Nitocris (band)

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OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
GenresHeavy metal, punk rock
Years active1992 (1992)–2001 (2001)
LabelsPhantom, Black Yak, Shock
Associated actsMorgana and the Monstars
Past membersSara Anderson
Jessamine Finlayson
Andrea Stanway
Kira Taylor
Morgana Ancone

Nitocris were an Australian punk and heavy metal band formed in 1992. They were one of the country's first all-female punk rockers of the "grot grrrls" movement (related to the United States riot grrrls). They released their debut album, Screaming Dolorous on Phantom Records in 1994. Their second album, Nitocris, followed in 2000 and they disbanded in November 2001. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2001, Nitocris were nominated for 'Best Independent Release' for "Manic".


Nitocris were formed in Sydney in 1992 by Sara Louise Anderson (aka Sara Graye) on bass guitar, Jessamine Jean Finlayson on lead guitar, Andrea Marie Stanway on drums and Kira Taylor on rhythm guitar.[1] The four were classmates at Hunters Hill High School and had an average age of 14.[2] At the time none could play their instruments.[1] The band's name was chosen by Stanway from the semi-legendary female Pharaoh of the same name, which was popularised in fiction by H. P. Lovecraft, as "queen of the underworld".[1] Almost two years later, a newspaper advertisement in Drum Media recruited Morgana Ancone as a vocalist, who was the only member over the age of 18. As four members were under legal age, when Nitocris performed live across Sydney pubs they were sometimes accompanied by their mothers.[3] Ancone's costume included a "designed red tartan bodice and black tutu".[4] The group appeared on-stage alongside Armoured Angel, Frenzal Rhomb and Blitz Babies.[1] Nitocris were influenced by punk rock and heavy metal artists including Black Sabbath, The Clash, Guns N' Roses, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, L7, Slayer and Patti Smith.[1]

In January 1994 Nitocris performed at the annual Big Day Out music festival at the Sydney venue.[1] The group released their debut four-track extended play, Ten Stories Down on local independent label, Phantom Records in June.[1][2] In September they issued, "Suxiety" as a shared single with the other side, "Grrly Things" by another Sydney all-girl group, Purr. Nitocris were one of the country's first all-female punk rockers of the "grot grrrls" movement (analogous to the United States riot grrrls).[1] Other groups in the "grot grrls" movement were Fur, Mace, Bittersweet, Sulk, Dolljuice, Gravelrash and SPDFGH.[1]

The group's debut album Screaming Dolorous followed in November 1994, it included a cover version of Black Sabbath's 1970 song "N.I.B.".[1] In April 1995 the band toured the east coast with the Alternative Nation Festival. Nitocris developed a devoted following, and regularly toured across the country: including with Sprung Monkey, The Cult, The Pursuit of Happiness, The Whitlams, Screaming Jets, Deep Purple, Rancid, Def FX, Pennywise, Midnight Oil, and Suicidal Tendencies. In October they issued Epic Voyage as a five-track EP.[1] It included their live version of AC/DC's 1976 single, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap".[1] In June 1995, Nitocris' studio version of the same track had appeared on the AC/DC tribute album, Fuse Box: The Alternative Tribute.[1]

In February 1996 they issued the Hyperland EP, which was a reasonable success for the band but their next release Butter (1997) fared less well and problems with their former manager stalled progress for some time. However, in 1999, Nitocris toured nationally for the first time as part of a package, Turn Up Your Radio. In January, their Dark Side EP was released with a music video for the lead track directed by Margot Nash and Jane Castle.[1][5] Their self-titled album issued in 2000 displayed a mellower, poppier style that won high rotation radio airplay on Triple J. Early copies of Nitocris included a bonus disc compiling "Ten Stories Down", "Haemorrhaging Souls", "Sycophant", "Butter", "Dark Side" and "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (cover of the Arrows 1975 recording) from previous releases.[6]

Nitocris received an ARIA Award nomination for 'Best Independent Release' for their single "Manic".[7] The band toured Australia-wide with the Big Day Out in 2001 and followed with their own Manic Tour from mid-February to May.[8] Although plans had been made to record a third album and tour overseas, however the group split up and played a final show at the Newtown Festival in November 2001.[3]


Finlayson and Stanway performed together in a band, The Fyreflyes, until the drummer left in 2004.[9] That band had recorded a number of EPs. Finlayson announced a solo career in 2007 and her first single was released in May 2009. From November 2010, Finlayson has fronted Jessamine, which released a self-titled album in September 2011.[9] Ancone formed Morgana and the Monstars, which have two releases and have incorporated up to 13 guests and musicians on the recordings. Ancone writes and performs with Boxing with Ghosts, sometimes solo & with her acoustic group Tiny & The Broken Hearts.

Former Nitocris member, Sara Graye (second from left) performing with Doc Neeson's Angels in October 2007.
Tour de Force, Bagdad.

