Discography live at last! - and travel news...
And we have news, both of our travels and of the discog kind...
Firstly - we are at last able to publish on our site a complete discography of all things Chills-like.
You can see it here along with some notes relating to it but needless to say we are pretty chuffed with how it has turned out.
And secondly.... - many of you would not have known we had been away because our first departure from the shores of New Zealand was for a mere weekend
in Australia - "just over the ditch" as is sometimes said in these far- off islands.
But the point was - it worked!
We journeyed to prove to our nearest neighbours that The Chills were a functioning, powerful and forward-moving group, and it went as well as
anyone could have reasonably expected!
It was just the two shows; Melbourne at the East Brunswick Club on Friday the 14th of May and the next night in Sydney at the Oxford Art Factory, but both gigs went really well - certainly helped by the warm-up gig we had done a week earlier at Dunedin's famous Empire Tavern (which truly seems to be in the right hands again - at last). But what made these gig so special for us?
Well - it proved that The Chills, which means band and support network, worked extremely well and the venture has shown ourselves and others that it is time for us to be moving further afield once again.
I had hoped to wait until there was a new album out before we left New Zealand again but the reasons for the delay in fixing problems both electronic and mental could fill a volume - suffice to say, the huge backlog of new music and new musical ideas is now more closely within our reach!
Besides, the live set we have to choose from at present is so strong and full of the well-known AND the unknown that we are not coming across as sad old has-beens trying to get some cash for the memories.
We have never wanted it to be like like that - the audiences showed us that they did not experience the gigs like that, and, finally, the reviews spoke strongly about The Chills being a story not yet finished by any means.
One of the best things about these gigs, apart from being outside of N.Z. for the first time in some fifteen years, was the fact was that it was also the first time The Chills have played as a five-piece since the 'Soft Bomb" world tour of 1992 (and, before that, the very first three Chills' gigs back in 1980). You see, although our keyboardist Erica Stichbury, has been working in San Francisco for over a year there was no way we were about to let such a wonderful, talented young woman like that just leave the band - and she also wished to continue her involvement. But then we had Oli Wilson, an amazing talent of a different kind, who had taken time out from various musical projects - including his own band Knives At Noon - to fill in for Erica while she was away.
But we also found a different chemistry with Oli!
So what to do? Well - why not get them both together in Australia of course! Oli can play keyboards, guitar and sing and Erica can do all of that - as well as being an extraordinary violinist!
So there was much discussion about who would play what on which song and when in the set that would happen. Phone calls and the use of the very convenient Skype program meant that it was possible - but we were still left with the reality that we were to have a little over three hours practice in Melbourne the day after we all arrived, to get the whole set together - including some variations for those of the audience who would inevitably attend both gigs.
But we got there! And one of the most important elements was the supernaturally well timed reappearance of our former sound person - Chris Huston, who has been resident in Australia for some years. Chris brought to the proceedings that extra bit of security in knowing that our sound was being interpreted correctly.
The first night perhaps had more adrenalin and the odd bump which only the band would feel but the second gig, in Sydney, we felt it all come together and there was real power and magic and risk-taking and it showed to everyone that the experiment had been most worth while.
So now we are all back at our various homes feeling happier and looking into a future which is asking good things from us and, although we by no means came back richer in a financial sense we certainly feel that a new chapter has been opened and we are all excited about where that will take us.
I hope we get to meet and greet many more of you as we feel our way through whatever is to come in the near future!
Martin Phillipps - on behalf of The Chills and friends.