Friday, October 31, 2008

The rock and the roll

'You can't have the rock without the roll' is one of the favourite sayings of Andrew 'love machine' Maitai, Powertool Records boss and drummer in the latest incarnation of The Bilders, backup band for Kiwi music legend Bill Direen. Maitai has only just finished travelling the length of the country drumming and driving for Direen's Powertools stablemate Sandra Bell, but he's hard at work organising a tour to publicise Chrysanthemum Storm, the forthcoming album from Bill and The Bilders. When I bumped into Andrew the other day he had a bad case of phone ear, after having spent days negotiating gigs and bar tabs with publicans from Takaka to Taupo to Timaru. Andrew put his phone aside long enough to watch Skyler put the finishing touches on this splendid poster (click to enlarge it), which employs some of the images and designs she has already given to the cover and sleeve of the new album.

When I reported on the recording session for Chrysanthemum Storm, I noted how different Bill's new songs sounded to the tracks on his acclaimed 2006 album, Human Kindness. Human Kindness was a cool, minimal affair, recorded solo in a studio high in the Swiss Alps: Chrysanthemum Storm, by contrast, is an upbeat, often rowdy collection, and therefore much more representative of the sound of the live performances of the latest incarnation of The Bilders. The album is due out in mid-November, and will be sold alongside pieces of Bill's immense back catalogue, at the gigs on the forthcoming tour. You know you want to be there.

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