For New Zealand Music Month, NZ On Screen's Zara Potts, is looking at our geographical musical history and some of the unique bands and musicians to have come out of our biggest cities.

So, what band best represents the city in which it formed? You be the judge.

(Scroll down to vote.)

This week – our nation's capital – Wellington.

Wellington is famous for a lot of things. The Beehive, the interisland ferries, the weather. And while it cops a lot of flak for its wind it should give itself a pat on the back for being the birthplace of many a fine band.

Perhaps it's the laid-back nature of the city that has seen such a rise in bands of the dubstep/reggae genre, such as Trinity Roots and Fat Freddy's Drop, but – despite the prevalence of these sounds – Wellington is also home to bands like Shihad and Head Like a Hole.

Head Like a Hole – or HLAH to its fans – took its name from a Nine Inch Nails song. That should give you a fairly good indication of what kind of sound they make – LOUD.

HLAH quickly made a name for themselves via unhinged live performances (not to mention a casual attitude to clothes on stage) but the band broke up after four albums in 1998. After reforming for the 2009 Homegrown festival, further releases followed. Swagger of Thieves, a documentary on the band, that was a decade in the making, premiered in July 2017.


Extra points for the winking nod to U2's rooftop performance in HLAH's video for I'm on Fire.

Watch the video here:

Another guitar band to attract a legion of loyal fans is Shihad. The band has provided a guitar-driven soundtrack for a car-surfing, black jeans-garbed generation since 1988, without a single change in band membership. Led by Jon Toogood, Shihad's raw, no-holds-barred rock has seen them become New Zealand's most celebrated hard rock band. Evolutions into post-grunge and electro-punk, and a brief name-change (Pacifier) have not betrayed their metal roots, typified in legendary live performances.

Bonus points for changing their name back to Shihad after deciding against bending to external pressure.

Watch the Clockwork Orange inspired 'Pacifier' here:

Slightly less noisy, but well-beloved for their cruisy country sound, The Warratahs were unique in the late 80s music scene – a band playing classic country music with an eye on the mainstream. The Warratahs formed in 1986 around Wayne Mason (ex-Fourmyula, and composer of the classic Nature) and Barry Saunders, with TVNZ arts presenter Nik Brown on fiddle. Following a residency playing covers of country standards at Wellington's Cricketers Arms, they began recording their own material. Their timeless, Kiwi-inflected, neo-traditional country, and relentless touring made them a unique presence in the fashion-conscious music scene of the late 80s. After a few years off, the band have since reformed.

Extra points for making Cruisin' on the Interislander cool again.

Listen to 'Hands of my Heart' here:

Fat Freddy's Drop have the distinction of having the first local indie album to top the New Zealand Charts and no surprise really, with singles like Wandering Eye, which saw them anointed as flagbearers for the "Wellington Sound". That song was from their first studio album, which was also one of the biggest-selling in Kiwi history. It also garnered the band a national following, and the video, although somewhat traitorously set in a Grey Lynn fish and chip shop, also won them the Best Music Video at the 2006 Vodafone NZ Music Awards.

Extra points for their album Based on a True Story being voted 2005's favourite Worldwide Album by listeners on Gilles Peterson's BBC Radio 1 show.

Watch 'Wandering Eye' and spot the cameo appearances here:

It wouldn't be a Wellington list without the inclusion of the capital city's most famous sons, Brett McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. While Flight of the Conchords are technically a comedy act, there would be few people in Wellington, or nationwide for that matter, who didn't know all the words to their hit song Business Time.

Extra points for Jemaine Clement's uncanny Bowie imitations.

Watch 'Feel Inside' here:

It's hard to explain to modern audiences just how big The Mockers were in the 80s.
Mockermania had broken out in the nation's streets and, for a while, there was intense rivalry between Mockers fans and Dance Exponents fans – something akin to the Jets and the Sharks in West Side Story. The Mockers had a string of hummable hits and there's no doubt that lead singer Andrew Fagan was possibly the best dressed man in rock in the 80s. Their hit Forever Tuesday Morning won Fagan the Top Male Vocalist gong at the 1987 RIANZ Awards.

Extra points for Andrew Fagan making the leotard an acceptable piece of daywear.

Australia has always been a tough market to crack for many New Zealand bands, but one Wellington group hit the big time across the ditch with their futuristic song Computer Games. That band was Mi-Sex and their first single managed to top the Australian charts and made them a favourite with transtasman audiences alike. The band rode the wave of "new-wave" and while only being around for a short time, left a huge legacy. Sadly, singer Steve Gilpin died in a car accident in 1991.

Extra points for the ridiculously catchy Compu-pu-pu-puter Games chorus.

The Phoenix Foundation rose from the ashes of Wellington's late-90s high school music circuit to become one of the country's most acclaimed bands. The six-piece have brought an eclectic DIY approach to six albums of accomplished alt-pop... and in 2010 you couldn't go anywhere without hearing Buffalo – the title track from the Phoenix Foundation's 2010 album.

Extra points for providing the soundtrack to Taika Watiti's Boy.