The Nun Flies Home

I was pleased to hear that Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd has recently bought back the label from Warners Music who acquired it in 2005 from Festival Mushroom, who Shepherd originally sold it to in 1999. Under Warners the label has languished. There have been a handful of new bands released under the label such as the Mint Chicks and a pretty impressive 5 CD boxset but the rich back catalogue has been largely ignored.

I'm hopeful that with Shepherd back at the helm some of the great music recorded and released, often in pretty short runs, will again see the light of day so I put my mind to some of the Flying Nun releases, long unavailable, that I'd like to see re-released hopefully with some nice quality vinyl collectors releases as well as digitally. Of course there's the 1982 Who Killed Colonel Mustard EP from Shayne Carters first band Bored Games. The song 'Joe 90' is reasonably well known, and 'Bridesmaid' featured on a Flying Nun video comp DVD a few years back, but the whole EP is great and deserves to be heard.

In 1986 The Alpaca Brothers released the Legless EP on Flying Nun. The band featured members who had been and would be incredibly important on the NZ alternative music scene - Norma O'Malley who had been in Look Blue Go Purple and Bruce Blucher who also played with O'Malley in Cyclops and went onto Trash.

The Stones were one of four bands to appear on the EP that gave Flying Nun bands the "Dunedin Sound"label they then tried so hard to shake, the Dunedin Double EP. Unlike the others on the EP - the Chills, the Verlaines, and Sneaky Feelings - The Stones have been somewhat forgotten, which is great shame as their songs on the Dunedin Double and their own EP attest.

Flying Nun took a lot of risks, releasing music a lot more experimental than the more well known material from the likes of the Chills and The Bats and so on. One of those experimental acts were Marie and the Atom, a duo of Sara Westwood and Gill Civil. They released 2 EPs of scratchy fiercely independent sounds - Yellow Read Aloud and Spit It Out

I'm pretty excited about the 3Ds forthcoming reunion shows. David Mitchell, guitarist for the 3Ds, started in an Auckland Band The Exploding Budgies. They released just one EP complied by Flying Nun with Mitchell's next band Goblin Mix. That compilation can still be found but is getting harder and harder to track down.

On Flying Nun album I would love to see have a proper release is from the 1991 10th anniversary of Flying Nun. It's a limited release cassette of Flying Nun bands covering other Flying Nun acts. It was called Roger Sings the Hits and included the Straitjacket Fits covering JPSE's Flex, the Bats covering Look Blue Go Purple and more.

Let's hope the Flying Nun label and back catalogue will now receive the attention it deserves. I've posted a clip from a doco on Flying Nun on the video page.

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