Cassandra's Ears Profile

Murray Cammick
14 Oct 2013

All-women group Cassandra’s Ears met while studying in Dunedin, and were influenced by the Flying Nun sound. The group formed in 1985 when Jan Hellriegel decided to play at the Dunedin Women’s Festival.

She asked friends seated at an Otago University Cafe table to form a band with her. “They learned to play their instruments in two weeks,” wrote Matthew Hyland in Rip It Up (December 1988). 

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The reunion flyer, 2010
Jan Hellriegel, Venessa Anich, Flick Rhind, Megan Millar, Sarah MacNab
Cassandra's Ears, L to R: Flick Rhind, Venessa Anich, Leanne Ibell, Jan Hellriegel, Zan Wright
Cassandra's Ears with Jan out front in a kitchen somewhere in Dunedin
Cassandra's Ears outside Auckland's Wintergarden
Cassandra's Ears, Dunedin, 1986. L to R: Jan Hellriegel, Venessa Anich, Megan Millar, Leanne Ibell, Flick Rhind
Christchurch Press, July 1987
Jan Hellriegel, Zan Wright, Venessa Anich, Golconda Tavern in Coromandel on tour with Straitjacket Fits - 7 January 1989
A 1986 Rock Against Reagan poster featuring Cassandra's Ears at Chippendale House
Cassandra's Ears at the Colville Hall in Coromandel, probably early 1989
Cassandra's Ears in Dunedin
Cassandra's Ears in their Dunedin practice room
Cassandra's Ears
The successful 1987 funding application by Cassandra's Ears to the Ministry of Women's Affairs. The full document can be found here.
Cassandra's Ears in Dunedin in the mid 1980s
L to R: Flick Rhind, Zan Wright, Venessa Anich, Leanne Ibell, Jan Hellriegel
Silver Sheen

Jan Hellriegel - guitar, vocals

Venessa Anich - drums

Leanne Ibell - guitar

Zan McKendree Wright - backing vocals, percussion

Felicity Morgan Rhind - bass

Sarah MacNab - backing vocals, percussion

Megan Miller - guitar


Jan Hellriegel would go on to become a major player in the New Zealand music industry and now heads the largest independent music publisher in NZ