Diatribe member Ross France wrote ‘Azania (Soon Come)’ for Herbs from their classic 1981 Whats’ Be Happen? EP (he's also listed as singing backing vocals on it), and John Berkley, another Diatribe member, played in an early version of Herbs on bass.
Their first release was the track ‘Contamination Blues’ on the Propeller compilation We’ll Do Our Best in early 1983.
France trained as a lawyer and his biography from his website for his current law practice in South Auckland says he "...established the Ponsonby Labour Co-operative in 1976 and played in a host of bands, including Storm, Herbs, Diatribe and Seven Deadly Sins. I still get royalties from writing ‘Soon Come Azania’ for Herbs in 1981."
‘Dangerous Game’, from their Too Lazy EP from late 1983, is a fantastic slice of laidback Pacific reggae, and their most well known tune. It was later covered by reggae singer Jules Issa on the 1991 Deepgrooves compilation.
One of the songs off the EP, ‘Gift Of Cruelty’, also featured in the film Patu, Merata Mita's documentary about the Springbok tour protests of 1981. Diatribe member Rafer Rautjoki is Merata Mita's son. The Too Lazy EP was produced by Phil Yule and Diatribe, in June/July 1983.
Greg Johnson joined late in their career and the band later evolved into Seven Deadly Sins, who also numbered Fiona McDonald (Headless Chickens, Strawpeople) and Justin Harwood (The Chills, Luna) in their varied line-ups.
John Berkley - bass, backing vocals, percussion
Chris Whyte - drums, percussion
Peter Kirkbride - guitar, vocals, percussion
Ross France - saxophone, organ, percussion, backing vocals
Rafer Rautjoki - saxophone, vibes, percussion