Beatnik is a classic Kiwi track by The Clean, filmed at the Victorian Coffee Gallery on the corner of Montreal Street and Oxford Terrace in Christchurch.
It was kind of a rite of passage in Christchurch to go to the Vic, get cheese and onion toasties, and special coffees. There was a dude who played chess in the window. You always saw him by candlelight – the Vic used to put the candles in the wine bottles. Liebestraum bottles perhaps.
Anyhow, great song, great video! See more NZ music history on NZ On Screen.
He’s particularly fond of playing on the streets, and he may be the country’s best known busker. He’s recorded several albums since the 80s, mostly outside the traditional music scene.
He was born in Zanzibar, grew up in Kenya and moved to New Zealand when he was 12. He’s a fantastic guitarist and a troubadour in that middle ages tradition of questioning and satirical songs, and making a living off what your talent brings you from the people who walk by …
I first saw him in concert in a venue that no longer exists, but it was an old church where music students used to sit their Trinity music exams. It was a cold night and we waited outside, past the start time. A car rocked up, this guy got out and used bolt cutters to get the lock of the heavy gothic door, and we went in and he played. I don’t know if it was a stunt or real, but I’ve never forgotten it.
Found an interesting read today on Radio Fifeshire, first broadcast in January 1983. The original studio was in Richmond, before moving to Nelson the following year. It was AM of course, and you’ll need your best jock voice for the slogan:
Summer’s Alive with 855
I found Pete Dawson’s site, full of history and memories – as well as soundbites and various stickers and memorabilia.
Make sure you tune in on Wednesday night to hear some of Nelson-based composer Mike Beever’s recent piano recordings.
We’ll learn a little about the process and equipment that he uses, and some of the interesting ways his music has been used. Best of all, Mike’s kindly offered to give a download copy of the EP to one lucky listener.