Crow (Australian band)

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OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Years active1986–1999, 2007–present
LabelsrooArt Records, BMG, Nonzero
Associated actsPeter Fenton Registered Nurse Odette
MembersPeter Archer
Peter Fenton
Jim Woff
Richard Andrew
Past membersAndy Marks
John Fenton

Crow are an Australian rock band that is best known for three albums released in the 1990s. Founded by songwriters Peter Fenton and Peter Archer in Sydney in 1986,[1] Crow ceased all activity in 1999, only to begin playing again in 2007. In 2009, they recorded an album of new material. Mixed by Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil), the album was released in 2010.

In 1998, the respected Australian music magazine Juice labeled Crow as the 'best band in Australia since The Birthday Party'. With releases on Phantom, Half A Cow, RooArt and BMG, Crow's evocative and influential music is widely acknowledged as having left an indelible mark upon the Australian musical landscape.[2] In 1993 they received an ARIA nomination for best record.


Early years[edit]

From 1988 to 1992 Crow was a notoriously shambolic affair that could easily derail though equipment failures. Bringing performances to a jolting stop. Driven by the nervy personalities of brothers Peter (guitar, vocals) and John (drums) and combined with the combustible bassist Jim Woff and lead guitarist Peter Archer, Crow was highly unpredictable. The original bass player and founding member was Paul Gormack, who left the band just prior to the recording of the debut album

Crow recorded their debut album My Kind of Pain in Chicago in 1992 with Steve Albini (Big Black) as producer. The record was subsequently re-mixed by local Tim Whitten before release. It was an album that reflected a more mature sound particularly evident in 'Railhead' and the inventive dual vocals of 'How and Why Wonder'. John Fenton left the band after the Chicago recording and was replaced by Tina H Stevens, shortly followed by Andy Marks from Lunarcide.

During that period, Crow supported many touring acts such as Straitjacket Fits, Pavement, Sebadoh and The Verlaines.

Later years[edit]

Another Half A Cow release followed with 'Helicon Days' in 1994. The band was then signed by large local label RooArt who released their second album Li-Lo-ing in 1995. Guest musicians included Warren Ellis (Dirty Three) and Chris Abrahams (The Necks). Li-lo-ing was a dynamic album primarily composed of both Archer and Fenton penned songs, from the ethereal Fenton openers "Kilkeel" and "Privilege" the banjo lilt of "Paper Eyes" and wired summer dreamscape of Archer's "Rabbits".

Richard Andrew (Underground Lovers, Registered Nurse) then replaced Andy Marks on drums. Extensive touring followed alongside bands such as Jeff Buckley.

Peter Archer then moved to Melbourne in 1996 to start a family and to pursue his own song writing vehicle Odette, leaving Crow without one of its real creators. Though the extraordinary talents of Chris Abrahams and Michael Christie were added on keyboards a more stripped back sound evolved and this is very evident on their last player 'Play With Love' in 1998. Though the said album received industry kudos it was not the necessary amount of sales support needed for a major label like BMG. Peter Fenton continued as a solo artist, releasing "In the Lovers Arms" album in 2004.


In early 2007, the band began rehearsing for a show at Marrickville's (Sydney) "Cad Factory" performance space. During that performance - which drew heavily from the band's early work - Peter Fenton indicated that the show was the beginning of renewed band activity. Former drummer Andy Marks' new band, the Child Detectives, debuted before Crow's performance.

In August 2008 CROW played a show with Melbourne band HOSS. This was filmed as part of the 'That Then, This Now' series of shows featuring seminal Aussie bands, with the show set to be released on DVD.

2010 saw the release of their new album, Arcane. It features the 4 original band members, Peter Archer (Guitar and vocals), Peter Fenton (Guitar and vocals), Jim Woff (Bass) and John Fenton (Drums).

2010 Release 'Arcane'[edit]

'Arcane' is the first CROW album with the original line-up since the Steve Albini produced 'My Kind of Pain' in 1993, it was released in June 2010 on Nonzero Records. Mixed by Midnight Oil's Jim Moginie at Oceanic Studios, the album received very positive reviews.

..they’ve got unfinished business to attend to, and based on this single alone, a whole lot more to say....'Ghost at the Crossroads' is truly up there among the band’s best material. It’s quintessential Crow, really: Those ominous opening chords; that perfect balance between light and shade; those spectral backing vocals in the chorus; Fenton’s pointed, inward-looking gaze...It’s like they’ve never left. [3]

Current members[edit]

  • Peter Archer (Guitar and vocals)
  • Peter Fenton (Guitar and vocals)
  • Jim Woff (Bass)
  • John Fenton (Drums)

Former members[edit]

  • Richard Andrew (Drums)
  • Paul Gormack (Bass)
  • Tina H Stevens (Drums)
  • Andy Marks (Drums)
  • Paul Ritchard (Drums)
  • Chris Baz (Drums)
  • Michael Christie (Piano & Keyboards)
  • Chris Abrahams (Piano & Keyboards)



  • My Kind of Pain – Half A Cow Records (February 1993)
  • Li-lo-ing – RooART Records (February 1995)
  • Play With Love – BMG Records (April 1998)
  • Arcane – Nonzero Records (June 2010)


  • Sunburnt Throats and Happy Thunderclouds – Phantom (May 1990)
  • Crow – Half A Cow (1992)
  • The Helicon Days – Half A Cow Records (January 1994)


  • "Ravine"/"Confection" – Phantom (August 1991)
  • "Railhead" – Half A Cow Records (13 May 1993)
  • "Privilege" – RooArt Records (13 March 1996)
  • "A Broken Machine" - (1997)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Blunt, Bob (2001). Blunt: A Biased History of Australian Rock. Northcote Victoria: Prowling Tiger Press. pp. 136–8, 167, 245. ISBN 0958664757.
  3. ^ Levin, Darren. "Arcane". review. Mess and Noise.