Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gig prep and film stuff

So, slowly gearing up to the gig at the Cook.  
We are planning on having some t-shirts to sell and so are hurriedly organising that kinda shit.  Luckily we have friends who are kind enough to lend us their help and advice which makes doing things we have no shard of a clue how to do, possible.  
I've just finished up drawing a poster by tracing with my trackpad in photoshop (tad frustrating).  Budget = the shiznet.

A couple of weeks ago we participated in a Film and Media project.  It consisted of us choosing a venue, and playing a live set to be filmed.  After many thoughts about abandoned theatres and that kind of carry-on, we ended up at Sammy's as the theatre we had wanted turned out to be too unsafe apparently.  
After turning up the night before to set up all our stuff, we discovered the bouncy castle games that they have on at Sammy's were still up and people were still playing on them.  They took up nearly every square inch of the place.  Everybody remained calm though, and after all the bouncy little netball girls finished jumping up and down and shit the Sammy's staff did a full on deflation in minutes.
Filming went very smoothly and the Director did a fantastic job of making everything run real sexily.
Two other bands, Thundercub and Brains are also participating and I can't wait to see the finished product.  You can check out the project here:  Off the Cuff.  There are some cool photos and information.  I may post some photos up here at some other time when I don't have to get up at 6 in the morning.  
keep it kinky

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Our last gig EVER

We are taking an indefinite sabbatical as a number of us are planning to catch aeroplanes and go to places we haven't been to before. So if you'd like to catch us for the very last time (one or some of us are never coming back due to student loans and inescapable drug debt) this is your chance. Some or none of us may reform under the same or a new guise (cumragtag might find some work?) in our eventual shared location, so keep tuned for updates and travel fail stories.

It will be held at upstairs Cook. Some of you may accidentally let out a wee shriek as I did, but take your rapidly collapsing phallus or anti-phallus and draw circles on it with your finger thinking of the cheap beer, the great space available, and the vicinity to knox pharmacy for that late night pseudoephedrine smash and grab.

We are hopefully recording a live album from it, depending on how drunk we get and how good the set sounds.

We also have supporting the gig:

Thundercub (thunder bolt grizzly cubs)
Mountaineater (sounds like 5 thousand Kevin Costners screaming)
Soulseller (party boys)

Love You

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bourbon Set

We played a gig with Charlie ASH(from Wellington) and Knives At Noon at Refuel earlier this month, and it was hilarious. 

We had been given a couple of bottles of bourbon before the gig (our slot was at 2.30am and we have sworn never to stay sober for a late gig again after the debacle which occurred at backstage when we played at 5.30am and the fuckin gear all fell apart,  Ironically we had swapped slots at another bands request) and it is reasonable to say we were a little drunk.  Anyway the two other bands had just played great sets to a reasonable sized crowd considering the time. 
Our band had been working on the door for the majority of the night, except for a spell when someone from Knives At Noon took over.  When it came time to begin setting our gear up, I asked Charlie ASH (since it was their gig) if they could organise somebody to take over the door.  The guy told me just to pull the cover charge from the door.  I went back and counted up the money and they had made $200 on the door, none of which was obviously going to be seen by us.  At the time I didn't think about it but the fucker could've worked the door a bit longer so they could at least try and offer the other bands some money rather than just being a lazy prick.

Quite a few of our friends had come along to watch us since we had not played in a while, including our bass players fiancee and her mother over from Ireland.  We played what could only be described as a bourbon-set.  It was fun, hilarious and hazy. 

We had discovered that our bass rig that we supplied as backline was not working after Charlie ASH' set and they had overdriven it or something.  At one stage, because the synth batteries had run low I exited stage and went to get a drink from the band room, and discovered all of charlie ASH sitting around in a circle.  This is fine, I don't give a shit but It'll become clear soon.  During the set, Andy said over the mic, "Thanks to Knives at Noon for having us and to Chasrlie ASH for breaking our bass amp and stealing our mates congos".  (A year earlier after a Charlie ASH gig at backstage, the band took off knowingly with our friend Al Burns' congo drums.  After much trying, he eventually got them back after a long time mind you.)  Such was the nature of the set that I then cussed at the audience extensively.

