His best group was Mainly Spaniards with guitarist Michael Jeffries, bass player Nick Strong and drummer David Swift (replaced by Tony Green), whose 1982 single for Flying Nun Records is an early label highpoint. The topside has James’ wryly observed ‘That’s What Your Friends Are For’ (drinking and cruising with a little advice sometimes) backed with the stunning bass pulse ‘Problems’ and the corrupted pop of ‘Secretaries Lunch Break’.
Active from 1981 to 1983, Mainly Spaniards played out with many of the city’s best post-punk groups at The Gladstone, Star and Garter and Canterbury University, with out of town shows at Punakaiki Festival in April 1983 and the Empire Tavern in Dunedin (in 1982 and 1983).
Richard James - vocals
Nick Strong - bass
David Swift - drums
Michael Jeffries - guitar
Tony Green - drums
Richard James was in an early version of The Pterodactyls who recorded his song ‘Everytime It Rains’ for bFM’s Outnumbered By Sheep compilation in 1986, and later, The Letter Five, who released an EP on Flying Nun Records in 1991.
David Swift was a writer for the NME in the UK in the 1980s.