November 9, 2022

The Chills

artwork by George Gillies

Legendary New Zealand band and innovators of the Dunedin sound, The Chills tour Australia for the first time in six years with a setlist packed with timeless gems like ‘Heavenly Pop Hit’, ‘Pink Frost’, ‘Doledrums’ and ‘I Love My Leather Jacket’. Tickets on sale now!


WED FEB 15: BRISBANE POWERHOUSE with special guests PRIMITIVE MOTION. Tickets on sale here.
THU FEB 16: CITY RECITAL HALL, SYDNEY with special guests MERE WOMEN. Tickets on sale here.
FRI FEB 17: MONA FOMA, LAUNCESTON. Tickets on sale here.
SAT FEB 18: MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE with special guests PARSNIP. Tickets on sale here.

Mistletone proudly presents the return of The Chills, one of the most storied and accomplished bands of our times. Fronted by Martin Phillipps, The Chills have garnered a large and loyal cult following on the strength of their diverse sound — melding jangle-pop with punk rock ethics. 

The songwriting skills, vision and conviction of Phillipps have carried The Chills across the decades, and since last visiting Australia six years ago, The Chills have released their highly acclaimed seventh studio album Scatterbrain, another peerless collection of pure pop. The Chills bring a three-decade, career-spanning setlist to swoon for, packed with timeless gems like ‘Heavenly Pop Hit’, ‘Pink Frost’, ‘Doledrums’ and ‘I Love My Leather Jacket’.

“The fact that the New Zealand legends at the peak of their powers, radiating health and good cheer while weaving their way through a set from their 40+ year career, is enough to reaffirm your faith in the goodness of the universe” – Spectrum Culture USA

The Chills circa 1990

“I can see now where we were in the history of things,” Martin Phillipps told a recent US interviewer. “With the success of R.E.M., the major studios were looking for other indie bands that might have crossover potential. And we were obviously seen as a kind of New Zealand possibility for that.”

History has indeed been kind to The Chills, and has made them one of the most loved New Zealand groups of all time. Torchbearers of the legendary Flying Nun sound, The Chills reign triumphant after 40 tumultuous years. Helmed by the enigmatic Martin Phillipps, creator of endless jangle-pop wonders, The Chills are in a buoyant new phase of creative vigour and consistently brilliant showmanship that has wowed fans the world over.

Martin’s determination has carried The Chills across the decades, through a series of lineup changes and tragedies, building a large and loyal cult following on the strength of their albums and live shows in over 40 countries worldwide. Inspired by the punk scene, Martin formed The Chills with Peter Gutteridge in 1980. Peter soon departed, precipitating a series of lineups, with Martin the only constant. A significant loss for the band was Martyn Bull, whose death in 1983 inspired ‘I Love My Leather Jacket’, the jacket being a bequest Martyn Bull had left to Martin. In the past decade The Chills have solidified, with the same lineup of impressive and devoted musicians, who enable Martin to build on the legacy of his ever-growing collection of timeless songs.

The Chills were riding high in the 1980s: touring the world extensively, recording three John Peel BBC sessions, releasing two major label albums (Submarine Bells and Soft Bomb), and returning to a hero’s welcome, with Submarine Bells going to #1 in New Zealand. College radio favourites in the US, The Chills were predicted to follow in the footsteps of major successes like The Pixies and R.E.M. An upheaval in the musical landscape and Martin’s poor health during the late 1990s slowed him down, yet the band released a three-CD boxed set, EPs, an album of home recordings and a tribute to NZ music legend, Chris Knox.

Through a fortuitous meeting in 2011, the band was offered a new path forward, signing with London’s Fire Records. A very productive period ensued with a live double album, three new singles, and the John Peel BBC Sessions released in short order. The band travelled to Thailand to begin recording their first full length album in 20 years, 2015’s highly acclaimed Silver Bullets. Steady touring throughout NZ, UK, Europe and US followed, along with a short film, The Curse of The Chills. In 2018, the band went back into the studio to record Snow Bound, which they performed at a sold-out Sydney Festival, along with a 22-date US tour, culminating in eight performances at SXSW, where the band was awarded The Grulke Prize for International Career Act.

The Chills’ history, and Martin’s life story, were poignantly documented by filmmaker Julia Parnell for 2019’s acclaimed The Chills: The triumph and tragedy of Martin Phillipps. Martin gives a candid account of his rollercoaster musical career and his demons, a testament to the power of the creative urge in overcoming adversity. Martin’s health having improved markedly, the band again went into the studio to record Scatterbrain (2021), a mature and honest reflection on life, destiny and the fate of our times. Like all Martin’s offerings, Scatterbrain is pure pop for the new normal, from one of the living greats. Martin’s determination stems from the punk rock ethics of his musical awakening, and proximity to people like Chris Knox who drove home how crucial it was to deliver music always with intensity and conviction. It’s the live energy and the consistent quality of their songs which have established The Chills as one of indie music’s all-timers.

The Chills are:

Martin Phillipps (Guitar and Vocals)
Callum Hampton (Bass and Backing Vocals)
Todd Knudson (Drums and Backing Vocals)
Erica Scally (Guitar, Keyboards, Violin and Backing Vocals) Oli Wilson (Keyboards and Backing Vocals)


artwork by George Gillies

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