Carter Morley & Yeats (Auckland) – 30/04/2016

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Photo by Fabricio Veltri

Photo by Fabricio Veltri

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Audio Foundation is ecstatic to present Cater Morley & Yeats in Wellington and Auckland! The incendiary trio of Shayne Carter, Michael Morley and Robbie Yeats have been blowing minds over the last two years with their rare performances. First formed to play an impromptu set at a friends wedding, the band has recently played a bunch of gigs in Dunedin and were a highlight at the 2014 Nowhere! Festival in Auckland.

Shayne Carter’s musical legacy began in 1979 with Cater a mere teen in attendance at Kaikoari Valley High School. It was there that he and fellow schoolmates formed Bored Games, a group moulded in the image Chris Knox’s The Enemy. The snotty punk band were fully fledged from the get go, and followed their high school talent-show debut by supporting Toy Love on tour that year. The post-breakup release of their Who Killed Colonel Mustard EP on the Midas-like label Flying Nun was merely a portent of things to come, and in 1983 Carter and Bored Games alumnus Elsey reformed under a new name – DoubleHappys. In a departure from Elsey and Carter’s roots, the DoubleHappys produced a series of songs which represent some of the best of that venerated jangle of the 1980s – ‘Needles and Plastic,’ ‘Others Way,’ ‘Nerves.’ Then, in 1985, just as success seemed to beckon, the DoubleHappys’ story was cut suddenly short by Elsey’s tragic death. In 1987, Carter and the remaining members reformed as Straightjacket Fits, and the release of Life in One Chord later that year confirmed what many suspected – a star had finally risen. The EP embodied the soaring sound that would define the later part of Carter’s career, sailing a jagged course between breaking force and aching beauty, propelling New Zealand music deeper into international waters atop the already forceful swell created by stablemates The Chills, The Bats, and The Clean.

If Carter is best known for a career tethered to the legend and cultural supremacy of the ‘Dunedin Sound’ throughout the ’80s and early ’90s, the two who round our the CMY trio may seem unlikely.

Of the three, it is Robbie Yeats’ career which has taken the most intriguing turns. With his beginnings keeping time for Flying Nun stalwarts The Verlaines, one would have been hard pressed to foresee the drummer’s eventual, emphatic pounding alongside Michael Morley and fellow and guitar torturer Bruce Russell in legendary experimental noise outfit The Dead C. Described in the Wire as “down under deviants,” this band’s subversion of all tropes rock-related is internationally renowned. Hard, grinding slabs of dissonance cemented The Dead C’s place internationally as the progenitors of guitar-driven noise, as well in NZ’s musical history as that parallel, irreverent force seeking to combat (or at least contrast) the jangly dominance of the Flying Nun roster.

That fans of the The Dead C are far flung is due in part to their acclaimed series of releases through prominent Philadelphia label Siltbreeze, however it is fitting that their first label be mentioned as well – if there is a label to set against Flying Nun in terms of defining Aotearoa’s musical footprint, then it is surely Xpressway co-founded and run by Bruce Russell. Before their eventual rise to international underground stardom (and short stint on Flying Nun), it was via Xpressway that The Dead C unloosed their sound. Between 1988 and 1993, Russell’s Xpressway released a litany of groups (including Morley’s first, less known outfit, Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos) and three of The Dead C’s first five genre bending records. These releases, these ‘other’ bands -This Kind of Punishment, Peter Gutteridge, The Terminals- encapsulate Aotearoa’s other, darker, more obtuse musical heritage.

The sublime blend of Shayne Carter’s rhythmic intensity, Michael Morley’s textural brilliance and Robbie Yeats’ inspired beats makes for magic every time. Audio Foundation Director Jeff Henderson says “When I first stumbled upon Carter Morley & Yeats playing at a friends birthday party I was so excited by the music I WET MY PANTS! – this is a GREAT band!”

Saturday 30 April @ Audio Foundation, doors open 8pm
$25 on the door // $20 presales from (+$1 booking fee)

Carter Morley & Yeats