Guitarist Big Ross was a wild dresser in the early 80s and his flamboyant style encouraged the other members of this emerging Auckland band to hit the op-shop in an effort to colour in the streets. Many years later Big Ross spotted a couple of youngins walking down New North Road in Kingsland dressed like funky peacocks. “They must be in a band” he thought. Their unique style remind Ross of his early days playing rowdy music at the Windsor Castle in Parnell. He saw the pair again a little later, this time from the footpath. “They were arguing about music!” Later on he recognized the The Neilson brothers from pictures he’d seen of The Mint Chicks. Rewind the clock thirty years and is was the Birds Best Roys who ruled the punk-pop roost in Auckland City. Nick Atkinson hangs out with Big and Little Ross as they rebuild guitars and reissue their recordings.
Bird Nest Roys. Big Ross left, Little Ross right. Photo: Courtesy of Flying Nun
This Calcutta-based musician gave his first recital at the age of four. A virtuoso slide guitarist who has customised his own instruments to duplicate the sound of a sitar, Debashish has also developed a unique style of playing that fuses classical Indian tradition with all number of global influences over a career spanning 30 years. His latest album 'Beyond the Ragasphere' features his daughter Anandi Bhattacharya on vocals and western guests like Bluegrass picker Jerry Douglas, Flamenco genius Adam del Monte and jazz guitar master John McLaughlin.
Combining elements of classical, avant-garde, jazz and rock, English band These New Puritans are twin brothers Jack and George Barnett. Along with Thomas Hein, they’ve recently released their third album, Field Of Reeds. As Marty Duda discovered when he spoke to George Barnett, the band use some unorthodox techniques to find their sounds, including recording a live hawk in the studio and playing a magnetic resonator piano. You may be surprised to see the album begins with a Burt Bacharach song. Funnily enough that small fact was also news to These New Puritans, who had never heard the song before it appeared on their album. They originally called the track The Way I Do, but Bacharach’s lawyers had other ideas. Hear the full story in the Music Mix.