While we were packing up our stuff, the Charlie ASH guitarist came up to me and started having a go at me for saying shit about them over the mic...  I asked him what the fuck he was talking about and he continued on in this manner, and then the drummer came over and started verbally chastising me as well.  These douche bags got me right wound up, as i had no idea what the fuck they were on about and then it became laughingly apparent that the dick heads had gotten some second hand information about someone "saying shit about them on stage" and mistaken Andy for me.  The fuckin fucker then had the audacity to tell me they had done us a favour by letting us play... what. the. fuck.  Andy came over and tried to smooth shit over saying it was him, but these fuck heads were stubborn.  The last thing we felt like doing after playing a set in the AM is to then receive an abusing for playing support. 

Ok, maybe what we said on stage shouldn't have been said, but in any case, it was the truth and if they don't want the truth to be told then maybe they shouldn't do shit that would paint them in a bad light.

I feel stink that Knives At Noon were kind of caught in the middle of this, especially after the way they had looked after us.

Then while I was walking home along North Road with my girlfriend, minding our own goddamned business, some ratty 19 year old looking fucker who could barely stand came up to me and started going on "say one more word".  I said "what the fuck you talking about?"  He replied "say one more word" while polishing his knuckles.  This cunt could barely stand up, I told him to keep walking and not to act like a cunt.  He kept on going: "say one more word"  by this stage i'd said at least 24.  I had this urge to push him over and let him die of hypothermia when he couldn't bring himself back to his feet, but eventually his friend came back and grabbed him.  what a mother fucker.  I totally wouldn't mind if that guy was run over by a boy racer, then that boy racer spent ten years in prison for manslaughter.

What a joke of a night.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday's gig on the Union Lawn was our first in about 3 months. It was great getting back amongst gigging, but also interesting conditions. It was very. fucking. cold. Thanks to all that showed up in the wintry conditions.

It was quite a nice atmosphere with the food stalls and carnival rides. After an initial blow out when we found out that the micro korg power source was fucked, Someone from the OUSA team sourced some batteries and saved the day on that front. props.

Next gigs are 1st August at Refuel with Charlie ASH and Knives At Noon (after Kora)
7th August at Chicks for Julian Temple Band's Quiet Earth Album Release.
26th August Refuel Pint Night with Knives At Noon
19th September Sammys for Left Or Right's Album Release.

Also The Fourth World is now number 9 on Kiwi FM top ten. Help us out by voting at ! Thanks for voting us in there.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Our album Harold is now on iTunes for download and the CD can be posted to you if you buy from

We are currently number 10 on the kiwi fm top 10. CHOICE. Take that motorcade, you fucking dicks.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

If you vote we'll give you oral

Our song 'Fourth World' is bubbling under the Kiwi FM top ten, and if you could take time out of your busy bee schedules to vote for it you would make us happy enough and liberal enough to dish out sexual favours.

Go to and choose to vote on the top ten, we're not on the list but if you enter it in at the bottom, that'd be super sweet of you cuties. I KNOW we don't like taking too much time out of your important 'research' internet time, but do it for mother Russia, and us. And do it for Laika, the first dog in outer space, who died up there. He'd be very thankful too. We miss you Laika.

If you see a song on the list you like better, still vote for our one.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some nice press

It's nice when people believe in what you are doing and tell everyone about it. Here's us telling you about someone believing in us and telling everyone about it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Album release - Sammys

Over the period of recording, touring, getting an album made and pre-paying for all the production for our release party, we had accumulated about $3k of debt. So this album release really had to go off. We needed over 300 people to come and buy CD's so we could pay the other bands, the two sound guys and all our debt.

We were really lucky to have the help of Tono, Entropy Trio, Julian Temple Band, Operation Rolling Thunder, Left or Right, Soul Seller and Teddy Ruffspin, all playing on the night so we could party hard before and after our set.

It all started about 9am that day with us collecting all the shit we were going to need. I was on production duties; running all over town getting lights and extra sound gear. Mike and Skinny were on 'hospitality rider patrol'; driving all over town picking up $600 worth of piss and $100 of food for the night. Ben and his father Chris were busy doing trips from their place bringing our lighting rig and amps etc down to Sammy's. Paul slept in.

