It’s been over three decades since Christchurch record shop employee and music fan, Roger Shepherd, was inspired to start a record label as an outlet for South Island bands. And it was the city of Dunedin that quickly became most strongly associated with Flying Nun.
In 1982, four bands from that southern outpost – The Chills, Sneaky Feelings, The Stones and the Verlaines – each recorded a side for a double 12″ EP pack that, which actually untitled, was referred to as the ‘Dunedin Double’. Now for Record Store Day (April 19), Flying Nun will to re-issue this four EP set that went on to kick start the label.
Not only was it ‘untitled’, it was an unusual format with no set order and containing two 45rpm 12″ discs. Re-mastered, the Dunedin Double is being re-issued again in its original format and limited to 2000 copies.
Recorded over two weekends in damp New Zealand, South Island flats (on portable four track by Chris Knox and Doug Hood), it was distinctly lo-fi and in tune with the ‘do it yourself’ ethic at the heart of the label. Furthermore it brought the world’s attention to The Chills, Verlaines, The Stones and Sneaky Feelings and established the notion of the ‘Dunedin Sound’, a phrase coined for the young bands that followed in the wake of The Clean and an influence which carries on to indie-pop bands around the world today.
The Dunedin EP theme continues with Flying Nun’s other Record Store Day release, the Bored Games Who Killed Colonel Mustard EP.
Released the same year as the Dunedin Double (1982), it introduced the music of a 17-year-old Shayne Carter who would later go on to form The Double Happy’s and Straightjacket Fits. In the tradition of many great bands, they formed while attending high school, debuting at the school’s talent contest in 1979 and going on to play a show supporting Toy Love.
Featuring Carter as vocalist, the band included the likes of Wayne Elsey (The Stones, Double Happys), Terry Moore (The Chills) as well Fraser Batts, Jonathan Moore and Jeff Harford. The band broke up in 1981 before Who Killed Colonel Mustard was released. However, they left behind four catchy tracks, packed with teenage angst manifested in early punk stylings.
As part of the Record Store Day release, the EP has been remastered and includes an insert of previously unseen photos. This EP will be limited to 1000 copies.