Artists/Bands [H]

NB: If an individual’s Christian or surname is currently unknown this is indicated by an asterisk placed between brackets [*].

 

CHRIS HALES

  • Bands: Bogislav

Chris Hales was the original keyboard (organ) player and backing vocalist with Armidale-based hard rock band Bogislav. He toured with the band for some two years, but left in 1972 shortly before Bogislav made it to the finals of the Hoadley National Battle of the Sounds (his replacement was Don Walker). Although he gave up playing music for some four to five years after leaving Bogislav, Hales later returned to playing music. He eventually moved to Coffs Harbour where he continues to reside today.

Source: Chris Hales (correspondence, 2010)

 

HEALTH CLUB

(1978)

Health Club
Health Club live at John Shing’s 21st – East Armidale Hall, Nov. 1978 
(L-R: David Morris, Rod Clay, Doiran James, Dick Rummery)
  • Personnel: Rod Clay (vocals) ; Doiran James (drums/vocals) ; David Morris (guitar/vocals) ; Dick Rummery (bass/vocals)

Health Club formed in early 1978 following Rod Clay’s return from a 10 month hitch-hiking trip around Australia. The band initially formed out of jams between Clay, guitarist Dog Stanley and anyone who could be roped in at the time. As attention began to focus on rehearsing and arrangements, Stanley’s desire to play a more art rock style of jamming music saw him lose interest in the sessions and the Health Club line-up eventually settled around Clay, Dick Rummery (both formerly of Blue Max)  and David Morris. At one of the first rehearsal sessions Morris brought along Doiran James (an acquaintance who lived about a block away from his house). Although all members were multi-instrumentalists a  lack of equipment saw the them streamline around the classic guitar/bass/drums/vocals line-up.  The sound band’s style  could be described as  a cross between punk/garage band sensibilities and bubblegum pop (with four-part harmonies).  

The band’s wide variety of musical influences – ranging through art rock, glam rock, 1960s pop and heavy metal saw the band’s repertoire include including songs by the Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, The Kinks, T-Rex, David Bowie and The Who. Health Club also specialised in extended jams (not typical of punk rock), with some original songs like “Multiple Sclerosis” (Vice Squad) and “How Does it Feel, Mary?” (Crash Landing/Shoot the DJ) emerging out of these sessions.  

Health Club effectively pioneered Armidale’s hippy punk music of the late 1970s, combining the aggressive punk sound and anti-social sentiments (although more teen angst than political activism) with a leaning towards musical prowess and an hippy-influenced image (then the dominant subcultural group in the Armidale district).  

While Health Club played no professional gigs in the year it was together it was a popular party band. Following musical differences and personal issues with Dick Rummery the other members of the band morphed into Vice Squad by the end of the year.   

Source: Clay Djubal (2009). Image: Photo courtesy of Heather Grigg.

    

HELGA AND THE BLITZKRIEG

aka Helga und der Blitzkrieg

(1985-1987)

Above left: (L-R) Jon Anderson, Saul Caffarrella, Karin Moorehouse, Peter Makeham
  • Personnel 1985-1987 (I): Jon Anderson (guitar/vocals) ; Peter ‘Groover’ Makeham (bass/vocals) Karin Moorehouse [aka Helga] (vocals) ; Saul Caffarrella (drums).  1987 (II): Jon Anderson (guitar/trumpet/vocals) ; Lindsay Johnson (drums) ; Karin Moorehouse/Helga (vocals) ; David Morris (guitar/keyboards/ vocals) ; Eric Volkes (bass/vocals). Additional member: Tom Tessapat (drums).

Founded in 1985 by former Elsess members Jon Anderson and Peter Makeham, Helga and the Blitzkrieg began as a punk/alternative rock band, later expanding its repertoire to punk pop. Following the addition of Dave Morris on lead guitar/keyboards in early 1987 Jon Anderson was freed from solo guitar duties thus allowing the opportunity to provide occasional trumpet parts. These changes not only helped expand the band’s range of musical styles but also gave it a distinct sound within the local industry. The band also featured charismatic singer Karin Moorehouse (Helga). The original rhythm section – Saul Caffarrella and Peter Makeham was later replaced by Eric Volkes and Lindsay Johnson, with Tom Tessapat filling in on drums for the band’s final three gigs.   

Helga and the Blitzkrieg established a firm reputation in Armidale and its nearby environs during the mid-1980s. Early gigs were played at Guyra and the Old Rockvale Pub along with several excursions to Newcastle. The band later played a number of coastal centres including Bellingen, Grafton, Taree, Byron Bay and Casino, and provided support for touring groups like Gondwanaland and The Electric Pandas. The Helgas also undertook a northern NSW tour with Shoot the DJ in early 1986. By February 1987, however, increasing internal tensions between partners Moorehouse and Makeham led to the band briefly breaking up.  