Once down there it took us all, including Chris K and Mike H about five hours to get the PA and lighting rig in working order so we could sound check. Ben's brother Nick had put in our rear speakers on the mezzanine of Sammy's so we could have 4.1 surround. We had a projector set up and 9 500w builders lamps to blind the shit out of everyone on the venue.

Sound check was long and painful, but we had expected that with how much extra gear we had patched in.

Chris K tweeking knobs

Ben's kit looked incredible

"Do you think there's enough builders lights up there? I can't fell my retina burning yet!"

Sound check finished about 45minutes before Tono was scheduled to start. The place was filling up with bands who had come early for a free feed and to start kicking the beer and punch around. My flatmates Sam and Keith (R.C) had been busy for two hours making vegetarian green curry and a beef satay for 30 people. It was awesome!!

All the bands that played before us were so tight! It was scary to think what would happen when we got on. We had been drinking for 3-4 hours before our set so when we finally made it to the stage shit started getting out of hand. I broke two strings in our first song. Had to muff my way through two songs (our set-list was nearly gap-less) untill Julian Temple kindly let me borrow his Les Paul that was in E flat I think. I have no pedal tuner so had to do it by ear infront of 400 people who were gagging for music. SHIT!!! I finally got it in tune, but throughout the course of our set it progessively slid back to E flat about 3 times. We sang really bad and mis-cued lots of song starts, but we were drunk and so was 90% of the audience so everyone had a really good time.

As you can see there was a shit-load of people there, and over 60 of them bought CD's which was awesome!!! After paying all our debts, giving each band $200 and paying the soundmen we ended up with $80 left over for ourselves. MINT!! We won. No more debt. And a bunch of CD's left to sell.

Cheers to everyone who helped out and made it work out for us in the end.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

On The Road Again

After two days of sleeping in, doing as little as possible and catching up on some much needed vitamins and BYC, we got back into tour mode. As luck (or good organisation but I doubt it) would have it we only had to drive as far as Lyttelton for our next show at Wunderbar.

The Templeton Backyard Cricket Ground, TBYCG.

Wunderbar (pronounced Vunda-baa, German for Wonderful) is a cozy little place about the size of two Circadian Rhythms front to back, cirlcle jerk styles. The front bar is full of doll's head lamp shades, mannequin torso table legs, weird art and has very hard to find toilets filled with advertising from the 1950's, but not in a tacky way like Burger King. The back bar has a stage at one end, red curtains everywhere and old circuit boards and disco balls all over the roof. So basically Wunderbar is a trippers paradise.

The extensive ramp and stairs makes getting gear in a fucking exciting mission!

Like I said; "A trippers paradise."

Before our show we did a short interview on Volcano Radio . They played wicked music and were the nicest media types I've ever met. Yay community radio! We then went up and proceeded to 'get right' before the show. Le Mot Cafe agreed to support at very short notice and played some wicked new stuff. Keep an ear out for a new album very soon!!! We played pretty tight and got on well with the audience so we came off feeling ready for some debauchery.

I think one of the highlights of touring with Biff Merchants is our bands ability to enjoy the company of the locals where ever we are. One Wunderbar local named Colin smoked the second half of our doobskin and proceeded to eat the roach, but he was a good man so we didn't bust his beardy chops too hard.

We got home around 2.30am, back up at 6.30am and headed off to Te Anau. The drive was sweet. It was a great day for looking at Mt Cook and the rest of the main divide. We arrived at Red Cliff to some amazing hospitality.

The Red Cliff

Choosing a meal from the 'Hospitality Rider' is very difficult when your brain has been trained to avoid eating anything over $15. I think we ended up getting: 12 mussels and some bread and dips for an entree, two racks of lamb, one sole fillet, a vegetarian pasta and some fancy as pork dish. HOSPITALITY!!!

Our 'Hostel Room', that was actually a sweet two bedroom house!

Two entrees between us and an expensive mains each was hastily followed by Whiskey, an introduction to our house at the hostel, returning for copious amounts of beer, a few performances, lay backs, shots, more beer, job offers in Milford, cones and general good conversation... none of which we had to pay for.

