The Verlaines

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The Verlaines
Origin Dunedin, New Zealand
Genres Rock
Years active 1981–present
Associated acts The Chills
The Clean
Paul Winders and The Goodness
Herriot Row
Dead C
Able Tasmans
Website www.theverlaines.co.nz
Members Graeme Downes
Tom Healy
Darren Stedman
Stephen Small
Rob Burns
Past members Craig Easton
Philip Higham
Anita Pillai
Jane Dodd
Greg Kerr
Alan Haig
Caroline Easther
Robbie Yeats
Mike Stoodley
Paul Winders
Gregg Cairns
Russell Fleming

The Verlaines are a rock band from Dunedin, New Zealand. 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.

In 1993, the band contributed the track "Heavy 33" to the AIDS-Benefit Album No Alternative, and in 1995, the song "Some Fantasy" (a Doublehappys cover) to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Bothered, both produced by the Red Hot Organization.

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, where he is head of the Department of Music. He teaches contemporary music and has 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 11 February 2007 that a new album was being produced. On 10 December 2007, this new album Pot Boiler was released on Flying Nun.

In 2009, the Verlaines released another new album, Corporate Moronic, through Dunedin Music.

The Verlaines contributed the soundtrack to the film Eden, collaborating with actor Adetokunbo Adu, and screenwriter Rebecca Tansley. A song from Eden, What Sound is This? appeared on their album Untimely Meditations in 2012.

Discography[edit]

Date of Release Title Label Charted Certification Catalog Number
Albums
1985 Hallelujah All The Way Home Flying Nun/Homestead - - FN040 / HMS138
1987 Bird Dog Flying Nun/Homestead - - FN077 / HMS095
1987 Juvenilia Flying Nun - - FN COMP 02
1989 Some Disenchanted Evening Flying Nun/Homestead - - FN129 / HMS162
1991 Ready To Fly Slash - - C30718
1993 Way Out Where Slash - - D31032
1996 Over the Moon Columbia - - 486880.2
2003 You're Just Too Obscure for Me Flying Nun - - FNCD476
2007 Pot Boiler Flying Nun - - FNCD501
2009 Corporate Moronic Dunedinmusic.com - -
2012 Untimely Meditations Flying Nun - - FNCD524
EPs
1981 Dunedin Double EP[1] Flying Nun - - FN DUN1
1983 10 O'Clock In The Afternoon Flying Nun 23 - FN022

Featured appearances[edit]

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.

Singles[edit]

Year Single Album NZ Singles Chart Certification
1983 "Death And The Maiden" - -
1985 "Doomsday" 37 -
1990 "The Funniest Thing" Some Disenchanted Evening - -

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]