The Verlaines

The Verlaines

Infobox musical artist 2
Name = The Verlaines

Img_capt =
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born =
Died =
Origin = Dunedin, New Zealand
Instrument =
Genre = Rock
Occupation =
Years_active = 1981-present
Label =
Associated_acts = The Chills, The Clean
Current_members =
Past_members =Graeme Downes
Craig Easton
Philip Higham
Anita Pillai
Jane Dodd
Greg Kerr
Alan Haig
Caroline Easther
Robbie Yeats
Mike Stoodley
Paul Winders
Darren Stedman
Gregg Cairns
Russell Fleming

The Verlaines are a rock band from Dunedin, New Zealand notable for combining rock passion with classical compositional ideas. The Verlaines were formed in 1981 by Graeme Downes, Craig Easton, Anita Pillai, Phillip Higham and Greg Kerr; the band went through multiple line-ups before going on an extended hiatus after their 1997 album "Over The Moon." In 2003 a career retrospective "You're just too obscure for me" was released.

The band were named after French poet Paul Verlaine - not, as is occasionally suggested, Tom Verlaine, who also took his stage name from the poet.

The Verlaines were noted for their angular, "difficult" song structures, wordy and downbeat lyrics, unusual subject matter all contained in often frantic up-tempo playing. The Verlaines were led by songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Graeme Downes although many other New Zealand musicians played guitar, bass, drums and brass instruments during the different stages of the band.

Their signature songs included "Death and the Maiden", "C.D. Jimmy Jazz & Me", "Bird-dog" and "Ballad of Harry Noryb".

The band's recorded debut was on the seminal "Dunedin Double EP", which was released by Flying Nun Records and was the debut of several bands who would go on to be central to the mythology of the Dunedin Sound.

Downes is an academic at the University of Otago, teaching contemporary music and with research interests in Mahler and Shostakovich. He has released one solo album, "Hammers and Anvils", which came out on Matador Records in 2001.

The Verlaines' fansite reported on February 11 2007 that a new album was being produced. On 10 December 2007, this new album "Pot Boiler" was released on Flying Nun.


Featured appearances

The group have appeared on several compilations over the years in New Zealand and overseas. The following is a list of these albums that have featured tracks by The Verlaines.

* (1987) - (Flying Nun Records) - "Death And The Maiden"
* (1988) - In Love With These Times (Flying Nun Records) - "Slow Sad Love Song"
* (1991) - Getting Older 1981-1991 (Flying Nun Records) - "Pyromaniac"
* (1991) - Pink Flying Saucers Over The Southern Alps (Flying Nun Records) - "The Funniest Thing"
* (1993) - No Alternative (Arista) - "Heavy 33", "Joed Out" (performed by Barbara Manning)
* (1995) - Red Hot + Bothered (Red Hot Organization) - "Some Fantasy" (with Shayne Carter)
* (1999) - Scarfies OST (Flying Nun Records) - "Death And The Maiden"



External links

* [ The Verlaines Myspace page]
* [ Flying Nun's liner notes for You're just too obscure for me]
* [ Downes' University home page]
* [ "The Heady Remembrance" — Fansite including lyrics and interviews]

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