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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David Mitchell poster for The 3Ds and The Verlaines. NYE 1991
Photo credit: Design by David Mitchell
Joed Out bFM In Session
1985 poster for Bird Dog by John Collie
Photo credit: Design John Collie
Wind Song
The poster for The Verlaines' Hallelujah - All The Way Home, 1985
Photo credit: Graeme Hill collection
The Verlaines at The Windsor Castle, Auckland, December 1985
Photo credit: Graeme Hill collection
Death And The Maiden (live on National Anthem, May 2004)
Bird Dog
The Verlaines in 1982 - Graeme Downes, Jane Dodd, Greg Kerr
Photo credit: Photo by Terry Moore
The Verlaines on the cover of Rip It Up, December 1985; original B&W photo by Jeremy Freeman
C.D. Jimmy Jazz and Me - bFM In Session
The Verlaines at Auckland's Windsor Castle probably in 1984
Zippy's Last Tour, February 1985
Jane Dodd, Robbie Yeats, Graeme Downes
Come Sunday - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
Robbie Yeats, Graeme Downes and Jane Dodd, probably early 1984
The Funniest Thing
Death and The Maiden (1983)
Baud To Tears - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
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
Untimely Meditations, 2012
Photo credit: Design by Todd Narbey
1985 Verlaines, Rip and Weeds poster
Photo credit: Design by Robert Scott
Where Do You Think You're Going - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
It Was Raining
Interview with Graeme Downes from The Verlaines, 30 June 1994. Directed by Ross Cunningham.
Jane Dodd and Robbie Yeats
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Ganley
Hanging By Strands
1984 poster for The Captain Cook
Photo credit: Design by Sarah Caselberg
The Verlaines, The Chant and The R.I.P. at the Dunedin Music Centre, 28th January, 1983
Photo credit: Graeme Hill Collection
Juvenilia, 1993
Death And The Maiden
The poster for the 1986 12-inch Doomsday single
Photo credit: Ian Dalziel collection

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


Flying Nun






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