The Verlaines Profile

Andrew Schmidt
22 Aug 2013

It’s no surprise to find the song playing as the central characters in Scarfies – Robert and Duncan Sarkies smart evocation of Dunedin 80s student life – knit themselves together in their new home is ‘Death and The Maiden’. The Verlaines’ single could well be the ultimate 1980s student anthem.

The words and The Verlaines’ name itself have enough pretension and mystique to provoke the air of difference that keen young minds seek. And they fit the infectious and similarly appropriate, clangourous rush of trebly reverberated guitar with locked in rhythm, broken up only by a woozy, off-kilter middle, perfectly. Flip that July 1983 single and you get ‘CD, Jimmy Jazz And Me’, where The Verlaines’ Graeme Downes imagines himself in bohemian Paris with Claude Debussy and James Joyce.

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Jane Dodd and Robbie Yeats
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1984 poster for The Captain Cook
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The poster for the 1986 12-inch Doomsday single
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C.D. Jimmy Jazz and Me - bFM In Session
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Zippy's Last Tour, February 1985
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Where Do You Think You're Going - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
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Death And The Maiden
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Death and The Maiden (1983)
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David Mitchell poster for The 3Ds and The Verlaines. NYE 1991
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Death And The Maiden (live on National Anthem, May 2004)
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1985 poster for Bird Dog by John Collie
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Baud To Tears - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
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The Verlaines at Auckland's Windsor Castle probably in 1984
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Bird Dog
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The Funniest Thing
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The Verlaines on the cover of Rip It Up, December 1985; original B&W photo by Jeremy Freeman
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Hanging By Strands
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The Verlaines at The Windsor Castle, Auckland, December 1985
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Juvenilia, 1993
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The Verlaines, The Stones and The Clean. This was The Verlaines first gig as a three piece, 1981. They only played three songs before it was shut down
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Untimely Meditations, 2012
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1985 Verlaines, Rip and Weeds poster
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The poster for The Verlaines' Hallelujah - All The Way Home, 1985
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Doomsday
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It Was Raining
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Come Sunday - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
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Pyromaniac
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The Verlaines in 1982 - Graeme Downes, Jane Dodd, Greg Kerr
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Joed Out bFM In Session
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The Verlaines, The Chant and The R.I.P. at the Dunedin Music Centre, 28th January, 1983
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Anniversary
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Interview with Graeme Downes from The Verlaines, 30 June 1994. Directed by Ross Cunningham.
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Robbie Yeats, Graeme Downes and Jane Dodd, probably early 1984
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Wind Song
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Jane Dodd, Robbie Yeats, Graeme Downes
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Labels:

Flying Nun


Slash


Homestead


Columbia


Matador

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Trivia:

Flying Nun reissued Hallelujah - All The Way Home and Juvenilia in December 2013.

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Members:

Graeme Downes - vocals, guitar

Jane Dodd - bass

Alan Haig - drums

Phillip Higham - bass

Craig Easton - guitar, vocals

Greg Kerr - drums

Anita Pillai - keyboards

Robbie Yeats - drums

Caroline Easther - drums

Mike Stoodley - bass

Gregg Cairns - drums

Paul Winders - guitar

Darren Stedman - drums

Russell Fleming - bass

Stephen Small - keyboards

Tom Healy - guitar

Rob Burns - bass

Chris Miller - bass