Only one who's carried the lyre
And yes, underground,
Can dare describe the unceasing choir,
However faintly he hears the sound
Bill Direen (b. Christchurch, New Zealand, 1957) studied medicine, worked in a particleboard factory, and recorded his first song (for Superwheat bread) in 1975. Since that time he's been in many bands (among them Billy Caxton And His Pamphleteers, Vacuum, DJ Bill Diamond, Six Impossible Things, Bilders, Bilder Bergers, Doublehappys, AM Express, Urbs, Max Kwitz, Soluble Fish), recorded stone-cold classics such as Beatin Hearts for the Flying Nun label, and created an extraordinary catalogue that moves between psych, tape experiments, Velvet Underground-fuelled art rock and punk poetics. An actor, a translator, a publisher, a poet, a science fiction novelist: he is a key figure in the history of New Zealand underground music.
BILL DIREEN: A MEMORY OF OTHERS, misty and muscular, is a portrait of this polymath as he journeys across New Zealand for his first national tour in a decade. He talks about Catholicism, psychedelic drugs, the craft and headstrongness that enable his work. Evocative landscape photography is complemented by rare archival footage, testimony from the likes of Hamish Kilgour, and memorable live performances - one of them with a schoolchildren's orchestra in Wellington.
Special thanks to Michael Train
THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE (est.2007): falling and laughing...