An Australian (Bathurstian) connection.

I've babbled on about how "you can trust a Flying Nun record". Well, there's also at least one Australian label that is pretty trustworthy - Half A Cow (HAC).

Owned and operated by the ex-Lemonhead Nic Dalton, there is some brilliant off-kilter pop here. Nic (and Tom Morgan - another Australian) were in my humble opinion behind some of the Lemonheads best pop.

Actually, you must have a listen to HAC's very first full album - Love Positions ("billiepeebup", 1990). It's a low tech album by Nic and Robyn St. Clare (ex Hummingbirds - another band that had worldwide domination stamped on their foreheads but sadly didn't make it). Besides a heap of brilliant original material, there are stunning covers of Satellite of Love (Velvet Underground or was it Lou Reed?), Shivers (Boys Next Door (Nick Cave)), Something Strange (Hummingbirds) and Into your Arms (Lemonheads but written by Robyn) - they even make The Artist Formerly Known As Prince's "Kiss" sound reasonable.

Well, the connections are numerous:

  1. Nic has played with Chris Knox (he told me a story about how he and Chris travelled down to Melbourne to play a gig for "two people" (due to bad advertising) and how Chris still managed to perform brilliantly in his eccentric kinda way
  2. Nic has been very influenced by the Knox-led low tech movement of not destroying material in a studio, but getting it down on 4-track and "stopping a song when you've said what you've got to say"
  3. Flying Nun was an inspiration for Nic to go and make the music represented on HAC (this seems to be a very common Australian/worldwide experience - there is this largely untapped pool of talent in New Zealand that is only ever discovered by accident by those outside NZ and no-one is ever left feeling quite the same)
  4. an unrelated but Bathurstian connection (Bathurst is where I live) - Nic actually went to a local school (All Saints) - a school picture has been promised to me by a local

Nic is going to try to find some time to put down some Knox recollections and I'll include them here when he gets around to it.

Meanwhile, some of the HAC bands include: