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BIKE - TAKE IN THE SUN

Real Audio Samples
Take in the Sun (360 kb)
Tears Were Blue (310 kb)

See also:
Earlier Biography / Circus Kids / Straitjacket Fits


Bike_Logo With two brilliant singles, "Save My Life" and "Circus Kids", already recognised as bright spots on the New Zealand musical map, the impending arrival of Bike's debut album Take In The Sun has been an eagerly awaited event on the local calendar.

Adding to that expectation is the fact that Bike's classic misty-eyed pop is all the product of songwriter Andrew Brough. His superb voice and songs came together in sublime moments for his former band, Straitjacket Fits - we still chill to songs like "Down In Splendour" and "Sparkle That Shines" - but these were all too rare. When Bike's 1996 debut single, "Save My Life", was a finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award it was a sign that this new band delivered more of the Brough goods.

Take In The Sun is the first time we see that talent in full flight over the length of an album. Eleven tunes are collected into the album's forty minutes and the production, by Malcolm Welsford and Andrew Brough, lets the heavenly swirl of chiming guitars and the perfectly-pitched vocals do most of the talking on the impressive Take In The Sun.

While the ballads show the obvious melodic strength of Andrew's writing in "Tears Were Blue" and "Sunrise", there's room for a rockier edge in "Keeping You In Mine" and the surprising "Anybody Know". At the heart of what makes Take In The Sun so good is the album's spine-tingling pop quotient, provided by the title track and singles "Circus Kids", "Save My Life", and the latest, "Welcome To My World".

Bike Behind the striking angelic voice and the huge 'wall of jangle' guitars created by the album production, many of Bike's songs are hung on the rhythmic sway that has always helped convey the bittersweet edge of so many of Andrew's words.

The album was recorded over a number of months through the summer of 1997 with a Bike line-up featuring Andrew Brough on guitar and keyboards, Tristan Mason on bass guitar and drummer Wayne Bell. The rigorous standards demanded by Andrew and Malcolm Welsford brought polished performances out of everyone involved in what became one of the largest recording projects undertaken at York Street.

Flying Nun's commitment to Andrew's music stretches back to the beginning of his career and the record label sees Bike, with that songwriting strength and distinctive yet marketable guitar pop, as a key band in the ongoing development of its international market.

Recognition for Andrew's songwriting has come from the moment that he joined Straitjacket Fits after his first band, the Orange, had folded after releasing one Flying Nun EP. Straitjacket Fits emerged from Dunedin as the brightest hope on the New Zealand music scene, assured on record and fiery onstage, and found critical acclaim and one of the biggest international deals ever signed by a local band (with American major, Arista) their reward.

Andrew left Straitjacket Fits after recording two albums in the band. He made his way back to Dunedin where he wrote more songs than ever and set about putting together his own band. It's been a process of adding and subtracting members over the last three years in an effort to find musicians with the right talent and attitude to play his music, and Andrew has ended up moving to Auckland again to attain that goal.

Bike's live profile has been under wraps for some time, as Andrew has concentrated more on developing the band's sound away from the public view. But when they've emerged from the practice room with a stunning gig, Bike have shown that Andrew is following the right path. Bike's new touring line-up for gigs supporting the album release sees former Headless Chickens drummer Bevan Sweeney joining Andrew and Tristan in the three-piece line-up.

Take In The Sun is certain to give the band plenty to work on. Packed with singles and delivered with such powerful style, it announces Andrew Brough's decisive arrival as a major songwriter in New Zealand pop and the launching pad for Bike as an act of true international quality.

 

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