Jon and 'Helga' (Sunray Sunday '87)

When Anderson and Moorehouse reformed the band in mid-1987 they brought on board Eric Volkes and David Morris, who contributed new original material to the band. The new drummer was Lindsay Johnson, who had previously played in Crash Landing (ca. 1982) before Anderson’s arrival in that band. With the Helga’s musical talents greatly increased, and with the right mix of covers and original material, the new Helga and the Blitzkrieg line-up quickly returned to being one of the region’s leading rock acts. The band also began to move further afield, playing several shows in Sydney, along with a short season in the far north-western NSW township of Lightening Ridge.  

As an Armidale-based band Helga and the Blitzkrieg played most the town’s major venues and a number of special events, including the 1986 and 1987 Sunray Sunday festivals. The venues they played at included the UNE Bistro, the Imperial Hotel (Impies), the Armidale Showground (Xmas in the Bunker), the YCW Club and the New England Hotel (the ‘Newie’).  

A recording of Helga and the Blitzkrieg’s final public gig (the 1987 Sunray Sunday Festival in Armidale) demonstrates the band’s energy. A CD is now available through Have Gravity Will Threaten. Video footage of that performance is also in existence (held by Jon Anderson). 

helgas-tower-shot1Helga and the Blitzkrieg (II) 1987 ; L-R: Lindsay Johnson, David Morris, Jon Anderson, Eric Volkes, Karin Moorehouse.
Source: Jon Anderson (correspondence and interview, 2009) • David Morris (interview, 2009). Images: Top photos courtesy of Clay Djubal ; bottom photo courtesy of Heather Grigg.

    

HERE AND NOW

(ca. 1986- )

  • Personnel:  Matthew Hirst (drums/vocals) ; Richard Rummery (guitar/keyboards/vocals) ; Malcolm Toft (sax/flute/vocals) ; Tim [*] (bass)

Although based in Sydney, Here and Now comprised two former Armidale musicians, Richard Rummery and Malcolm Toft.  Matthew Hirst has also by then been involved in several bands with a strong Armidale contingent (The Astros and Some Trippin’ Diggers).  

Sources: Here and Now promotion material • Richard Rummery (correspondence, 2009).

 

DAVE HIGHET

  • Bands: Aleph ; Bogislav

Bass guitar, flute, drums, sound and production

Born and raised in Scotland, Dave Highet began his music career in his homeland, first playing drums then moving to bass guitar. He also became proficient on flute. Sometime around the late 1960s/early 1970s he immigrated to Australia, and after moving to Armidale he joined the hard rock band Bogislav, replacing original bassist Laurie Wheaton about a year after the band first formed. Highet remained with the band until it disbanded in late 1972, but not before making it all the way to the state finals of the Hoadley National Battle of the Sounds competition [see Bogislav entry for further details].

Dave Highet (far right) with Bogislav in 1972

In 1974 Highet, along with former Bogislav band-mates Ron Carpenter and Dave Froggatt, co-founded the six-piece progressive rock band Aleph in Sydney. Late that same year the band recorded the six songs that would later be released on its only album, Surface Tension (1977) at Albert’s Studios.  Described as full-blown, complex symphonic rock in the vein of Yes, Genesis and King Crimson, Aleph helped pioneer the art/prog rock genre in Australia with Sebastian Hardie. After getting in to financial difficulties following its 1977/78 national tour, Aleph temporarily went into a hiatus before re-establishing itself in late 1979 out of Byron Bay. By then a five piece, following the departure of its lead singer tom illness, Aleph quickly established a solid reputation around Northern NSW and South-east Queensland. Over the next four years, however, the band gradually whittled down to a three piece before calling it a day in 1983. [see Aleph entry for further details]

After leaving Aleph sometime in the early 1980s Highet and Ruth Miller designed and built Bush Traks Recording Studio in Nimbin. Now operating almost thirty years later within the broader business operations of Yum Digital, this venture has enabled many hundreds of local artists and bands the ability to make professional recordings, many of which have been released and sold in the local region. He has recorded all styles of music from singer/ songwriters to rock, pop, jazz and 50 piece concert bands, and in the process has won numerous awards for engineering and production at the North Coast Annual Dolphin Awards.

Dave Highet (photo courtesy of Yum Digital) †

In addition to engineering and production, Highet has continued to hone his skills as a live sound mixer, operating many concert sound systems for local bands over the years – with the systems ranging through the spectrum of analog through to digital. Since the early 2000s, Highet has also been employed as trainer with the Lismore-based Adult Community Education, North Coast, running recording courses for it through Bush Traks Studio. 

