I say joyously because this was one of the biggest bands of my younger years and because Martin, the singer and the band’s one constant through the years, has recovered from a life threatening illness after working through a multitude of life challenges and issues.
After I posted a KEXP performance by fellow Kiwi band the Bats last week a subscriber from New Zealand pinged me on Twitter about the NZ scene (I think centered in Dunedin and Christchurch) back then. I found the Chills in the late 80s, had my mind blown by the magical pop music created by this kid, and then found other bands (incl. the Bats) through a CD called ‘In Love With These Times‘ in 1990.
I had heard stories about some of Martin’s struggles as I faded away from the band’s music over the years (in truth they, or Martin, self-destructed) but am absolutely thrilled to find that they are alive and well, with Martin and a now fairly long-term group of musicians that seem to be fully on board.
This is a must see if they come to Boston, where I saw them many years ago and enjoyed immensely while trying to keep a lid on two British soccer hooligans who were looking for trouble in the audience. LOL, but it’s true. Martin also got pissed at something and smashed a beer bottle against the wall. Not sure if it had to do with the Brits or not. But something was in the air that night.
But anyway, check it out and especially marvel at the first song, which is one of the most beautiful and haunting I’ve ever heard. He was probably 17 or 18 when he wrote it. Blew me away along with a few others. Never had I heard pop like that.