Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Poles - Over and Beyond and Through

THE POLES - Over and Beyond and Through (Tate/Bolland)/ Ha! Ha! Ha! (Tate/Bolland/The Poles)

Recorded at Basilisk Studios
Engineer - Martin Bishop
Produced by the Poles

Scott Bolland - Vocals
Joseph Borkowski - Bass
Andrew MacLennan - Drums
Scott Stone - Guitar & Backing Vocals
Michael Tate - Guitar

This single, one of the 500 individually screen-printed 45s is the band's sole release from April, 1981. The Poles (much like the Patients) are frequently recalled by fellow musicians of the post-Saints Brisbane musical landscape as having been an exceptional, if not influential live band.

The year is 1978. Kenmore. Clinton Walker's having a party at his family home. Mick Tate, Janine Hall and Scott Bolland decide to form a band. By the time conversation turned into playing, Janine meets up with Rowland Howard and Ollie Olsen who are up from Melbourne for a weekend in Sydney and with Jeffrey Wegener they form the Young Charlatans.

The band moved to Sydney in November 1979, and played alongside the Laughing Clowns on numerous occasions at the Metropole; and shared bills with the likes of the Sunnyboys.

Dave Tyrer was an early guitarist in the band, who later played in the Go-Betweens for one show in July 1980 armed with a Roland guitar-synth, along with former Toesuckers drummer Clare McKenna (who later went on to play with Xero and the Holy Ghosts). This was the only time both of them played in the Go-Betweens. During the course of 1978-79, Tyrer played guitar in the influential Bex Crystals, one of Brisbane's early female-fronted punk bands who were regulars of the famed restaurant/venue, the Curry Shop. Their story has yet to be fully written. It'll happen!

Dave Tyrer playing in the Go-Betweens at the Sincerity Ball held at Baroona Hall, 4th July 1980 and behind him a backdrop designed by Gary Warner. Zero, FX, and Kroll & the Bluebirds also played that night. Photo by Paul O'Brien.

Guitarist and primary songwriter Mick Tate is now a freelance cartoonist working in Sydney.

Another member of note was bassist Joe Borkowski, who was an early chronicler of the Saints with his 35mm camera. It would be safe to say that all of the band's photos prior to their signing with EMI were taken by him.

This cassette is from a recording session done on a Portastudio by Ed Kuepper and Bruce 'Cab' Calloway in 1981.

After the swift demise of the Poles, Borkowski joined the Sydney incaration of Peter Milton Walsh's Out of Nowhere, playing on their single Remember Remember/No Resistance released by Prince Melon in 1982. Borkowski later emerged as a live member of the Apartments during 1984, and played cello on a Died Pretty track around that time whose name currently escapes me. He's also referenced in the Go-Betweens song Darlinghurst Nights.

The image above appeared in Clinton Walker's 1981 book, Inner City Sound and a caption which read:

"The Poles were inspired to take up music by the Saints, and took it from there themselves, to become another slant on the Brisbane Sound. They were probably best described as "a wonderful slice of modern pop halfway between the Shadows and the Saints.""
Over and Beyond and Through
appears on the Inner City Sound CD - the must-have companion to the VCP reprint of Walker's iconic book - released through Laughing Outlaw.


Anonymous said...

Thanks - that's a real rich nugget of firsthand info on the personnel of one of the more enigmatic bands from that period. I'm only left to wonder whether Cee Walker was living at Kenmore when he was going to Corinda High - woulda been a tricky commute....