Photo Douglas Bagg
When 'Came a Weird Way' was released in 1997, it shook the trad NZ jazz scene by its turtleneck sweater and launched a new era of jazz innovation for the 21st century. Inspired by electronic dance, hip hop and world music, The New Loungehead were the first band in New Zealand to create live drum’n’bass beats and percussion, melding with melodic horns, keys and electric guitar. Their legendary live shows were jam-packed affairs, cross-pollinating the genres of jazz, dance and dub in a club setting. 'Came a Weird Way' won the 1998 New Zealand Jazz Album of the Year.
The recording still packs a punch 25 years on and The New Loungehead are excited to perform reunion shows in 2022 celebrating the album, plus new material and new collaborations.
Drummer Isaac Tucker joined several electronic bands in London (including Spektrum who scored a UK dance chart No. 1) and performed throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and South America.
Guitarist and songwriter Dan Sperber went on to form The Relaxomatic Project, Dan Sperber Complex and SPERB3R among others.
Bassist Chip Matthews has been involved with more than 50 groups, including Aaradhna, Home Brew, Opensouls, Tami Neilson and Anika Moa.
Saxophonist and keyboardist Godfrey de Grut has recorded and/or toured with the likes of the Rodger Fox Big Band, Nathan Haines, Brooke Fraser, Gin Wigmore, Hollie Smith and Boh Runga, plus a session with Kanye West. In 2002 he won the APRA Silver Scroll for co-writing “Misty Frequencies” with Che Fu and currently lectures in music theory and composition at the University of Auckland.
Percussionist Matthias Sudholter (who played with Don Cherry and Charlie Haden) recorded a Mistake Theory album with Alan Brown and Johnny Fleury.
The New Loungehead are back. Watch this space.
From left: Isaac Tucker, Matthias Sudholter, Dan Sperber, Godfrey de Grut, Chip Matthews.
Photo: Camille Sanson 2021