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 – the Garden City – Christchurch.
Poor old Christchurch. In recent years it's become better known for its earthquakes than the fact that its flat, endless avenues have been home to some of this country's most earth-shaking music acts.
The garden city punches above its weight in terms of its musical history but despite that, it's not well-known for a particular 'sound' like Wellington or Dunedin are.
The musicians that have come out of our second-largest city are an eclectic bunch. All genres are well represented, from popera to hip hop.
So who best to start off our parade of hit makers than the late, legendary youthquaker himself – Ray Columbus.
By the time Columbus was six, he was well on his way to becoming a rebellious mod – he had already taken up smoking which was to become an 80-a-day habit. It wasn't long until Columbus found himself on stage with The Invaders, sporting a Beatles-esque haircut and belting out the chart-topper 'She's a Mod' – he would be the first Kiwi musician to score an overseas number one.
Extra bonus points for Ray Columbus managing many other famous New Zealand faces, including The Chicks, Tina Cross and fellow Cantabrians; Zed.
Watch 'She's a Mod' here:
Speaking of Zed – at the turn of this century this band was everywhere. Though still at high school, the guitar band took the number one position in the charts with their debut album, Silencer. That was helped, in part, by the infectious single 'Renegade Fighter', which soared up the charts and even found its way into the American TV show, Smallville and the movie American Pie 2.
Extra bonus points for having six Top 20 singles during the band's lifespan.
Fighting it out with Zed for the title of best guitar band in the early 2000s were fellow Christchurch old boys – The Feelers. The band emerged out of the rock scene in the late nineties and went on to staggering success with multi-platinum albums and a hefty seven number one singles. The Feeler's fourth single 'Venus' was to become an iconic Kiwi song, although it didn't quite reach number one.
Extra bonus points for having the reputation of being one of the hardest working touring bands in the land.
And while we're on the subject of success – can any Christchurch band claim greater success than The Exponents? Or the Dance Exponents as they were known in the 80s. They've even had a telemovie made about them. The song that started it all off for them was the slow burner 'Victoria', and the band went on to have a string of hits through the 80s right up to the early 90s when they changed their name and went ballistic with hits Like 'Why Does Love Do This to Me?'. Jordan Luck penned the song in five minutes and it's now one of the enduring crowd favourites to sing at a stadium singalong.
Extra bonus points for the band's mastery of hooky earworm choruses.
Watch 1982's 'Victoria' here:
You could be forgiven for thinking that it's just men who make it big once they leave Colombo Street – but you'd be wrong. Christchurch has its share of famous sisters and one of the first to grab a national audience by the throat was Bic Runga. As with her sister Boh from rock group Stellar*, Bic emerged as a young singer from the Rockquest stage and headed for world domination. Her debut album Drive infiltrated radio stations everywhere, charted at number one and sold enough copies to go seven times platinum – and that was just the beginning.
Extra bonus points for being made a member of the NZ Order of Merit in 2006.
Watch 'Sway' here:
Another Hornby local, Anika Moa, first began performing at age eight and by the time she was a teenager had several Rockquest wins under her belt. Her first album yielded four huge singles, including 'Youthful' which grabbed the attention of American record executives. Always true to herself, Moa turned her back on the American touring schedule and returned home to Aotearoa, where she has continued to find audiences for her work.
Extra bonus points for reaching out to babies with her Songs for Bubbas albums.
Watch 'Falling in Love Again' here:
"Not many, if any ..." Aotearoa hip hop was turned on its head when Christchurch rapper Scribe burst onto the scene in 2003 with his debut single, 'Stand Up/Not Many'. It shot to number one and stayed there for an impressive 12 weeks, helping propel his first album The Crusader into the top position. Scribe became the first Kiwi artist to simultaneously have a number one single and a number one album.
Extra bonus points for calling his album The Crusader – you can't get more Christchurch than that.
Watch Scribe here:
Contemporary troubadour Marlon Williams has a reputation for delving into the sounds of traditional country music. He first came to attention as the lead singer of The Unfaithful Ways and has also recorded as part of a duo with Delaney Davidson. Williams has won multiple music awards, including the co-written 'Bloodletter' winning Best Country Music Song at the APRA Silver Scrolls. He's opened for some pretty impressive acts – Bruce Springsteen and Band of Horses to name just two.
Extra bonus points for bravery in singing a duet with ex – Aldous Harding.
Watch Marlon Williams and Delaney Davidson here:
Formed in Christchurch in 1979, The Narcs were on high-rotate in the early 80s. Their name is a nod to The Police, a band they often covered. Their 1984 anthem 'Heart and Soul' was their biggest hit and was the soundtrack to many school disco romances. Conversely, their 1986 song, 'Abandoned by Love' was the soundtrack to many break-ups.
Extra bonus points for getting Hello Sailor's Dave McArtney to produce their debut album.
Watch 'Heart and Soul' here: