The 10 Most Embarrassing New Zealand Music Moments




Lorde Fronts Nirvana:


Don't get me wrong, I actually really quite like Lorde. She has a distinctive and uncompromising style that is all hers and to me is deserving of  the success and critical plaudits she has garnered thus far. But as herself... To front Nirvana at the 2014 Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame ceremony was a moment NZ should forever feel ashamed about.  And not because it was Lorde, she did a fairly commendable job under such weighty circumstances and I do actually really quite like her. But to see Dave Grohls limelight hogging, burst blood vessel, Aunt Mildreds hairy super dense bush muff face - grinning with deviant joy over milking the rotting and now spinning wildly out of control carcass of Kurt Cobain was and is sickening. Presumably he aligned this all so he can fulfill some weird bucket list of playing with anyone that has ever learned a guitar chord or drum pattern ever. That or he needs to eek out a few more cents from the Kurt Cobain song book (which he has plagiarised wildly and continuously) so he can build another boutique studio to fit inside his other boutique studio like a set of recording studio Russian dolls.   Worse still was that he brought others down with slightly more respect to his level... After fading off into obscurity post Kurts shotgun dinner, Krist Noveselic  was back playing Nirvana songs under what I'm sure was a misguided allusion to paying homage to his corpse chum. And while others sung for Nirvana that night including Joan Jett and St Vincent it is Lordes performance that is remembered and scorned. And not because it was Lorde, she was really good and I do actually quite like her. But because she for that one night was stripped of her credibility all so Dave Grohl could grab some of the spotlight that should never have been his.



The Feelers Ruin the Rugby World Cup for Everyone:


The RWC tried justifying their myopic and thoroughly opposed choice of using the Feelers extremely poor theme song contribution to the 2011 Rugby World Cup advertising campaign by saying things like 'it wasn't the official song' and that  their flimsy rendition of Jesus Jones flaccid 1991 hit - 'Right Here Right Now' was about 'a moment in history (the end of the Cold War) and that it had worldwide significance; how it was about seizing the moment and making something an incredible success.' However the NZ public weren't buying what the RWC was selling. For starters the NZ public and especially those that loved their Ruggerz generally saw the Feelers for the wishy washy, overrated, turgid, poseurs that they were. Compounding issues was pie eating champion James Reid and pals choice to cover a song by a barely remembered, hardly treasured British pop band. With potential exposure in the millions locally and internationally - the NZ public wondered why a band that has brought little but shame to our music scene was elected 'the band' to represent our country and why with an opportunity this great they would then use a song of zero national importance? Why? Cause mutha fucken Dave Dobbyn wasn't available that's why....



Shihad Become Pacifier only to Become Shihad Again:


At one point people really loved Shihad, with albums like Killjoy, The General Electric, Churn setting them apart as one of if not the premier heavy rock band in NZ. On the verge of making it in America, Shihad along with New York city suffered some grave misfortune when Jihadist terrorists orchestrated attacks on the Twin Towers. Feeling their name was too similar to this hateful term the band decided to change their name in order to avoid comparisons to these people. And while the  respect they gave to the victims was highly noble and quite incisive the decision was also their undoing. Taking the name Pacifier, the worst song from their otherwise passable General Electric album and bidding farewell to a name now associated with tragedy and horror was possibly the worst they career move could have made. In part due to the fact that it was a terrible, super bland name but mostly because this change actively ruined any tangible interest they may have been able to stir stateside. While their sound was a revelation and highly popular in NZ, the USA had a glut of hard rock bands filling the sound Shihad did, only better. From NIN to Filter to countless others, Shihad was just another average band in a sea of heavy rock music. If anything the misfortune of 9/11 was something they should have capitalised on - embrace the name, grow beards, only ride tour camels, hire a barn to store all your telecasters in so you could name it the tele-barn, only make music videos from deep within undisclosed caves on grainy footage and once every month behead a fan of a rival music genre. They would have been huge. Alas Pacifier did not capitalise on this hand fed opportunity, fading off into dated obscurity in the USA before returning on hands and knees begging to be let back in to NZ as our former heroes - Shihad. Which we did but don't think that we don't laugh behind your back Shihad... You could have had it all and yet you through it all away. 


True Bliss:


I grew up in the Spice Girls era. Unfortunately they were my Beatles. Because of the popularity they had as a girl group their model was adopted around the world including here in NZ. True Bliss's formation while very similar to that of the Spice Girls themselves and most girl pop groups ever, involved some shady manager type bringing together 5 questionable female talents to join together as a commercially viable musical ensemble. The difference being that rather than taking place in said shady mangers dingy, half lit, indecipherable odour smelling office it took place on our TV screens in the form of a 9 part episodic reality show. Revolutionary for its time 'Popstars' created a template carried over to the Idol/X-factor/The Untalented have got Talent series of shows that clogged our TV screens for the past decade.  Five girls,  Keri Harper, Erika Takacs, Carly Binding, Megan Alatini and the only one who could actually sing but was a bit chunky and therefore seemingly out of place with the other Spice Girl clones - Joe Cotton were plucked from relative obscurity and unleashed upon an undemanding public. Alarmingly achieving a #1 single with 'Tonight' the girls were rapidly plunged into the law of diminished returns when their egotistical follow up 'Number 1' crashed and burned at #12 on the NZ charts. Seeing the writing on a crumbling brick wall of despair and lost hope - the girls slowly left the band disbanding in 2000. With the occasional not requested reformation since - True Bliss remain an obscure question for Pub Quiz Nights country wide and fodder for those wishing to make jokes that no one really gets... 


