Garbage and the flowers 1992

Garbage and the Flowers, 1992 (photo: David Welch)

Day 22 of NZ Music Month is from obscure-only-in-NZ early 90’s group The Garbage and The Flowers and their “St Michael of the Angels”

“St Michael of the Angels” is from an album “The Deep Niche”, an upcoming Grapefruit Record Club (re)release.

The Garbage And The Flowers were a band which formed in Wellington in the early 1990s. It has that familiar flutter of (cassette?) tape recording and the kind of wilful DIY oddness that clearly turned heads overseas, if not in NZ.

I had never heard of The Garbage and The Flowers or heard their music until I was at a friend’s place in Glasgow last year and he played me a cassette by them. He looked to me for signs of recognition and probably some revelation I’d seen them play live or knew them and could fill in the missing knowledge about them he was seeking. I said “I’ve never heard of them”.

I’ll post the label’s release notes below. I was clearly not “a certain type of music fan”…

“If you were a certain type of music fan in the mid-nineties, you may have heard tell of this incredible, incredibly hard to find, double album by The Garbage & The Flowers. Each jacket was hand-painted, and all 300 copies sold out in a flash. Thankfully, the great Bo’Weavil label reissued Eyes Rind As If Beggars in 2013. If you haven’t heard it, please do listen…ok, you heard it now? You’re welcome!

It turns out the group was Helen Johnstone, Yuri Frusin, and Paul Yates, an inspired trio who emphasized lyrical collaboration and sound manipulation as part and parcel to their melodies.  They didn’t last long as a group, but luckily, they got a lot of their songs recorded.

The Deep Niche is music they made before Eyes Rind and it is every bit as revelatory.  Johnstone sings over raucous and raw instrumentation. It’s real rock, the real real thing.

Torben Tilly joined just in time to contribute some keyboard to the track ’29 Years,’ although he mostly was their guitarist. Just in time, too, because The DeepNiche presents a band fresh to playing with some massive tools, them being, natch, The Tools Of Rock. These songs are every bit as powerful as what you hear on Eyes Rind As If Beggars. Believe it.”

Here’s a video of them playing live in Wellington in 1992:

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