They rock. They rolled with the punches. They’re from Wellington, and widely acclaimed as the best rock band ever to come out of New Zealand. And they will tour the country in October to celebrate their 30th anniversary.
Shihad, 30 years on: Karl Kippenberger, Phil Knight, Jon Toogood, Tom Larkin
by Mark Cubey
The first time I saw Shihad was in the upstairs bar of the Clarendon on the corner of Taranaki Street (where Molly Malone’s no stands empty). My friend Ania Glowacz had insisted I go and, standing about a metre away from a long-haired teenage singer and guitarist Jon Toogood as he wailed into the mic on top of a punishing assault from his companions, I thought: very thrash, very metal.
It was around 1990, not long after Jon Toogood and drummer Tom Larkin got together at Wellington High School and added guitarist Phil Knight. They were on their third bassist, Hamish Laing (Karl Kippenberger took his place shortly afterwards, and stuck around). They were already really good.
Since then they’ve just got better. Shihad have had 25 singles in the NZ Top 40, more than any other NZ artist, released nine studio albums of which five went to #1 (an NZ record shared with Hayley Westenra), changed their name to Pacifier, changed it back to Shihad, were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame (in 2010), toured all over the world, and relentlessly in New Zealand, and supported their heroes, AC/DC.
Now, 30 years after they kicked the whole thing off, Shihad are touring in October in an anniversary celebration of their status as one of the most primo live experiences on the planet.
Though the band have no new album to support, they will be releasing their classic 1999 LP The General Electric on vinyl for the first time.
Shihad will play Shed 6 in Wellington on Saturday 20 October, after kicking off the tour in Christchurch the previous night.
Other New Zealand dates follow, in New Plymouth (21 October), Hamilton (25 October), Auckland (26 October) and Mt Maunganui (27 October), ahead of an Australian tour in November.
Pre-sale tickets for the 30th Anniversary Tour go on sale from shihad.com from midday on Tuesday 28 August, with general sale tickets available from 9:00am on Thursday 30 August.
You should get amongst it.