Bilders Collectives

aka Bilders, Builders

Six Impossible Things, Soloman’s Ball, Die Bilder, Bilderine, Bilder Bergers and the Builders, they all had one thing in common – Bill Direen.

The Christchurch musician and songwriter's art and sound was at the core of one of the most sustained bodies of quality New Zealand indie music in the early to mid-1980s. A prolific composer, Direen's intellect and energy took in and spun out poetry, film, theatre and literature.

The Bilders, Melbourne 2013
Photo credit: Photo by Fin Shaw
Greig Bainbridge, Bill Direen and Stu Kawowski - The Bilders, 2014
Photo credit: Stuart Page collection
The finished 1983 Above Ground Gone Aiwa cassette cover
Photo credit: Stuart Page collection
Stu Kawowski, Bill Direen and Greig Bainbridge at the AXEMEN's Peterborough Studios in Christchurch in 1984, shortly before they went to Auckland to record the C0NCH3 album
Photo credit: Stuart Page collection
6 Impossible Things (1981)
Soluble Fish - Barry Stockley, Linda Lloyd, Bill Direen, Carol Woodward
Photo credit: Photo by David Mitchell
Urbs in Runanga on the West Coast of the South Island, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Will Dobinson
The 1982 Flying Nun reissue of the Solomon's Ball EP
The Builders - Opium & Gold (1985) Bob Sutton Collection
Bill Direen - Surprise
The Bilders (as per the 2013 album Flavour Of The Meat), Bill Direen, David Watson, Miggy Littleton, Hamish Kilgour, snapped in a NY Subway, the evening after their recording session
Photo credit: Courtesy of Bill Direen
The Bilders in Melbourne, 2013
1983 launch for Above Ground's Gone Aiwa cassette at The Gladstone
Photo credit: Stuart Page collection
The Bilders in Fledkirch, Austria, 2013
Photo credit: Photo by Arno Loeffler
Six Impossible Things: Malcolm Grant (drums), Ivan Rodgers (bass) and Bill Direen (guitar/ vocals) in Wellington 1980
Photo credit: Bill Direen Collection
The 1982 Die Bilder EP Schwimmen In Der See, issued via Flying Nun
Greig Bainbridge, Stuart Page and Bill Direen, 1983
1985 screenprinted poster designed by Lesley Maclean
Photo credit: Graeme Hill collection. Design by Lesley Maclean
The 1983 Above Ground Gone Aiwa cassette demo cover
Photo credit: Andrew Schmidt Collection
Bill Direen at Instants Chaivirees, Paris, 2012
The Builders - Russian Rug (1982) Bob Sutton Collection
The Bilders (Bill Direen [gtr & vox] & Stuart Page [drums]) playing at the Captain Cook Tavern, Dunedin April 1985
Photo credit: Stuart Page collection
Bill Direen, Whammy Bar, December 2012
Photo credit: Photo by Russell Brown
The 1981 self-released Solomon's Ball EP
Urbs play Runanga on the South Island West Coast, 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Will Dobinson


Flying Nun

South Indies



Tony O’Grady

Bill Direen - vocals, guitar, keyboards

Stephen Cogle - bass

Peter Stapleton - drums

Peter Fryer - keyboards

Teresa McQuire

Allen Meek - organ

John Markie - bass

Malcolm Grant - drums

Campbell McLay - bass

Greig Bainbridge - bass, percussion

Karl Holdorf - tombone

Stuart Page - drums

Maryrose Crook - vocals

Jean Brown - vocals

John McDermott - drums

Barry Stockley - bass, vocals

Chris Knox - organ

Mike Dooley - drums

Alec Bathgate - guitar

Michael Tan

Andrew Maitai

Brent Cross

Richard Anderton - vocals

Derek Champion - drums

Steve Cournane - drums


Bill Direen was, for a short time, a Radio New Zealand DJ in Blenheim called Bill Diamond.

He has published four novels and edited Landfall’s music issue in 2010.

His first four EPs have been reissued as 12-inch EPs on German imprint, Unwucht Records, whose 2011 Krypton Ten compilation of Onset Offset Records acts, featured Direen recordings.

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