The Datsuns

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The Datsuns
Background information
OriginCambridge, New Zealand
GenresHard rock, garage rock revival, heavy metal
Years active2000–present
LabelsIn-Fidelity, V2, Cooking Vinyl
Associated actsCold Ethyl
MembersDolf de Borst
Phil Somervell
Ben Cole
Christian Livingstone
Past membersMatt Osment

The Datsuns are a hard rock band from Cambridge, New Zealand,[1] formed in 2000. To date they have released six albums and several singles, most of which have charted in New Zealand and/or the United Kingdom. Deep Sleep, their latest record was released in October 2014.


Concert The Datsuns

In 1995, while still at school, Rudolf de Borst (vocals, bass), Phil Somervell (guitar), and Matt Osment (drums) formed a band under the name Trinket. Christian Livingstone joined the band in 1997 as a second guitarist. They entered and won the 1999 89FM Battle of the Bands competition in Hamilton, New Zealand.

By 2000 the band had renamed themselves The Datsuns. In August 2000 they released their first single, "Super Gyration!," on 7 inch vinyl only. In July 2002, after featuring several times on John Peel's programme on the UK's BBC Radio 1 and being hailed as "the future of rock" by the British music press, the band signed with the V2 record label. Their self-titled debut album made a strong impression in the UK, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. The Datsuns toured Australia in 2002 with Melbourne band The Specimens and The Casanovas as well as playing a live to air on PBS radio.

The Datsuns won numerous awards over this period, including NME 's 'Best Live Band' and New Zealand Music Awards for 'Best Album', 'Best Group' and 'Breakthrough Artist'.

They played Ozzfest in 2003 on the mainstage alongside the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Korn and Disturbed. They also played the main stage of the 2004 and 2009 Big Day Out festival and opened for Metallica on their Australian tour in 2004, but this did not go well. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich had previously praised The Datsuns on the revival debut of Headbangers Ball, before playing their video for "In Love."

Their second album, Outta Sight, Outta Mind, was produced by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. It did not receive the same praise as the first, as critics gave it only a lukewarm response.

In October 2006, the Datsuns came back with Smoke & Mirrors, heralded as a return to form in Australia and New Zealand. The album was met with generally positive reviews, although it was not reviewed as widely as the band's first two efforts. After the release of the third album, drummer Matt Osment was replaced by Ben Cole.[1]

The Datsuns went on a New Zealand tour with Shihad during the Christmas/New Year period 2006/07.

The band then completed a tour of Europe to promote Smoke & Mirrors. Although they mostly played in locations that they previously had not visited, The Datsuns still managed to sell out the majority of their European dates.

The band's fourth album, Headstunts (an anagram of The Datsuns), was released on 6 October 2008. The band then toured in New Zealand, Australia and America, to try out new songs such as "Eye Of The Needle", "Human Error", "So Long", "Hey Paranoid People What's In Your Head", "Your Bones" and the limited edition single "Highschool Hoodlums".

To coincide with the release of Headstunts, the quartet embarked on a tour of the UK and Europe.[1]

The Datsuns' fifth studio album, titled Death Rattle Boogie, was released in October 2012. The album was recorded at Gutterview Recorders in Stockholm, with additional work at Roundhead Studios in New Zealand, and was produced by former Hellacopters frontman Nicke Andersson.

Their sixth studio album, titled Deep Sleep was released in October 2014.



Concert The Datsuns
Year Title Details Peak chart
NZ[2] UK[3]
2002 The Datsuns 1 17
2004 Outta Sight/Outta Mind
  • Released: 2 May 2004
  • Label: Hellsquad Records, V2 Records
  • Catalogue: HS022
7 58
2006 Smoke & Mirrors
  • Released: 2 October 2006
  • Label: Hellsquad Records, EMI, V2 Records
  • Catalogue: HS031
16 189
2008 Headstunts
  • Released: 12 October 2008
  • Label: Hellsquad Records, Cooking Vinyl
  • Catalogue: HS035
2012 Death Rattle Boogie
  • Released: 5 October 2012
  • Label: Hellsquad Records
  • Catalogue: HS037
2014 Deep Sleep
  • Released: 3 October 2014
  • Label: Hellsquad Records
  • Catalogue: HS039
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Details Peak chart
2002 Harmonic Generator
2003 MF from Hell
  • Released: 25 March 2003
  • Label: Hellsquad, V2 Records
  • Catalogue: HS014, HS015
2006 Stuck Here for Days
  • Released: 25 June 2006
  • Label: Hellsquad Records, EMI, V2 Records
  • Catalogue: HS028
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Concert The Datsuns
Year Title Peak chart positions Album
NZ[2] UK[3]
2000 "Supergyration" Non-album single
2001 "Fink for the Man" The Datsuns
2002 "In Love" 25
"Harmonic Generator" 33
2003 "MF from Hell" 55
2004 "Blacken My Thumb" 48 Outta Sight/Outta Mind
"Girls Best Friend" 71
2006 "Stuck Here for Days" 23 Smoke & Mirrors
"System Overload" 145
2008 "High School Hoodlums" Head Stunts
"Human Error"
2009 "So Long"
2011 "Gods Are Bored" Death Rattle Boogie
2014 "Bad Taste" Deep Sleep
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b c "Datsuns on the road again". Otago Daily Times. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  2. ^ a b "The Datsuns". Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Datsuns". Official Charts. Retrieved 7 February 2013.

External links[edit]