Split Enz

Are we there yet?

he future never happened and all you ever experienced was a dream. The world of Split Enz was a place somewhere beneath the floorboards and within the wall space of the house of memory. The mid-seventies seem geographically close, yet day by day the tyranical reign of distance rolls on higher up the beach leaving a tidemark of flotsam. The collected records of this band of New Zealand musicians and artists survive like some strange cargo cult, meanings half invented, forgotten code, enough mystery. They straddled the 'rock' world of the early 1970s and the 'punk' days in the latter half, yet never became members of either group. They were kiwis in the era of Antipodean exotica. Barry McKenzie, Skippy, Precious McKenzie, Norman Gunston. I remember all these, through the curved distorting glass of the TV, beamed into our suburban English rooms and Split Enz were in the same tradition. Here on the covers are rural New Zealand sheds, men in 1950s suits and Norman Bates neurosis, explosions of bizarre, sexless clown attire (check out the costumes of 'cirque de soleil' currently in Auckland. Split Enz were plugged into some strange distorted European sensibility.). Elegant, abstract designs using traditional maori forms, and hard edged formal geometry. They achieved cultural penetration in a time when there was more than enough stuff happening locally, either in the UK or the US. This is some achievement because they barely compromised and managed to keep a remarkable control on there unique image. It was celebration in its true sense, not the marshmallow hype of modern mass produced pop-pap. They celebrated ideas old and new and presented an option for the future.

Are we there yet?



Collection of
Split Enz