Among Dave Highet’s numerous awards are:

• 1992 Dolphin Award, Best engineered song – “Too Many” by The Bourkenbacks
• 1993 Dolphin Award, Best engineered song – “Talking to a Wall”
• 1995 Dolphin Award, Best Engineer award
• 2003 Dolphin Award, Production/Engineering for “Love Comes” by Durga Babies
• 2008 Dolphin Award, Production/Engineering for “Precious Things” by David Reeve

The following is a further sample of the range of music that Highet has produced over the years:  Kym PittmanWoman of the Moon (ca. 1998) • Lismore band Monkey and the FishIn Cahoots (ca. 2001) • Lina Eve albums – Wicked Woman ; Bad Girl and The Mystical Uniroo (n. yr.)  Nimbin band The SpliffmastersHemp-Hop Bop (1997, it also won a Dolphin Award for Best Production) • and the debut release from Nimbin punk band The AntiBodies (2009). He also also engineered No Alibis (1990) for Tamworth country and western artist/ producer Geoff Dutton at Bush Traks Studio.

Although Highet has focused largely on recording and production since the early 1980s you can hear him performing on the album, An audience with…  Margret Knight and Bruce McNicol. Released by Queensland independent label Honky Tonk Angels in 1998, the first set was recorded in Nimbin in December 1988, with the second set recorded in September 1998 at The Healer, Brisbane. Sometime around mid-2008 he also got together with several Nimbin identities, Shane Jackson (drums) and singer/songwriter/guitarist Bill Lane to form a three piece band called Bill Lane. One of the trio’s first gigs was for the Nimbin Underground co-operative in August that year.

  • To find out more about Bush Traks Studio and Dave Highet go to Yum Digital (q.v.)
Sources: Michael Hannan. “Music Making in the Village of Nimbin” (q.v.), Transformations No. 2 (Mar. 2002) • Bill Lane article and advertisement, The Nimbin Good Times (Aug. 2008), p. 6 (see online) • Yum Digital (online). Images: Top photo courtesy of alexgitlin.com (ca. 1977) †  • Bogislav photo courtesy of Tim Crozier (Newcastle Bands Database – online) † • Bottom photo courtesy of Dave Highet/Yum Digital. †  

  

MATTHEW HIRST

(ca. 1960 – )

The Some Trippin’ Digger’s period, 1985
  • Bands: The Astros ; Here and Now ; Some Trippin’ Diggers ; White Noize

Drums/vocals/songwriter.  

While Matthew Hirst never lived in Armidale he is associated with several bands and musicians from the city. His connection was initially via his parents’ friendship with David Morris’ parents. When Morris and Rod Clay moved to Sydney in late 1979/early 1980 Hirst was the obvious first choice as drummer. The band, which became known as The Astros, also included former Health Club bassist, Dick Rummery on keyboards/guitar and vocals. After The Astros disbanded Hirst and Rummery went on to form the progressive pop/rock band White Noize.  

With The Astros (ca. 1980)

An accomplished drummer and vocalist, Hirst’s distinctive voice saw him also take on co-lead vocals in the various bands he played in.  While his flamboyant drumming style was sometimes compared to older brother – Midnight Oil’s Rob Hirst (both were influenced early on by art or progressive rock drummers like Phil Collins and Bill Bruford) – Matthew continued to develop his technique in that direction while Rob’s style developed more in the tradition of classic rock drummers like Keith Moon and John Bonham.  

After The Astros disbanded Hirst and Dick Rummery collaborated in several musical projects including Here and Now, which at one stage toured Northern  NSW (including Armidale). They continued to experiment with a progressive rock, pop rock style, which Rummery has returned to with much success through ftprints11 .   

In 1985 Hirst and Clay Djubal joined forces to establish the first Some Trippin’ Diggers line-up (with Ziggy Mirza on guitar and Des Smith on keyboards). While the band did not play any gigs it did record quite a number of songs, including an EP at Emerald City Studios (Brookvale). Hirst can be heard singing lead vocals on “Finger in the Sky” and co-lead vocals on “Managing to Manage.”  

From the early 1990s Hirst focused on establishing his career as a teacher, although his is believed to have continued playing on a semi-professional basis in Sydney for a number of years.  

  • Further reference: See Some Trippin’ Diggers (including discography)

Source: Clay Djubal (2009) • David Morris (interview, 2009). Images: Top photo courtesy of Heather Grigg ; Bottom photo courtesy of Clay Djubal.

 

       

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Northern Tablelands Music Industry Archive

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