Archive-laden tribute to Chants R&B, a short-lived garage rock combo that thrived in 60s Christchurch.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
A necessary unearthing of an essential episode in Kiwi music history, Rumble & Bang reintroduces Chants R&B, a short-lived garage rock combo that thrived in 60s Christchurch. The establishment of a US Air Force base gave the youth of the city access to a wealth of R&B, soul and funk long before the rest of New Zealand. Inspired by these new sounds, art students Mike Rudd and Trevor Courtney formed The Chants in 1964. They played a few different venues before taking up a residency at the Stage Door, a cavernous cellar off what was then Hereford Lane. Strongly influenced by the likes of John Mayall and The Pretty Things, whose tour scandalised the nation in 1965, the band renamed themselves Chants R&B and developed a passionate following for their own raucous rhythm and blues (patrons thought R&B stood for rumble and bang). Featuring pristine archival footage from the Stage Door heyday as well as new recordings from the band’s 2007 reunion, Rumble & Bang proves that there was a relevant musical underground inNew Zealand long before the days of Flying Nun. — MM