Ben Lummis:


American Idol launched a genuine star in Kelly Clarkson. But that was from a singing gene pool of hundreds of millions. NZ wasn't so lucky. The show was hosted by perennial nobody TV presenter Dominic Bowden and a panel of judges consisting of the fake Rubern Studdard: jovial fat  guy Frankie Stevens, the lady who ruined the Headless Chickens:Fionayoko McDonald and some smarmy twat I can't remember. Eventual winner Ben Lummis fended off 'strong' competition from  some of the weakest singing voices outside of my own to go home with the career killing noose that was NZ Idol champion. After initially duping, blindsided Granny's into buying 40,000 copies of his debut single 'They can't take that away' and sending him straight to #1 they did take it away with the public quickly cooling on the at best 'corner pub Karaoke champion' sending him back to the oblivion of deserved anonymity never to be heard from again outside of imaginary Bunnings Sausage sizzles guest appearances in Tokoroa.


Kim Dotcom Records an Album:


Riding a wave of minimal popularity with a stack of cash, political influence and a bad boy outlaw status Kim Dotcom progressed his already bizarre story into new heights of strange by recording an Electronic Dance Music album at Roundhead studios in Auckland. Released to zero acclaim among critics - the album 'Good Times' further accelerated the NZ governments attempts to extradite Kim Dotcom from his online piracy palace. 


“If Elvis isn’t available, Paul would do” - Paul Holmes

If you have forgotten who Paul Holmes is then you are quite lucky. Holmes was the Mike Hoskings of the 90's - a short, power drunk dwarf with an arrogant belief that he was better than everyone. Occupying the 7pm, TV1 slot Paul Holmes was the public face for current affairs in NZ. He wasn't very good at it. In fact most believed that he was so bad at presenting his current affairs show that if he tried his hand at anything else then he would have to be better than in his role as a TV know it all. He was not. Releasing his debut album - simply titled 'Paul Holmes' in 2010  the elfin know it all proceeded to massacre classic songs including Gordon Lightfoots 'Sundown', Jimmy Webbs 'Wichita Lineman' with no amount of sound sweetening available to producer Debbie Harwood improving his hatchet job. With album sales in the single digits - Paul Holmes musical career was rapidly expunged from the records of NZ music history. However some people say that if you listen very carefully on a gloomy, storm driven day in Ponsonby you can still hear the quiet strains of Paul strangling 'Where do you go to my Lovely' over the noise of yuppie scum sipping lattes.


Mclarens Falls Music and Arts Festival:


Man of action Paxton Talbot revealed to a very excited NZ public this time last year his plans to turn serene family park Mclarens Falls on the outskirts of Tauranga into an annual summer music festival to rival Glastonbury, Coachella et al. But with a CV alleging to have organised or at least attended festivals such as Laneways  - Paxton proved that the pie was bigger than the mouth. Releasing an intended line up; including the Flaming Lips among other big name NZ and international acts immediately stirred interest in the nascent festival. However this goodwill was quickly undone when it was made publicly aware that while tickets were on sale and had been sold, consent for the festival had not yet been granted and would not be given. While blame was passed among local residents and the Tauranga City Council in reality it was the poor organisation and over eager sales strategy of the Festival team who killed their chances of careful execution. Having to bail on the planned location mere months out, Talbot changed the festival from a 3 day bush party to a sterile affair to be held at Vector Arena. Proving to be highly unappealing to all but the biggest Flaming Lips fans - the now named Echo Festival saw ticket sales drying up with requests for refunds hemorrhaging. With losses unable to be recouped, what remained of the Mclarens Falls Festival was finally and mercifully ended with the company applying for bankruptcy. Owing thousands to fans, bands, and other companies associated with the festival Talbot was eventually run out of town by an angry mob of pitchfork wielding locals. 


Andrew Tidball:


Less embarrassing. More horrifying. Former Cheese on Toast editor and BFM DJ, Andrew Tidball was recently publicly outed for using his influence in the NZ music scene to coerce girls of indecent age to engage with him in highly immoral acts. While charges have yet to be pressed (as far as I am aware), Tidball has disappeared from the limelight he used to engulf with his sagging frame. While few are sure of his where abouts most of us wish upon the misery and misfortune that he so entirely deserves.




No one Kanye Wests the SIX60 at the 2013 NZ Music Awards:


In 2013 Six60 won 5 awards. And not once did someone get up, steal the microphone from them and to tell it like it is. Honestly where's Kanye when you need him?