Zaine Griff is back in town to revive memories of his London heyday at the O2 Islington on 20th October 2012. Zaine’s planning to give us nostalgic smorgasbord in this mini-tour, coinciding with re-mastered releases of Ashes and Diamonds, Figvres and the rest of his back-catalogue. This mini-tour will remind his many fans of his great gifts and provide the platform for the planned release of new recorded and other artistic material.
Zaine created a club-circuit stir in the late seventies and early eighties, emerging from his contemporary-dance and avant-garde roots as a flamboyant fashionably-androgynous rock star in the Rocky Horror mould. The set was high quality and Zaine Griff was supported by an excellent band, with well-crafted tunes, catchy Hard Rock in the New Wave style. They (and it was “they” as Zaine Griff fronted what was very much a band) invariably opened with the autobiographical “The Scandinavian” and the set usually featured Griff’s tribute to Lindsay Kemp for whom he’d performed in “Flowers”. Zaine always delivered a command performance and his gigs were packed. His relative lack of real commercial impact in the UK is something of a mystery, particularly as he was thoroughly charming and interested as well as interesting.
His fans on the club circuit adored him, and although surprisingly reserved off stage, he’d happily join them in the bar – “Half a lager thanks Doug”. The live act was superb. Genuine Art Rock, it was driven, raucous, and mesmeric. The record when it came, produced by Tony Visconti had a more commercial feel and helped Zaine raise his profile considerably. I for one will be ordering the re-mastered back copies with genuine interest as well as some deep nostalgia for one of my great heroes.
History should mark Zaine down as one of music’s beautiful people – it was a mark of Zaine’s courtesy that when I wrote a fan letter congratulating him on the release of “Ashes And Diamonds”, I received a personal handwritten thank you note by return. Zaine Griff eventually returned to New Zealand to continue his various artistic projects and to run night clubs – a fabulous man who missed far greater success by a whisker.
Current audiences will welcome back a meticulous and inventive craftsman described on his own website as a romanticist dedicated his art and likely to excite new fans all over the UK. Welcome home Zaine.
© James Douglas September 2012
With The Human Instinct:
The Hustler (Zodiac, 1974)
Peg Leg (recorded 1975, released 2002)
"Interplanetary Twist" (Bell, 1976)
"In The City" (Arista, August 1977)
As solo artist:
"Tonight" - single (Automatic, February 1980)
"Ashes and Diamonds" - single (Automatic, May 1980)
"Run" - single (Automatic, August 1980)
Ashes and Diamonds - album (Automatic, October 1980)
"Figvres" - single (Polydor, July 1982)
"Flowers" - single (Polydor, September 1982)
Figvres - album (Polydor, October 1982)
"Swing" - single (Polydor, October 1983)
With Helden (as guest vocalist):
"Holding On" - single (1983)
'Spies' - album (unreleased)
With Yukihiro Takahashi:
"This Strange Obsession" on What? Me Worry? album
With Gary Numan:
"The Secret" on the album, Berserker (1984)
This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com
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