By Tony Parker
Shakes (Chris Prendergast to his mum) is a bit of a Dunedin legend, having briefly been a member of the Enemy back in the day when he couldn’t decide whether he was a surfer or a punk. He was, and still is probably, both. In the intervening years Shakes has fronted numerous bands, toured a bit and eventually found himself back in Dunedin surfing, playing music and drinking Emersons. Now, 30 years on, he has put together an album of songs, some dating back to the early ‘80s, some new, all recorded with three-piece band Stingray that seems the perfect vehicle for his music. In a simple, almost lo-fi approach, recorded by Alan Haig and David Kilgour, this album has echoes of Dunedin bands past like The Bats and The Chills. Guitars jangle in a Byrdsian way while the rhythm section shuffles and chugs along convincingly as Shakes creates a hybrid indie/surf/pub rock sound that is refreshing in its simplicity and lack of pretence. It’s taken Shakes a long time to get this far but it has certainly been worth the wait. Yes, he still surfs but is probably not as much of a punk as he used to be.