4.2.12

SHOES THIS HIGH : Shoes This High EP (1981)

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Shoes This High weren't together for very long, only a year or so in fact, but they still managed to leave behind this incredible 7" as their defining artifact. Barrelling 'round New Zealand's North island at the arse end of the 1970s, their sketchy, Rough Trade-indebted sound suggested that either (i) somebody down under was importing copies of Grotesque & A Trip To Marineville at a phenomenal rate, or (ii) John Peel's broadcasts reached a far wider audience than the Beeb intended (hats off to The World Service!).

Eventually settling in Auckland, the band released their eponymous EP c/o their own STH Music label in 1981, & it's 4 snotty, shambling outbursts were as hermetically innovative as the benchmark 45s their South island island contemporaries - embryonic incarnations of The Chills & The Clean - were concurrently recording for the nascent Flying Nun. It's a tragedy Shoes This High didn't hang 'round long enough to record an LP but, as a result, this solitary single has since acquired semi-legendary status, like that dumbfounding What Is Oil? e.p., & justifiably so. It still sounds hilariously brilliant (& remarkably prescient) to my fagged out ears, & warrants some sort of lavish re-release, preferably supplemented with as many moth-eaten out-takes as the band's scattered ex-members can round up between 'em. Put your money where your mouth is, Mr. Domino Records, the world doesn't need any more cosy James Yorkston 10th anniversary repackages, it needs Shoes This High!

9 comments:

  1. John6.2.12

    A long time favorite. Something everyone should check out. I believe I've heard some live tracks (some of which are on YouTube).

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  2. John6.2.12

    Great live tracks:

    http://youtu.be/_s1HYKElY4Q
    http://youtu.be/UJxLcEXClX4
    http://youtu.be/PPslnB07vSE

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  3. Cheers John, there's an entire Shoes This High show available c/o Dime A Dozen, I'll post a link when I can find it again, OK?

    p.s. Yes, GREAT record innit?

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  4. Anonymous14.2.12

    yeah siltbreeze had expessed interest in releasing some of that live 25 thack set on LP a while back but nothing seems to be happening with it -a miriclw it still exists as it was stolen from me 2 weeks after the gig but i was able to reclaim it 8 months later other live recordings exist but that late june 1980 set is to me the best

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  5. C'mon Siltbreeze, get a move on! So, it's your tape, eh? Did you see them play often, & do you know if any other "in the studio"-type recordings exist, even rehearsal room stuff? They're a very interesting band...

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    1. I just stumbled upon this:

      http://www.upthepunks.co.nz/wiki/index.php?title=Shoes_This_High

      Sadly guitarist Kevin Hawkins is no longer with us.

      http://theaxemen.org/2009/07/14/shoes-this-high-live-1980/

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  6. That Up The Punks wiki is v.interesting generally, thanks for the link, I'll be digging through more of it when I get back from work... (ta)

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  7. http://www.audioculture.co.nz/people/shoes-this-high
    and
    http://www.midheaven.com/item/straight-to-hell-by-shoes-this-high-lp

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  8. Yeah Bob, I know... that's why I haven't reposted the link. ;)

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