Phil: The Politicians were one of the longest running bands (/sitcoms) to come out of the Waikato in the 80's & 90's.  I first saw them at the Hillcrest Tavern in the late 70's/early 80's as a young 3-piece from Tokoroa with Tim Armstrong, Doug Pepperell & Wa Kupa (I think).  From there, and with a plethora of line up changes The 'Pollies' became one of the most successful touring bands out of Hamilton in the 1980's.  They recorded and released many great tracks including 'Energy' and 'Polar Bear' and went on to spawn 'The Kiwi Bandits' and 'The Tim Armstrong Band' who are still playing the circuit today.   These photos are from the penultimate lineup featuring Ian Jefferies, Paul van Wering, Warren Williams, Peter Gosney, Sue Morgan and Jeff Downey. (Lance Heli & Sam Ware took over from Warren & Sue in the final version) The photos were taken during the band's residency at 'Shakes' Nighclub (Formerly The Lady Hamilton) in the late 80's.

Doc: Captured in August and December 1987, these were the only images of the Politicians I captured in colour during their residency at Shakes Nightclub, formerly the Lady H.  The 1986 rebrand came with a makeover that was largely cosmetic, and sadly included covering over the sprung wooden dancefloor left from times past.  This was the penultimate band line up and featured some special guests (including Jeff Lethborg - above).  There were full houses every night with enthusiastic and energetic punters who knew how to have a good time.  

Doc K.E.Ford

It's taken around 18 months to work through the music related negatives in my far as I know, that's've seen the best of it. 

When I first started, I was somewhat consumed by the technicalities  associated with scanning and processing the negatives to produce images that yielded similar results to what I could achieve through hand printing 30 years ago in the darkroom. 

It was a steep learning curve. It was only after I got to grips with the scanner and software that I began to focus on the images and realised the they had significance beyond the photographic aesthetics and that others would likely be interested in seeing them too. 

Making sense of the collection for exhibition would have been overwhelming without the curation expertise of Phil Walsh who has enabled the collection to be published and shared widely, something I never anticipated 30 years ago, nor when I first opened up the archive.  Without his expertise and enthusiasm I doubt the images would have seen the light of day beyond my PC. The invitation to contribute to the Audioculture site was a welcome surprise for both of us. 

Also unexpected has been a rekindling of my interest in documenting life again through photography, albeit currently on my mobile phone. At some point in the not too distant future, selected images from life in the City of Steel might make their way to Doublebass. 

Thanks for visiting...and stay tuned


What can I say?  It has been an amazing adventure helping to get these exhibitions up and out there, not to mention all of the feelings and memories these photos have re-evoked.  (both good and bad, but none I would change for a moment). 

If you have the time, go back and go through the whole collection start to finish.  It's an amazing collection and an amazing archive of a golden age in the Hamilton music scene. 

HUMONGOUS thanks to Doc for for all of her hard work getting these photos re-imaged for display..and for taken them in the first place and keeping them safe and sound all this time.

There are still a few that we didn't publish as we weren't entirely sure who (or what) they were of, but we may post those on the doublebass fb page somewhere down the track. Keep an eye out.

ENJOY - Phil


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