Circus Block Four

There was little room for anything else in the aesthetically driven Wellington of the mid-1980s. If you weren’t arty post punk, you were definitely on the Hawaiian shirt Pelicans/Hulamen axis.

Circus Block Four were, for a brief time, something else altogether. Their 12-inch single, ‘In Stone In Steel’, had a funk backbone that could have been imported from New York via Talking Heads. Or, more likely, got its groove from the roiling Australian funk-rock of Hunters & Collectors' 'Talking To A Stranger'.

Circus Block Four - Dean Hutton, Gavin McLean, Caroline Easther, Jeff Thorp
Photo credit: Courtesy of James Moss

Bizarre review excerpt from Russell Farmery of the Manawatu Evening Standard: “It should not be confused with the pure Top 20 pop. It can be put with most other New Zealand pop into a “cultured” pop category. This type is in vogue for the followers of songs placed 21 to 40 on the charts.”

Between sets the group employed its manager and tour manager to dress in clown suits and perform on a unicycle, according to the Auckland Star’s Wendyl Nissen.


Jeff Thorp - bass, acoustic guitar

Gavin McLean - vocals, guitar

Dean Hutton - percussion

Caroline Easther - drums

Wayne Frampton - drums

Peter Robinson - keyboards



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