9 December 2020

Magik Roundabout - Everlasting Day/ Instrumental

Kiwi dreamers on a baggy tip
Label: M&G/ Wau Mr Modo/ Polydor
Year of Release: 1991

Back in the early nineties, I was a member of a band (unsigned and unsuccessful) who - for reasons of stubbornness or just plain coincidence - had a tendency to champion other groups who were not really on the tip list of most of the established music magazines. "Dave, have you heard Taste Xperience's new one? It's fantastic! They're going to be huge!" they'd rave inaccurately while I unknotted my bass guitar lead.

Magik Roundabout were another favoured group on the jaunts up the A127 back from the rehearsal rooms to my parent's house, with this song being the preferred track played from a somewhat worn out TDK cassette. They were an odd group to jump on, but one who clearly had some music business support behind them. This, seemingly their debut single, was produced by the highly sought-after Youth and released via the Polydor subsidiary M&G, thereby ensuring that the group dodged the usual indie chart slog and were allowed access to top quality pluggers and marketing moguls.

While this might have seemed absurd from a UK perspective and given the impression that the group had emerged from nowhere, the lead singer Peter van der Fluit had previously been a member of the New Zealand post-punk group The Screaming MeeMees , a group so successful in their home country that their 1981 single "See Me Now" became the first Kiwi record to enter their native charts at number one.

Following the split of that group, Peter studied for a Masters in Music at the University of Auckland, then moved to London in the early nineties and formed this lot, who perhaps not entirely unexpectedly combined the dominant blissed out baggy sounds of the era with the kind of gentle, understated and cheery vocals and melody lines more typically found on the New Zealand music scene. If you're listening to "Everlasting Day" and find yourself wondering whether it sounds like Crowded House on an ecstasy tablet, rest assured that was my first thought as well.

Such things should have had mass appeal in 1991, but "Everlasting Day" was a flop. Following this, they shortened their name to Magik (possibly to avoid lawsuits related to the popular children's television programme?) and issued two more singles in 1993, "Don't Look Now" and "Voice of a Generation". These didn't cut through either, and while an album was apparently recorded I can find no evidence it was actually released.

Following the dissolution of Magik, van der Fluit returned to Auckland and formed Liquidstudios who specialise in soundtrack work.

I'm not sure who the other members of Magik Roundabout were, though continual credits are given to a "J Chong" and "S Duncan" throughout their recording career, so I can only assume these were the other members. If anyone knows better (or has their full names!) please do let me know.

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Webbie - FootieAndMusic said...

It's pleasant enough, fits in with everything else from that year. Surprised that it didn't make the lower reaches of even the indie charts. Slightly related/unrelated - found this blog when looking for something else from the same era: You might already know it though.

23 Daves said...

The fact it was distributed by Polydor nixed it in that respect, I think. There are quite a few other "indie-style" singles from that period I suspect also got less attention than they deserved due to not being on independent or pseudo-independent labels. The Real People, Rain and Poppy Factory would, I suspect, have all attracted more publicity if they'd qualified for the indie charts.