Hailing from Wairarapa, Spank are a four piece band with an upbeat britpop post-punk influence. There’s more than a smidgen of blues rock influence in their songs. Spank deliver a high energy set of original songs based on the ironies of life. The front person, Nikki, delivers the set with energy and attitude, whilst delivering sultry and sometimes overdriven lead lines on the cornet.
Their first EP/demo was released in 2014 just before their launch gig at King Street Live Masterton in October. Since then they have released 3 further EPs, the latest being Down to the Wire in October 2017.
There’s been a few changes to the line up, Kathy left in 2015 and was replaced with drummer Dave, and more recently Sheldon hung up his guitar, chasing his dream of gigging in Wairarapa’s top kitchens. Sam joined us in July 2018.
Nikki’s background is blues, pop with a smidgen of jazz and brass band and she cites her biggest performance influence as the great Freddie Mercury. She delivers powerful vocals as well as playing the guitar and playing the cornet.
Their album Slap-up and Noblest was recently reviewed by NZ Musician magazine and described as being “full of energy” and gave special mention to the “synergy” between the rhythm section. Nikki’s trumpet playing was notable as their “point of difference”.
If you listen very carefully you will hear the many stories Spank have to tell that are splattered with irony and dark humour backed by vibrant and exciting melodies and music.
(Vocals, Trumpet and Rhythm Guitar)
Influenced by her father, Nikki began her playing at the age of 5. Born and raised in St Helens, part way between Liverpool and Manchester, she was heavily influenced first by the Liverpool sound and then the emerging Manchester sound in the 80’s.
She first worked professionally with a 60’s band called The Chancers on the North Wales circuit. She subsequently secured a place as a resident entertainer at Bodelwyddan Castle Hotel, at the time Warner Holidays premier resort. There she worked with some of the historical big names such as Frankie Vaughan, Marty Wild and the Wildcats and The Bachelors.
Her next foray was to learn the cornet under the tuition of jazz stalwart Ronnie Darlington. She played with the then First Section Bollington Brass Band as a back row cornet player. She was also a vocalist with None of the Above and No Fit State, a rock and punk band formed out of the remnants of the band The Wild Ones.
After a 10 year break, she made a return to music with Masterton District Brass, as a repiano cornet player but moved to Soprano cornet following her love of the high register.
Returning to grass roots music scene Nikki was cornet player and vocalist with the band Growler (an over 40s girl band project), and also played brass with Spookytones. She has also done some fill in brass with Back the Truck Up, a Masterton Ska Band.
Sam is a multi instrumentalist, he’s been playing the guitar since he was a wee one. His first formal foray into music was with Masterton Brass Band on the cornet. He was the bass player in Masterton Intermediate School Band and competed in the Intermediate Schools Battle of the Bands where the band came second. He’s also played in the Manawatu Regional Final of Smoke Free Rock Quest this time on drums. Currently his interests (aside from Spank) are in beats which he creates in his bedroom. Sams influences are many, he enjoys metal and lots of other types of music.
Pete (Bass Guitar)
Pete is the bands bass player and Nikki’s husband and they have been playing together and living together since 1998. Both Nikki and Pete played in None of the Above based in Manchester City Centre at the University.
Before meeting Nikki, Pete played with a number of other bands whilst at university in Manchester, notably a goth band called Blood and an earlier incarnation of None of the Above. He played for a while in Spookytones as the bassist taking the place of Duke Molnar. He has also played keyboards and the cello and more recently the tuba. Pete has an eclectic taste in music which shows in the music and bass lines he creates.
Dave has joined the band in 2015, taking over from Kathy. He is a drum tutor at a local intermediate school. His amazing drumming has lifted the band to a different level. His super cool toms and his super tight punk sounds give the band an energetic feel. He plays with the Wairarapa Community Orchestra, and has a radio show on ArrowFM in his spare time. He started his musical career with Betteshanger Colliery Band playing cornet. He learned to play drums, starting on the snare drum with Royal Military School of Music in Deal in Kent. Dave also dabbles with the Trombone in his spare time.