Anderson (later known as Sara Graye) has guested on recordings and performed live for Morgana and the Monstars and for Fyreflyes. Later teaming up with Simon Day (ex-Ratcat) on a number of projects, The Prostitutes, The Substitutes and The Follow. Anderson has also performed with Iota, Tex Perkins. In October–November 2007, Graye joined Doc Neeson's Angels on Tour de Force – Middle East 8 to entertain the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.[10][11] Graye worked with electro pop outfit Dark Disco (with a track soon to be released in the states) and played with Mark Raparager. Since 2008, she designs for and manages her own fashion label, 50 ft Queenie.[4]

Nitocris played a reunion show at the Annandale Hotel on 26 September 2009.[3][9]


Studio albums[edit]

Screaming Dolorous (Recorded and mixed at Festival Studios, 48Volts Studios, Glebe Studios)

  • Released: November 1994
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom Records (Australia)
  • Producer: Mark Thomas, Liberty, Nitocris
  • Tracks: "Anger", "Thunder Machine", "Cringe", "Egotestical", "N.I.B.", "Epic Voyage", "10 Stories Down", "Suxiety", "Hell Bitch", "Night Stalker", "Haemorraging Souls"
  • Singles: "Haemorrhaging Souls", "Epic Voyage"

Nitocris (Recorded & Mixed at Q Recording Studios, Darlinghurst)

  • Released: 2000
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Black Yak/Phantom (Australia)
  • Producer: Lachlan Mitchell, Nitocris
  • Tracks: "Dark Side", "O.B.I.D", "Maestro", "Level Headed", "Askew", "The Drunk", "Spouse Killer", "Manic", "In the Middle", "Devil's Music", "An Angel's Name", "Little Miss You", "Head Space", "Cruisey", [untitled]
  • Singles: "Dark Side", "Spouse Killer", "Manic"

Extended plays[edit]

Ten Stories Down (Recorded & mixed at 48Volts Studios Mastered at Festival Studios)

  • Released: 1994
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom (Australia)
  • Producer: Mark Thomas, Liberty, Nitocris
  • Tracks: "Ten Stories Down", "The Race", "Seedy and Suspicious", "Hell Bitch"

Epic Voyage (Recorded Live at Springfields 8 July 1995.)

  • Released: 1995
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom (Australia)
  • Producer: Mark Thomas, Liberty, Nitocris
  • Tracks: "Epic Voyage", "Cringe" (live), "Seedy and Suspicious" (live), "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (live), "Epic Voyage" (live)

Hyperland (Recorded and mixed at 301 Studios)

  • Released: 2 February 1996
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom (Australia)
  • Producer: Phil MacKellar, Liberty, Nitocris
  • Tracks: "Sycophant", "WAP Dogs", "Laugh (at You)", "Icarus"

Butter (Recorded at JJJ Studios)

  • Released: March 1997
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom (Australia)
  • Producer: Produced by Phil MacKellar, Nitocris
  • Tracks: "Butter", "Antenna Girl", "Teddy's Song", "Black Socks", "Anxieties Smith"

Dark Side (Recorded at Megaphon Recording Studios)

  • Released: March 1998
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Shock (Australia)
  • Producer: Lachlan Mitchell, Nitocris
  • Tracks: "Dark Side", "Dirty & Delicious", "Thighs", "Feel"
  • Singles: "Dark Side"


"Suxiety" (Shared single with Purr's "Grrly Things") from the album Screaming Dolorous

  • Released: 1995
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom (Australia)
  • Writer: Morgana Ancone, Sara Graye, Jessamine Finlayson, Andrea Stanway, Kira Taylor
  • Tracks: "Suxiety"

"Haemorrhaging Souls" from the album Screaming Dolorous

  • Released: 1995
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom (Australia)
  • Writer: Ancone, Graye, Finlayson, Stanway, Taylor
  • Tracks: "Haemorrhaging Souls"

"Spouse Killer" from the album Nitocris

  • Released: 2000
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom (Australia)
  • Writer: Ancone, Graye, Finlayson, Stanway, Taylor
  • Tracks: "Spouse Killer", "Maestro"

"Manic" from the album Nitocris

  • Released: 2001
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Phantom (Australia)
  • Writer: Ancone, Graye, Finlayson, Stanway, Taylor
  • Tracks: "Manic", "Headspace", "Manic" (alternate mix)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Nitocris'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 3 August 2004. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Nitocris". Music Australia (National Library of Australia). 20 April 2003. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Nitocris w. Midget + The Black Stars". Annandale Hotel. 26 September 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  4. ^ a b Holsworth, Mark (11 February 2011). "Rock Chicks @ Arts Centre". Black Mark. WordPress. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Exciting Delivery". TE Archive. Newcastle Music. 24 March 1999. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  6. ^ "New Album from Sydney Hellraisers". TE Archive. Newcastle Music. 19 July 2000. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  7. ^ "ARIA Awards – History: Winners by Year 2001: 15th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  8. ^ "All-girl Outfit Scales New Heights in Tour". TE Archive. Newcastle Music. 21 March 2001. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Smith, Michael (30 August 2011). "Back to Band". Drum Media. WordPress. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Tour de Force – Middle East 8". Forces Entertainment (Forces Advisory Council on Entertainment). 1 November 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Doc Neeson's Angels". Forces Entertainment (Forces Advisory Council on Entertainment). Retrieved 24 January 2012.

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