Monday, May 3, 2010

NZ MUSIC MONTH 2010 #1 - Quincy Conserve "Listen To The Band" (1970)

Having myself once appeared as a "professional dancer" in a New Zealand music video - a fact both inexplicable and hilarious - I'm well aware that in the Kiwi music scene, folks generally ain't got a lot of budget and you need to trade favours where you can. So I think we can safely explain the grimacing woman on the cover of this album, as... well... a friend of the band. A gift horse, shall we say, whose mouth has most assuredly not been inspected.

The Quincy Conserve was a local equivalent of American "jazz/rock" or "brass-rock" bands such as Blood, Sweet & Tears or early Chicago, a style of music that was pretty hot in the early '70s - basically around the time that significant numbers of white people first started wanting to play something like funk, but before most of them were comfortable saying as much.

The Quincy Conserve were one of the best local bands of the 1970s and their first two albums are little acknowledged classics. I'll most likely post about their second LP "Epitaph" later in the month, for now, here's my three favourites from "Listen to the Band":
The Quincy Conserve - Ride the Rain
Penned by drummer Bruno Lawrence, this strong, slightly psychadelic tune was the biggest hit on the album and was a finalist for the "Loxene Golden Disc" awards, the contemporary equivalent of the RIANZ awards, sponsored (oddly enough) by a shampoo. Despite this contribution to the band's success, by 1971 Bruno was out of the line-up, apparently due to his rascally behaviour (a habit of performing impromptu armpit fart concertos while frontman Malcolm Hayman was speaking between songs has been cited as one aggravating factor in their fraught relationship)...and as all patriots know, Bruno went on instead to form the very crucible of Kiwi male identity in landmark films such as 1982's "Battletruck".

"Men must be strong, like Battletruck."

The Quincy Conserve - Frustration
Another toothy original which cleverly references a second cornerstone of our national identity with backing vocals that mimic the cries of sheep and lambs.

Our national identity explained.

Bruno's drumming on this track is especially choice. 

The Quincy Conserve - Somebody Stole My Thunder
This is a cover of a track by Georgie Fame, which in my ultra-nationalistic opinion edges out the original.

The Conserve broke up in 1976, but had an unexpected boost in profile a couple of years ago when TV2 released a promo built around the song "Aire of Good Feeling" from "Epitaph", consequently both "Ride the Rain" and "Frustration" are available in high quality, legitimate versions along with a number of highlights from the Conserve's other albums. I commend all true patriots to COP THAT SHIT.


  1. Kevin Furey laid down the guitar solo to 'Ride the Rain' in 10 minutes - pretty impressive Kev... (they were the house band for HMV at he time).

  2. Hey nice post do you know of anywhere i could download the whole album. I would love to hear the whole thing. Thanks