9 Dec 2021

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The Narcs


If you were to look at the New Zealand music charts anytime in the mid-80's Kiwi based band The Narcs were consistently riding high. In the golden age of touring bands, The Narcs filled pubs and concert halls, played numerous festivals and opened for iconic international acts like Queen and Elton John. They toured relentlessly up and down New Zealand and across the ditch with bands like DD Smash, Split Enz, Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel. They were also in the vanguard of bands who made music video hip.

The band started as a trio in Christchurch in 1980, scoring residencies at pubs and nightclubs. It wasn’t long before their hard-edged Australasian influenced rock sound had the band playing regularly to 800 people on Friday & Saturday nights. The trio started regular touring around the South Island where they quickly built a cult following. Their early recordings spawned power pop songs like First Chance To Dance, Over My Head, No Turning Back and Stay Away which helped define the Kiwi pub rock sound that grew with the rise of Hello Sailor, DD Smash, The Exponents and Pop Mechanics.

In 1983 the mainstay trio of Andy Dickson (guitar, lead vocal), Tony Waine (bass) and Steve Clarkson (drums) moved to Auckland and were soon joined by respected keyboardist Liam Ryan. Over the following years the band wrote a slew of radio and video hits including (You Took Me) Heart and Soul, Lazy Susan, Diamonds on China, Abandoned By Love and Missing In Action.

The Narcs’ legacy includes two EP’s, several singles, a shared live album with Coconut Rough, three studio albums – The Great Divide (1984), The Narcs (1986) and Push The Boat Out (1996), The band had a reputation for highly successful national tours and dynamic live performances.

In 1984 The Narcs stormed the New Zealand Music Awards claiming 5 RIANZ gongs on the back of the release of their album The Great Divide and the chart topping single (You Took Me) Heart and Soul. A CBS record deal at the time also saw H&S released in 9 countries around the world, something no other kiwi band apart from Split Enz had achieved before the rise of the internet.

The Narcs returned to the live concert scene playing at Mills Reef Winery in 2014. Following Steve Clarkson's retirement from the band, drummer Peter (Rooda) Warren of DD Smash joined as a guest to perform at the SnapaRock concert in Nelson in 2016 and has been with the band since.

In December 2017 The Narcs joined Australian band Pseudo Echo for a successful North Island tour and went back into the studio to record a new single Summerhill Stone which was released in March 2018 on the eve of their appearance in front of 12,000 music fans at the Selwyn Sounds Music Festival in Lincoln/Christchurch.

The Narcs continue to write new material and have just recorded another new single Not Over due for release late 2018. The band will be playing a limited run of live shows of the summer ahead and subject to availability are available for public, private and corporate events.

Band Members:
Peter 'Rooda' Warren (drums)
Andy Dickson (guitar, vocals)
Liam Ryan (keyboards)
Tony Waine (bass)



  • Christchurch

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