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Some Chants' fans reminisce..
These quotes were sent to me by Chris Grosz, who says "Here's Midge quoted in August 1966 at the time of the Chants Wellington shows under a 'Wild, Man...' subhead." Midge: "No one dances, everyone just stands and takes it in. They really had me wrapped. They jumped up and down on their instruments. They kicked them.They threw them."
Chants on
Audio Culture

Maureen Jensen was the Chants' fan club secretary as I recall and wrote a piece for Teen Beat after the band left for Melbourne in 1966.

Midge Marsden

"Chants? We used to see them heaps in Christchurch live. We played with them several times. We tried to gig up with them as many times as we could. They came and stayed with us in Wellington, in our house at Seatoun. Wild times. It was the same time as Pretty Things. They had access to material we didn't have - that John Mayall stuff and Van Morrison things - 'Mystic Eyes' and stuff. Must have had a good contact. 'I'm Your Witchdoctor' still stands as one of the greatest things recorded here. Powerful. They were like wild live."
check out the Bari & The Breakaways website for Midge Marsden background

Jeff Rowe of Wellington writes..

I was a regular attender at the Stage Door during most of the period they played there, and although never one of their inner circle, my life for a while centred on them and the music they played.
I first came across them at the Battle of the Bands at the Addington Show Grounds when they were playing early Stones material - 'King Bee', 'Little Red Rooster' and the like. The music was nearly as impressive as their organisation. They had friends throughout the crowd making sure people had voting papers and that they were voting for the right group.This sort of activity was repeated when the first single was released. At the time the Listener carried voting forms for the New Zealand Top Twenty and there were plenty of those forms at the Stage Door so that the rest of the country could be enlightened as to the great music being produced. I don't recall it did any good however.
(The Chants' performance on TV on Town and Around) certainly created a stir around Christchurch at the time, not so much for the music as for the look. The clothes and hair were regarded as pretty extraordinary for the time. I'm sure Borries' never got wider exposure.
Although I was a regular at the Folk Music Sunday night sessions that Phil Garland ran, my memory is that they were almost invariably at the Plainsman rather than the Stage Door. The latter venue, I think, was only used when the Plainsman was for some reason unavailable. On one such night I recall Tony Brittenden (the one with the psychedelic Austin 7) giving a demonstration of African drumming using Trevor's kit, which was still set up from the afternoon session. Theatrically, I don't remember the Stage Door either. The one performance I remember was by a Welshman who was touring New Zealand with Hello Dolly. He did a one-man performance aided by a tape recorder of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, which worked brilliantly at that venue.
For me, at the end of the day, the clothes were great, so was the hair, but it was the music that was important. The clean image of Britpop was just as boring as some of the bland American music that had gone before. To discover that there was something else shimmering away under there that was exciting and dynamic was a revelation. To discover Blues through the Chants via John Mayall et al sent me down a track I have never regretted. That the music was played as well as it was, was a bonus.

The Pam Bittle album

1) Pam and Mike who's being perfectly silly 2) Pam has a word to Tim Piper

3) Noddy and Pam discuss Noddy's blindness 4) Pam with the supercilious Paul Fisher

5) Martin and his Epiphone 6) Celia Bolt thinks this is Owen 7) Pam and Celia are still thinking..

8) Noddy looks winsome
Pam Bittle's pics
7.5.10. -
It was a couple of years ago now I got this rather breathless message from Pam Bittle - she used to be Pam Newton - and I've finally got round to putting up the pics she sent me. There are a couple of names that elude me, but I'll track them down.
Hey Mike...Stubbled across your site. I was one of the girls at the StageDoor, OH SO many years ago......I have so many pictures of you and the guys and myslef. Wow can't believe I found this site. I'd love to send you some of these old pictures of us all... I used to call u MIKE CRUD.. LOL. I come home downunder every year, I live near San Francisco now. Hope to hear from u whenever u have time. Wow brings back so many wonderful memories of those days... Cheers Pam
I've also heard from Noddy (pics 3 & 8) and he's filled me in as to his life story after the Chants left Christchurch
After the Chants left town a few of us from the Stagedoor fled north to Nelson cos of the demolition party at your old flat in Cashel St. read more
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