The Broken Heartbreakers Profile

Victor Billot
6 Oct 2015

The Broken Heartbreakers are the result of years of consistent musical work by the group’s songwriters, John Guy Howell and Rachel Bailey. The now-Dunedin based band has evolved to reveal a unique sound that references classic and retro influences while keeping a clear and unsentimental eye on the 21st Century world.

While their subject matter ranges from the broken hearted depths of personal despair and loss, through to well aimed barbs at the socioeconomic wasteland of the neoliberal era, this isn’t music for the self-involved or gloomy. Soulful vocals, shimmering guitars, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of pop hooks will snare even the most jaded listener.

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The Broken Heartbreakers, Nadia Reid and Flora Knight at Carey's Bay Hotel, December 2013
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The Broken Heartbreakers - Angels Are Calling On High (live on Hum)
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John Guy Howell and Rachel Bailey
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The Broken Heartbreakers - Everything Will Pass (B-side from the 2008 single Wake Up Monday)
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The Broken Heartbreakers and guests, April 2008
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The Broken Heartbreakers' album How We Got To Now, 2015
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The Broken Heartbreakers: Mike Stoodley, Myles Allpress, John Guy Howell, Rachel Bailey and Sam Prebble
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The Broken Heartbreakers and Bond Street Bridge on tour, 2012
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The Broken Heartbreakers at Auckland's Dogs Bollix, February 2009
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What Becomes Of The Broken Arted mini-CD, 2010
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The Broken Heartbreakers at Auckland's Wine Cellar, June 2005
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2007's Red Album sleeve
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The Broken Heartbreakers - Twenty and Ten
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The Broken Heartbreakers - Calling Card (live on Talk Talk, 2008)
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The Broken Heartbreakers - Angela (live at Circadian Rhythm, Dunedin, 10 May 2008)
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The Broken Heartbreakers at Auckland's Wine Cellar, June 2006
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The Broken Heartbreakers - Wintersun (2010)
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Socialism and Soul (from the 2010 mini-CD What Becomes of the Broken Arted, featuring Adam McGrath of The Eastern)
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The Broken Heartbreakers, Reb Fountain & The Bandits and Lauren Thomson at Auckland's Kings Arms, March 2009
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The January 2006 released album Everyone's Waiting For Their Darlin'
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The Broken Heartbreakers with guests at Chicks Hotel, Port Chalmers, June 2010
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The Broken Heartbreakers at Taste Merchants, Dunedin, March 2014
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The Broken Heartbreakers, The Haints of Dean Hall and Steve Abel at Auckland's Dogs Bollix, August 2006
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The Broken Heartbreakers, The Eastern, The Rosy Teacaddy and Bond Street Bridge on the Slow Song Revue, 2009
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The Broken Heartbreakers as a trio: Rachel Bailey, John Guy Howell and Sam Prebble
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The numbered min-CD Calling Card, 2008. Only 100 copies were manufactured.
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The Broken Heartbreakers - Tell That Boy (from Wintersun, 2010)
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The Broken Heartbreakers - Swipe Card Valley (2015)
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The Broken Heartbreakers, 2015: John Guy Howell, Rachel Bailey and Jeff Harford
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The Broken Heartbreakers: Mike Stoodley, John Guy Howell, Myles Allpress, Rachel Bailey and Sam Prebble
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The Broken Heartbreakers' 2007 Wellington release party for the Red Album, with Marineville and Rosy Tin Teacaddy
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Trivia:

Howell’s first band, the Tin Soldiers, was a high school Rockquest winner in 1991 and went on to release one album, Hell of a Time, on Pagan Records.

A previous band of Howell’s, Dunedin mod revivalists Too Many Daves, were briefly managed in the 1990s by Grant Robertson, now the Member of Parliament for Wellington Central.

While in Melbourne, the BHBs collaborated with hip hop artist Trillion to produce the track, Work.

Howell says he wanted to call the band the "The Sky City Heartbreakers" as he thought it would be subversive and funny to appropriate the symbol of everything he hated about the corporatisation of Auckland. “Rachel wisely pointed out that that was a dumb idea and that not everyone would share my sense of humour, and she suggested The Broken Heartbreakers instead.”

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Members:

John Guy Howell - vocals, guitar

Rachel Bailey - vocals, guitar

Jeff Harford - drums

Mike Stoodley - bass

Richard Pickard - bass

Sam Prebble - guitar, mandolin

Myles Allpress - drums

Matt Sandford - drums

Ben Furniss - bass

Sonya Waters - keyboards

Ricky McShane - drums

Gareth Shute - bass

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