avengers

In the late nineteen-sixties, New Zealand club owner Ken Cooper wanted a house band. The patrons shuffling in and out of The Plaice were fans of psychedelic music, so that’s the sound Cooper sought, assembling a handful of local musicians into a prefab paisley pop outfit. The resulting band was strong enough to nab a record contract, at the A&R man at their label accordingly treated them like a Kiwi Monkees, sourcing songs for them to perform and directing their personal style as much as their music. For a time, they were outfitted in bowler hats, mimicking British TV spy John Steed whose series shared a name with the band: The Avengers.

The band’s debut single, “Everyone’s Gonna Wonder,” was penned by Chris Malcolm, a songwriter who was born in New Zealand but largely grew up in the U.S. The song was inspired by a visit to coffee shop, where he was intrigued by a couple who sat staring at one another, completely oblivious to their surroundings. He wrote the song for and about them, taking his own pass at recording it before the label passed it on to the Avengers. The band took into the Top 10 on the New Zealand charts, a strong enough showing to spur two studio albums and a live disc, all released in the span of a couple years.

Listen or download —> The Avengers, “Everyone’s Gonna Wonder”

(Disclaimer: Music from the Avengers gets reissued every now and again, but I’m unclear on its ease of availability, especially at a local, independently-owned record store, where all album purchases should be made. If their album is available, please take the sharing of this track as enticement to engaged in commerce rather than a replacement for it. Although I believe putting this file in this space at this time constitutes fair use, I will gladly and promptly remove the song from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)

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