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WELD: By Steve McLennan

Weld: was a number of very different yet tenuously connected things. On one
hand it was a dark and brooding technolgy driven studio beast which primarily
featured me on vocals, percussion and the occasional bit of guitar trickery and Tinno on gadgetry, programming etc.
We recorded a number of demoes of self-penned odes to sereal killers, requiems for friends lost through suicide and challenges to holy deities to prove their very existence. To help Tinno maintain some sense of sanity (and keep me
off the guitar) we were aided and abetted through the process by Trevor Dare
(guitar), Ngariki (guitar, bass) and Julie Wilson (vocals).
In its next incarnation as a live band Ngariki remained on guitar, Cyd came into the fold on bass and Ronnie Bult once again jumped behind the kit (talk about a glutton for punishment). I dealt with the vocal duties in my own inimitable way as well as adding extra percussion to specific pieces of the performance. (This had worked well in Freak $hop so...when you're on a good thing...)
This basic line-up was augmented by the voluptuous Sue Carson on violin and operatic vocal stylings. (You should have seen her in that red velvet medieval gown !!!!) and Khlenn Hone joined us on sax as did the occasional exhuberant and / or drunken punter on percussion.
The final and most interesting version (in my humble opinion) of Weld: was only together for one night (January 18 1999 to be precise) and has since been refered to by the epithet "The Krakk Haus Krishnas". The name rose from a comment that my dear mother made that the band she heard over the airwaves on that fateful night "sounded like a bunch of Hare Krishnas on drugs". I'm not sure exactly how this came about but somehow we'd been asked to perform "Live To Air" on University Radio 2NURFM. The process of throwing together a diverse array of musicians at a day's notice, getting them copies of the recorded material and then conjuring up a mode of performance that would work for such an eclectic mish-mash of instruments (violin, saxophone, electric bass, mandolin, 2 x acoustic guitars, blues harp, djembe, udu drum, assorted cymbals, shakers, rattles and "found objects" like water cooler refills) was totally exhilarating.
A number of us plied ourselves with beer & the goodly herb while Tinno
guided the ensemble into the tiny studio, set up a couple of mikes and gave us the nod that all was ready. The atmosphere was electric and from the moment we kicked in to the coked-up paraoia of "Bigger" through to the last fading strains of
an ill-conceived yet heart-felt rendition of T.Rex's "Children Of the Revolution" we played like men and women possessed, teetering on the edge of total oblivion before gleefully careening headlong into the abyss. The most sublime moment is captured in "For Rosie's Sake" when Khlenn's mournful and tortured sax gives way to the most tender, melancholic duet between violinist Phil Young and Tinno on mandolin before both are symbolically buried under the sheer weight of everthing else crashing in around them.
The ebb and flow is underscored by Linda's hopeful, yet inevitably doomed
heartbeat on the udu drum. The sadness of the piece is devastating albeit short lived as almost immediately our spirits are lifted by the primeaval drum intro to "Make A Name For Yourself" a nod to the psycopath within us all.
Heady stuff indeed.
Barry Divola might have even liked it.