The Chills frontman Martin Phillipps is set to tour Europe with the group for the first time in 18 years. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Martin Phillipps is ditching Dunedin's nights of chill blue
and heading to the sunshine of Europe.
For the first time in almost two decades, cult Dunedin band
The Chills is touring the UK and Europe.
''I think it was '96 that we last toured [Europe] properly,
so it's been a long time,'' frontman Phillipps told the
Otago Daily Times yesterday.
Phillips and his band mates - bassist James Dickson, drummer
Todd Knudson, violinist Erica Sally and keyboardist Oli
Wilson - left New Zealand this morning for a nine-date tour
in support of the band's new album Silver Bullets,
which is scheduled to be released next year.
''I really am [looking forward to the tour],'' Phillipps
''It's been quite weird over the last few years because we
were essentially treading water, doing just a few shows each
year. But now this new record label [Fire Records] and
opportunity to go overseas has finally showed up and it's
lifted our whole game.
''There's finally a reason for us to focus and move
The 51-year-old said the tour also provided an opportunity to
present their new material.
While the new material ''sounds like The Chills'', the band's
sound had evolved since the album Sunburnt was
released in 1996.
''After two weeks in the studio we were still smiling at each
other and still proud of what we have done,'' he said, of
recording the new album.
Phillipps would remain in London and mix the album after the
He conceded he had some nerves about whether he had ''the
stamina'' for touring, but a three-show tour of New Zealand
had shown him he did, he said.
The band had a cult following in Europe and North America in
the late '80s and early '90s and that still remained.
''What seems to have happened is a core group of old fans is
still there, but a whole heap of young people have discovered
the music in the meantime,'' he said.
As well as the new material, the band would play its
classics, including I Love My Leather Jacket.
And would the leather jacket make an appearance on stage?
''No it won't,'' Phillipps said.
''I don't fit it anymore, plus it's almost too valuable.
''I treasure it, but it's inappropriate for a 51-year-old to
be strutting around in a leather jacket which is a wee bit
The tour begins on July 23 in Leeds and concludes on August 2
with a show played as part of the Commonwealth Games in