Covering The Beat 4

This episode is another instalment in an occasional Counting The Beat series, Covering The Beat, where I feature kiwi bands covering kiwi bands. You may be interested in checking out the previous Covering The Beat episodes - one (MP3), two and three.

I've got an eclectic bunch of originals and covering acts in this episode starting off with a rap novelty from 1989, Mod Rap - Double J and Twice the T covering Ray Columbus and The Invaders huge hit, 'She's a Mod' (read the story of the original song on and see a promo clip for it on the video page). In 1989 Double J and Twice the T won most promising group at the NZ music awards. They were up against Upper Hutt Posse, another hip hop outfit who actually did go on to have a lasting legacy. There's great article about that on the Critic archives.

Die! Die! Die! claim to be influenced by The Gordons, Skeptics and The Dead C. They're also equally influenced by American outfits like Big Black and Shellac. It's probably easiest to call them punk. So what are The Gladeyes, an Auckland indie pop-folk duo doing covering them? Who knows, but their version of 'Shyness Will get You Nowhere' has rightfully been receiving wide acclaim. (By the way The Gladeyes shouldn't be confused with The Gladeyes, an altogether different band from Dunedin.)

I've featured punk-pop band Elemeno P's cover of The Verlaines' classic "Death and the Maiden' in an earlier Covering The Beat epiosde but I'm repeating it here because I recently had the chance to talk to Dave Gibson from Elemeno P about how that cover came about. That interview is included in the podcast - Gibson describes the song as one he is jealous he didn't write. The video for the original is one the video page.

Shihad were once managed by Gerald Dwyer, who had been frontman of notorious punk band Flesh D-Vice. After Gerald passed away Shihad released a cover of Flesh D-Vice's best known songs, 'Flaming Soul'. Cover lovers will also want to track down this single for Shihad's version of the Devo song 'Gates of Steel'. Incidentally there's a great little story about Dwyer and Shihad that I stumbled upon on From The Morgue.

And to finish - a band that you probably wouldn't expect anyone to cover is post-punk avant-garde noise merchants, The Dead C. However, although the bands performances and releases are now mainly improvisational, in earlier days the band were a little more song based, although it is still a brave band that would attempt a cover. That band is Xanadu. Their version of 'Sky' appeared on a CD issued with A Low Hum magazine a couple of years back. The original is from what I consider to be one of the greatest named albums of all time, Trapdoor Fucking Exit and you just have to watch the Dead C clip on the video page where they perform live on national TV in a style completely at odds with the show on which they were guests - simply stunning.

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