Thursday, 4 August 2011

High Brough: The Missing/Missed Straitjacket Fits frontman

When Andrew Brough parted company with Straitjacket Fits in 1992 he returned home and formed Bike with Tristan Mason (bass) and Karl Buckley (drums) In a sad travisty of music history N.Z style ‘Take in The Sun’ (1996) replendent in it’s ghastly techni-colour cover, was their only major output. One friggin’ album was it. But what an album. It’s one of those rare records the more I play it the more I like it. Don’t believe what the chirlish critics have to say on this record. What were you expecting a Straitjacket Fits cover band? There was no Lennon/McCathy rivaly, intrigue between Carter and Brough going-on here either. No bones to pick over. Broughs shimmering guitars, magic vocals are best exhibited in his Bike project. This was a guy at the top of his game, on one fine,fine record. ‘Save my Life’ and ‘Keep you in Mine’ are great songs that should be on Kiwi compilations, should such compilations adhere to the novel idea of including the best songs and not the most popular. A year later there were two more Bike singles ‘Welcome to my World’ and ‘Circus Kids’ both of which were on the album anyway. Then nothing. Such a pity that was the last we heard of Mr Brough. I fervently hope the throngs reading this will trapes-out and buy the album, somehow reignite his creative passion. I remember reading somewhere he had ‘retreated from the music scene’ which is is PC term for ‘he’s had a fucking gutsful’. Regardless Andrew Brough’s legacy includes two of the best songs to come-out of New Zealand. Enjoy them below.

Footnote: I’m thinking of putting in my will “play ‘Save My Life’ at my funeral would ya.” Should get them all blubbering with a bit of luck. Morbid bastard eh?


  1. Hi Paul!
    I can't believe I'm just now finding your post about Bike, but I completely agree. Andrew Brough wrote and sang some incredible songs in all the groups he was in: the Blue Meanies, the Orange, Straitjacket Fits, and Bike, of course. I can understand why someone might want to get out of the music business and have a real/normal life, but it's too bad he's not still making music in some shape or form. Anyway, nice post here. And I happen to like the "ghastly" cover; it's kind of a cool retro look. Thanks!

    Susan Brettingen

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