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The Handsome Family

Mystery Girl Presents are excited to announce the return of New Mexico’s Southern gothic duo…

The Handsome Family

THE TIMES of London said they create “music that moves forward by turning the clock back: haunting, primal and strangely heroic” and MOJO defines them as “Dark, elemental, mischievous and mournful”

Rennie and Brett Sparks (THE HANDSOME FAMILY) return to New Zealand to perform in Wellington, Auckland and for the first time, the wild Bay of Islands town, KeriKeri. Their show will feature many new songs from their recently released seventh studio album “Last Days of Wonder” a collection of love songs sung in airports, garbage dumps, drive-thru windows and shark-infested waters.

Album Of The Week 4 Stars - The Independent (UK)


The Handsome Family are an American alternative country duo, Brett and Rennie Sparks, currently living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their songs are written in a strict separation of roles: Brett Sparks, who previously played in several independent bands, writes the music while Rennie, who also is an author, writes the lyrics. Typical for the lyrics is a close connection to the literary genre American Gothic , and Gothic elements you can find in early country and folk songs. The often very odd and drastic lyrics are sung by Brett Sparks in his smooth, calm and warm baritone voice.

The duo are known for their playful bickering and loose, disorganised feel that characterises their live shows. The "Live at the Schuba's Tavern" release contains many short stage dialogues between the pair and the song "Winnebago Skeletons" is performed in a chaotic and imprecise manner. However many fans feel this is part of the charm of their live performances.

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This will be their second visit to New Zealand (2005).

New Zealand Dates:

Wellington - Wednesday 7th February - San Francisco Bath House

Auckland - Thursday 8 February - The Dogs Bollix

Auckland - Friday 9 February - The Dogs Bollix

Bay of Islands - Saturday 10 February - The Venue at Wharepuke, Kerikeri.

Support acts TBA

Tickets on sale nationally from Monday 26 November, at and Real Groovy stores.


MysterGirl Presents Representative: Ben Howe, 09-6387999/021340772 or


EMI Records - Rae Foster, 09 356 1594 or 021 980 944,


...also – don’t forget.....


COS are an all female electropop group which got its origins in Munich, formed in 1997 after the members had met through the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. Chicks on Speed's core members consist of Australian Alex Murray-Leslie, American Melissa Logan and German Kiki Moorse.

Though usually considered part of such musical genres as electroclash, actually Chicks on Speed started as a multidisciplinary art group, who applied punk-inspired DIY ethic to performance art, collage graphics and home-made fashion (they have created their own stage costumes with cheap and recycled material such as plastic bags and gaffa tape, for example).

There have been a lot of emotional feelings towards Chicks On Speed in various places around the world. At one point they were an opening act for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and James Brown . However, almost every night they were booed and had bottles thrown at them by the audience. At a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Hyde Park, London in June 2004 , a bottle hit Alex Murray-Leslie who then left the stage. The Chicks on Speed were on stage for approximately 10 minutes.

Most recently (June 2006) Chicks On Speed were part of PopRally at MoMA (New York) alongside Scottish Artist Douglas Gordon, famous for his video installation “24 Hour Psycho (1993)” whom also performed as part of the group.

Radio hits by the group include; ‘Euro Trash Girl’ feat Mäuse , ‘We Don't Play Guitars’ feat Peaches, ‘Wordy Rappinghood’ feat Le Tigre (a Tom Tom Club Cover) and recently ‘Plastic Surgery’ (a tribute to 70’s UK all girl punk band The Slits)

Hot, Hot, Hot! Sparks fly as Wellington’s Charlie ASH high on energy, perform with great gusto their catchy ass tunes. They call themselves Neo-Punk and have a corker of a live show, combining sword, sweat, costume and volume.

“Their performances are such a high-octane spectacle that Chicks On Speed would be impressed.” - Pavement

New Zealand Dates:

Wellington – Wednesday 22 November - San Francisco Bath house

Auckland – Thursday 23 November – The Kings Arms Tavern

Tickets on sale from Real Groovy stores, venues and Fast & Loose (ak only)

Scratch a high school poet and an aspiring indie-rocker will probably bleed. "The germ took hold for me when I started writing bad poetry when I was 15,” M.Ward says, citing the Beatles, Sonic Youth and fireHOSE as artists who stoked his pubescent fires. John King--the man responsible for the museum-like graphic look of Ward's albums and described by Ward as "somewhat of a mentor"--turned Ward on to the folk music of Elizabeth Cotten and John Fahey just as he was about to enrol in college. The curious mixture of influences has aged over time into a fine vintage all its own.

Matthew Ward (known to his fans as M. Ward) has already visited Australia as a solo performer three times accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, a harmonica, an upright piano and his own glorious honey-soaked voice. Internationally he has cultivated quite the cult following over the course of his many full-length releases: 2000's Duets for Guitar #2, 2001's End of Amnesia, 2003's Transfiguration of Vincent, 2004’s Transistor Radio and more recently this years Post War.

Relying heavily on a folk-of-yesteryear sound, updated with his indie-rock tendencies, and hearty helpings of undeniable melodies, M. Ward has positioned himself as one of the brightest, well-received singer-songwriters out there today. Whether it is his comfortable, familiar, relaxed singing style or his front porch finger picking tendencies, he has become both a critic and fan favourite.

Rising from the ashes of his San Luis Obispo-based combo Rodriguez (one self-titled album, produced by Grandaddy's Jason Lytle), Ward's solo career began in 2000 when Giant Sand's Howe Gelb took a shine to his music and released Ward's debut disc, Duet For Guitars #2, on Gelb's Ow Om label.

In 2004 M. Ward toured the US with Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and Jim James (My Morning Jacket) on the nationally acclaimed "Songwriters Tour," and spent time between recording sessions for Transistor Radio as a guitarist for the effervescent Bright Eyes live band. When M. Ward appeared on "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" playing guitar with Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst insisted on shouting "M. Ward for President!" between versus.

"It may be too early to place M. Ward’s brilliance as a musician up there with names like Bob Dylan or Tom Waits, but this show – which seemed to go by in a flash while freezing time in the process - helped convince me that in a decade or two, we probably will." Being There Mag.

New Zealand Dates:

Auckland - Wednesday 10th January - The Dogs Bollix

Wellington - Thursday 11th January - San Francisco Bath house

Tickets on sale nationally from Monday 20 November, at and Real Groovy stores.


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