Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Night Local: Skeptics - 'Agitator' (1987)

This post comes a little late tonight as ths evening the Simian family were down at the waterfront following Wellington's Light Trail, a rather fun collection of international light installations, some animated, some fluorescent, some interactive, and many doubled in the reflection of a black, glasslike harbour. Gorgeous - but never mind the crowds...

It's the last Friday of the southern winter-we're nearly into spring, folks! And to mark the cold season's passing, here's one of the starkest, discordant, contemplative and gorgeous songs Palmerston North ever created. It's not going to be for everyone, but I'd suggest sticking around to the end if you can. No other song comes close to evoking the three bleak months of an Antipodean winter, with the sun farthest from the soil and the southerly ripping straight up from the Antarctic.

There aren't too many Skeptics video out there, and besides this, probably their most well-known and most infamous is AFFCO, which surely ranks alongside The Smith's Meat is Murder for warts-and-all coverage of what goes on inside your friendly local abattoir.

Despite the sensationalism, and maybe the dated sound of the sampling and drums (not to mention the dancing of Skeptics' late, great David D'ath), Skeptics were an important Flying Nun band, influencing the likes of Headless Chickens, Bailter Space and even non-Nun acts like Lung and Shihad, who, as mentioned in an earlier post, consciously doff their hats to this song in one of their own. In the last years of my own band back in the day Skeptics informed the big sound of my friend Victor's band Age of Dog. And so this one's for Victor, Piers and Tane, wherever they may be.

And here's to spring!

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