Dominic Blazer Set to Release Solo Album

March 13th 2018

Dominic Blaazer has been a member of Greg Fleming and The Trains, The Chills, The Peter Styuvesant Hitlist, Smoothy, and Don McGlashan and SJD's bands - among many others. He's now set to release his own debut album 'The Lights of Te Atatu', and his first single 'I Never Said That I'd Be True!'.

Check out 'The Lights of Te Atatu' here.

Nick Bollinger says, "This is...Dominic Blaazer's first solo album, though there are only a few clues that it's not some celebrated singer-songwriter from the 70s. One is the local landmark in the title track ‘The Lights Of Te Atatu'. But mainly it's just the fact that had this record been released back then, we'd already know the songs, because they sound like classics... And in a song like ‘The Reason I Care' he goes all out: a sax solo straight out of ‘Baker St' followed by strings and, to top it off, a spoken monologue. It's fearless and perfect."
- Nick Bollinger, The Sampler (Radio NZ National), March 5th 2018

And from Graham Reid, "He makes those lights of Te Atatu seem magical and resonant, even though they are seen through heartbreak...The Reason I Care (a low and bluesy mood piece which ascends into a big hearted soulful ballad with sax)...might have dropped off the soundtrack to an Eighties movie.

At its best - the title track, Baby What Can I Say, Simple Love, the gently haunting Sunday Morning - these are fine songs and in another lifetime, when artists would look for material rather than write their own, any number here would be picked up."
- Graham Reid -

The album also made #1 on the NZ Album Heatseekers chart for the week commencing March 5th 2018.
Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica (where his father featured in the James Bond film ‘Doctor No'), before moving to the UK and then New Zealand, Dominic Blaazer has performed with and alongside some of the finest artists from Aotearoa and elsewhere. He is now putting his solo skills to the fore with the release of his own album, "The Lights of Te Atatu".

Here's a potted history of Blaazer's musical excursions to date - and they are impressive. He formed his first band Boys Will Be Boys ("all neighbours, make-up and frills") in London in 1981, before he joined North London indie-pop band A Riot of Colour in 1985. Part of the C86 generation, they released singles on labels Dreamworld (run by The Television Personalities' Dan Treacy) and Everlasting, and have a compilation due out on German label Firestation. Their finest moments including supporting David Thomas (Pere Ubu), the Wedding Present, meeting John Peel and subsequently recording a Peel Session in April 1986, which was broadcast three times.

Upon moving to New Zealand, he played keys for Greg Fleming and the Trains from 1993 to 2012, and The Chills in 1995/96 (playing their 1996 Big Day Out show), and was Hammond organist/songwriter with Auckland's favourite lounge-revival supremos, The Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist, who released their self-titled album in 1998 on BMG(NZ), and appeared in the films "I'll Make You Happy" and "Jubilee". From 1998 he was singer/guitarist/songwriter in sharp powerpop band Smoothy, sharing many stages (often the King's Arms) with members of Auckland's pop royalty, such as Voom, Mary and Shaft, and performing "Ear Honey" on TVNZ with Auckland Girls' Grammar choir.

And shall we mention his in-demand session skills? For: Pash, Dean Savage, Topp Twins, John Rowles, Ray Columbus, Shaft, The Nudie Suits, Phase 5, The Pet Rocks, Polaar, Garageland, Fang, Dimmer, The Brunettes, Jan Hellriegel, Goldenhorse, David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights, and The Clean, not to mention appearing on the Richard Dorfmeister compilation, A Different Drummer Selection, and playing keyboard for cult US musician Rodriguez's 2013 NZ dates. He's been a "key" member of SJD and Don McGlashan's bands, and is currently in Ghost Town alongside the legendary Jed Town (Features, Fetus Productions). Whew!

And now these gossamer strands have been woven into the 10-track album, "The Lights of Te Atatu", out on February 24th on vinyl and download. Some songs began life on the 2nd unreleased Smoothy album, with the remainder workshopped in Auckland collective, The Sugar Hits. Recording began at Lewis Eady Music on a Steinway Model B grand piano, with flugel-horn, drums, percussion, strings and vocals overdubbed there in subsequent sessions. Hammond, guitars, bass and oboe were added at The Tone Exchange in Queen St. The album was mastered and cut at Gearbox Records in London, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal Media in Germany.

Details of public "The Lights of Te Atatu" release shows will be announced very soon.


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