  21. MBS says:

    Yeah these bands are totes old. Stupid bands, with their dumb music, and their amplified instruments.

    … The state of it.

  22. BRAINS says:


  23. Zing says:

    Crackhouse 5!!!!
    Are you fucking serious?
    Are you mates with one of them Kim?

    Average bands making up an average list!
    Wellington does have some good music about…

  24. Jake says:

    i dunno, i saw them at camp and i thought they were pretty good/way better than i expected. orchestra of spheres should have been on your list

  25. Costas says:

    Sets and Psychic Jams.

  26. James Beavis says:

    Woahhh I guess music is pretty subjective huh?!
    But yeah difficult to get a good cross-section from 5 bands each.
    (Sets is from W(h)anganui by the way)

  27. smackdown says:

    where’s the beatles fuck this lsit

  28. Closh Jeary says:





  29. smackdown says:

    no it’s na na na nanana na
    nanana na na
    hey jude

    get a clue

  30. Closh Jeary says:

    Yo, smackdown. you have a whore for a dick.

  31. smackdown says:

    this isn’t 4chan this is smackdown country

  32. Clash Jeory says:

    Listen smackbitch I have cutter and it is shaped like your cancer patient face.

  33. Red Fred says:

    … the fuck kind of insult was that.

  34. Frisky says:

    Simmer down gents, we all know I would cut you bitches a new box… it’s happening

  35. smackdown says:

    hello friends im smackdown

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