Ben finishing off an un-named lay back as served by Good Morning's Brendon Pongia. He was actually called Muzz and was the most generous barman a band could want.

After a while the managment decided they needed to close the bar so turned the music off, but invited us to a house party to continue drinking. We arrived at one of the local's houses. He was a family man, but the family was away, so he busted out a guitar and microphone and sang really awfully bad covers for the rest of the night. GOOD CUNT! We fell into bed around 6am only to be woken at 10.30am by Megan, the owner of the cafe, explaining we had arranged to meet her at 10 to get our gear out. We were feral and couldn't remember any arrangment, but we got the job done thanks to some free coffee and a cheque for our 'services' the night before.

Mike nominated himself to drive us to Invercargill. A brave effort considering we'd slept about four hours and those of smaller stature than Mike and I were still well hammered. It was a sweet journey for me. I slept the whole way. It must have been hell for Mike. But hey we made it to sound check for our all ages show at Saints and Sinners, opening for D dub. D dub? yea D Dub. We are obviously quite similar in musical stylings to a Ska/Reggae band so it seemed fair enough.
Paul and Grey Skull having a pose down in Invers.

We once again played pretty tight. There were about 12 peopleat the all ages show so it was a good practise and helped us out of our hang-overs. I won $50 bucks off a $2 coin on the pokies and was feeling fucking great. After a short nap at the Tuatara backpackers, we were pleasantly suprised by a visit from heaps of Dunedin mates. They had all made the trip from Dunedin to come and get drunk with us which was fucking awesome. Some of the D dub guys came and crashed our party in the hostel living room. I wanted to dislike them, but they were truely really nice guys. I also wanted to hit them up for $50 they owed me for renting my guitar amp to them for some Dunedin gig a while back, but given their attitude I couldn't find it in me to bring the mood down. Fuck I'm a pussy.

After a good catch up with our buddies we shot back to the venue for our R18 show. We played fucking well again. There's something to be said for gigging regularly. I don't think we've played this consistsntly ever! I reluctantly shot back to Dunedin straight after our set. A wine and foods fest in South Canterbury at 10am ruined any chance of a final hurrah with the Biffs. By all accounts it was a great night that ended up on the roof of the Backpackers, but without Colin eating all the roaches.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Couple Days Break In Templeton

After some extensive driving, we are now back in Templeton just south of Christchurch at Andy and Mike's parents.  It has been quite good to have a couple of days break to relax after so much time hugging the flickering white line.

We got to spend a few days in Wellington which was great, caught up with quite a few friends we haven't seen for a while.  Also got to explore Wellington a little and soak up a bit of the atmosphere.

We went and checked out Te Papa. A lot of crap, but some of it was good.  Quite angled at tourists sometimes.

We played pretty poorly at the Adelaide, a few technical difficulties, probably a shoddy lead, but there were a lot of friends there which was cool, and the Slur Tones opened for us who have recently relocated to Wellington from Wanaka, and they were once again impeccably tight.

The gig at Harbourview in Raglan the next night fell through due to a balls up on their part, wankers.  So we ended up borrowing a tent and camping somewhere near the bottom of Lake Taupo near a marina.


In Auckland we stayed with a friend who had an apartment right round the corner from K Rd, so we got to explore the inner city a little.  His apartment was small, but very accomodating, and after a gig at Shadows at which we played well, but to about 20-30 people we got maggoted at his apartment.  Shadows reminded me a lot of the Cook or Gardies or something studenty like that, I guess because it was on campus, but it was certainly no Re Fuel.  Mike joed out so we got him ready for work in the morning.

Our friend got us tickets to the zoo through his work, so that was an excellent sunday activity.

We then hit the road to return to our camp site for another night, and then on to Templeton from there.  Tonight we have a gig at Wunderbar in Lyttleton, then on to Te Anau and Invercargill and home for a break before returning to Christchurch.

On the Road

Like Salvatore, we are on the road.  Maybe not in such spectacular fashion but on the road nonetheless.

