A concentrated look at alternative Christchurch music scenes from 1980 to the 2000s, compiled by Rob Mayes of Failsafe Records.
For a farm service town, since the late 70s the South Island’s largest city had an extraordinarily vibrant alternative music scene, from the punk explosion through to the first decade of the new millennium. If you weren’t into rugby, racing and beer, your options were slim. For the outliers, music was the one saving grace.
Christchurch had some of the best venues in the country for gigs, with an eager audience supporting them. Bands from around the country aspired to tour here, and just by chance and luck a handful of dedicated and skilled people managed those venues, cultivating an enthusiastic audience and serving them a diet of inspiring and invigorating original music.
The audiences were passionate about the music they were seeing. For a while there, Christchurch had a great infrastructure that nurtured and enabled a wealth of local bedroom musician talent, helping them take it to the performance stage and developing strong artists. Here are some of the spaces the musicians played in and where we all hung out.
– Rob Mayes (Courtesy AudioCulture)