It must have been Fishing – either the song itself or maybe Gillian.
The first time I heard myself on the radio.
Bryan Staff our producer was also a DJ and he played it on a late night slot on commercial radio
It was a strange feeling – like hearing your speaking voice back on tape for the first time.
Barry Jenkin picked up on our first couple of records and would sometimes play a track or two on his all-night program and this has had resonance down the years – Your Body Stays in particular and it also meant that we could tour outside Wellington.
Student radio too would give us airtime.
I remember one morning after a big gig at the Union Hall at Victoria University. It would have been 1986 and the band was at a peak about to record Idiot Sun – we’d been toying with some of the songs off Act Your Age stretching out their weird time-signatures even further into what I thought was uncharted territory – with the rhythm section holding down the strange time but making it super funky while Neill played totally wild sax and I sang on top of it. I really thought we were doing something totally original.
As I was walking through Manners Mall I heard the strains of really odd music coming out of a newsagent’s. As I got closer I started to feel deflated – someone else was playing the same sort of music only more fully realised. I hung out for a while pretending to browse, waiting to hear who the band was and then I heard my own voice singing “But you can’t go back – as far as I can tell” and it struck me – it was Radio Active and a live recording of us playing the song from the night before.
Access Radio was another station that was open to our music – in fact we recorded an album’s worth of demos through them at Studio Two in the old Broadcasting House in 1982. In 86 on Access Steve Braunias did an extended interview with me and we played through some Spines songs and in 2004 did the same thing with Terry Shore.
More recently we have had a small presence on RNZ National with Simon Sweetman and Nick Bollinger giving us positive and informed reviews and Phil O’Brien has played us on his Matinee Idle show a couple of times and he often plays my requests on a Saturday night. I’ve just been asked to do an interview on Jesse Mulligan’s show to talk about the Wellington music scene in the 1980s.
A couple of years ago I did my best live radio interview ever with Redbird Jnr at Active – he had really done his homework by reading some of these Ghost stories to get a bit of my background. This Friday the Spines are going in there to do our first ever live-to-air concert and I’m really looking forward to it…