We stayed last night in Templeton just out of Christchurch where Andy and Mike's parents live.  We went to a place called Rockpool or something that was near the strip, just looking for somewhere to get a coffee.  The place was empty and the barman/barista was chatting to a girl who was studying there or something.  Anyway, this guy spent about 15 minutes making andy's coffee, meanwhile the rest of us were waiting there to order ours.  Fuck I have never during my feeble existence seen someone work with such blatant lack of disregard for the customer.  This process was then repeated during the making of the subsequent coffee orders meaning that our coffees were delivered to us 15 minutes apart and we didn't actually get to 'share' a coffee and a cigarette which was the intention.  Way to ruin the man date fuck face.  When I placed my order the guy forgot to ask for money off me and left me hanging at the bar with my eftpos card in mid-air.  I decided against paying for such a shitty service and drank my burnt coffee and fucked off.

So we are now currently on the way to Picton to catch the ferry over to Wellington.  So I have taken thbis time to write to you. yes you. With laptop sliding all over the place.

A couple of weekends ago we headed down to Milford Sound for a gig at the Blue Duck Cafe.  I had never been down there so was excited to see a bit of Fiordland.  The drive down was a visual orgy, and they put us on a cruise when we arrived which was amazing.  The waterfalls and shit are something to behold.  The excursion was a cream jean dream for the likes of Mike who is a Geography grad.  Too bad it was greysville.  The lack of youth ate a fatty, but the scenery more than made up for it. 

I have to mention the incredible showing of hospitality we received while there.  Liam and Rachel who were managing the joint made us extremely comfortable, welcome, and boozy.  They got us on to a 'local' drink which involved bottles of diva wine, shot glasses topped up with red bull.  We started having a few beers at about 5 and were reasonably primed by the time we played at the cafe.  Afterwards we fraternised with the workers and one dude did a bang on ray charles impression. fuck it made me laugh. 

The next day involved a drive to Queenstown for a gig.  yuck.
When we arrrved we took our usual trip to Morrisons Irish bar to have a guiness and get right.  We met another interesting character there who proceeded to fire off some one liners immediately.  After we had calmed him down a little, we discussed such diverse topics as hookers, conspiracies, and Dunedin geography and business.

The gig at Dux was half-hearted I must say, as we were driving back to Dunedin that night after the gig because Andy had work in the morning. It was reasonably uneventful, and we arrived home at about 6 in the morning.  Think Andy had work at 7, but I believe he didn't actually end up working as his workplace didn't need him or something. Shee yit.

So the path that lies ahead will hopefully be littered with interesting experiences and characters.  We are looking forward immensely to catching up with various friends we haven't seen for a time.

So, hopefully will catch up with you at some stage around the country.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Recording Doco


Trying to organise support bands for this goddamned tour... Really should've had that organised earlier but that would go against the Biff Merchant motto of Leave it till the last minute. 

Andy cut together a little insight into the recording process we undertook at Sammies for the album. and here it is:

Yes, it was relatively twisted, but a lot of fun.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tour Dates Booked So Far

Long time between blog posts at the moment. That is generally just due to complete fucking laziness on my behalf really. 

BUT, we have been very busy booking dates for our tour!

So far we have confirmed:

Queenstown - Fri 27th Feb @ Dux

Wanaka - Sat 28th Feb @ Red Rock

Dunedin - O-Week gig, Fri 6th March

Wellington - Thurs 12th March, @ The Adelaide

Raglan - Fri 13th March, Harbourview Hotel

Auckland - Sat 14th March, Shadow

Lyttleton - Thurs 19th March @ Wunderbar

Te Anau - Fri 20th March

Invercargill - Sat 21st March

Chch - Thurs 26th March

DUNEDIN - Sat 4th April @ Sammies

There are a few more that are as of yet unconfirmed but i will post them as soon as i know.

Album has been mastered, and now we are organising art work and other such album fodder.

Setup Sammies 

We played with Spartacus R from Wellington, and Ragamuffin Children on Sat night, which was an excellent gig.  Spartacus R were crazy tight, progish and nice guys to boot.  Fuckin excellent, and Ragamuffin Children absolutely enchanted and mesmerised, wow.

We have uploaded an outtake from our album sessions called Irrigon which is up on our myspace.  Also on our facebook page we have uploaded a short ten minute doco on the recording process.  It's also up on you tube if you search our band name.