The Prophet Hens (from left) Penelope Esplin, Robin
Cederman, Karl Bray and Darren Stedman. Photo by Jenny
Relative newcomers on the Dunedin music scene, The
Prophet Hens perform on the new stage at Chick's Hotel tonight.
The melodic jangle-pop foursome who cite seminal Dunedin acts
The Bats and The Chills as prime influences, first performed
in the city in mid-January fronted by guitarist/vocalist Karl
Bray, and joined by Penelope Esplin, guitarist John White
(The Blueness, Mestar) and drummer Sefton Holmes.
"I had quite a few little songs I noodled away on for years
by myself, mainly from influences like The Bats, The Chills,
old REM and the like," Bray says of the band's beginnings.
"Then John White came to live with me for a few months in
2011 and he was really keen to start playing them with me, so
he pretty much badgered me into a band. His tunes sounded
along the same lines, so it was just jangle-pop destiny. I
really wanted female backing vocals and that great organ
sound, so Penelope was a perfect fit."
Following a line-up change the group now includes Darren
Stedman, drummer of another seminal Dunedin act, the
Verlaines, and multi-instrumentalist Robin Cederman. The
acquisition of Stedman, according to Bray, was something of a
"Darren remembers it as me whining to him at the Albar that
our previous drummer had quit, and I was all 'What am I gonna
"He had heard us play and offered his services ... I guess I
hadn't even considered asking such an accomplished drummer, I
was a bit gobsmacked if I'm honest, I wasn't expecting that
The group has recently recorded an EP, and is currently in
talks with Ian Henderson's Fishrider Records about a
potential future release.
"We're pretty proud of what we've managed to get down," Bray
said. "Ian's label really has the right ethos for our band.
We're probably nearly double the average age of some other
Dunedin bands, so for us it's really about getting something
out there, a small tour and just having fun as opposed to
fame and fortune. Not that we'd say no to that, I imagine."
Tono and The Finance Company. Photo supplied.
Anthonie Tonnon, the man at the front of Tono and the
Finance Company, will play an intimate solo show at Inch Bar
Returning home from Auckland to film a video for the Finance
Company, Tonnon will celebrate the wrap in filming with two
sets between 7pm and 9pm.
The show will also mark Tonnon's first performance under his
given name as a solo entity, as he debuts new songs taking
him in a new direction away from his material as "Tono".
Tono and the Finance Company released their debut album Up
Here For Dancing to critical acclaim in March this year.
The Prophet Hens play with Nannystate and Astro Children at
Chick's Hotel, 9pm, tonight, $5 on the door.
A bus will leave from Countdown at 8.30pm, the uni library at
8.35pm, and return to town after the show.
Anthonie Tonnon plays at Inch Bar (8 Bank St, Northeast
Valley), 7pm-9pm tonight, free entry.