The Dead C live, Naval Point Yacht Club, Lyttelton, 2014

The Dead C live, Naval Point Yacht Club, Lyttelton, 2014

In May 2014 Christchurch Art Gallery presented a classic double bill featuring two of the South Island's legendary underground bands – the Dead C and the Terminals.

Formed in the second half the 1980s, both bands have forged reputations in New Zealand and overseas for their no compromise approach. In New Zealand they have released material through the Flying Nun and Xpressway labels, as well as numerous international labels including Siltbreeze and BaDaBing Records in the USA.

Seeing these bands live is a rare opportunity at the best of times. But catching both at the same gig is almost unprecedented.


The Dead C was formed in Dunedin in 1987 and has blurred boundaries between rock music and sonic art noise ever since, taking anyone who cares to listen along for the ride. The Terminals formed in Christchurch in 1986 and, in lyricist Peter Stapleton and singer/songwriter Stephen Cogle, features one of New Zealand's most enduring song-writing collaborations.

These bands were once described as channelling both sides of the Velvet Underground: with their explosive sonic guitar feedback noises the Dead C picks up where the Velvets' White Light / White Heat album left off, while the Terminals at times reflect the quieter, subdued moments found on the album The Velvet Underground.

Filmed at the Naval Point Yacht Club, Lyttelton 23 May 2014
Directed: John Chrisstoffels
Camera: John Chrisstoffels and Julian Vares
Recording engineer: Nicholas Lynch, Acousmatique Ltd.