The Smoke: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — July 8, 2022


509) The Smoke — “No More Now”

Nuggets 2 concludes that this ‘67 Kiwi B-side “features some of the most vicious, overdriven guitar performances ever to be released in the Southern Hemisphere. . . . Brett Tauri’s savage slash ‘n’ burn guitar[,] including a strangled raga break . . . makes the song one for the ages.” Whoa, indeed it does. Andrew Schmidt calls “the feedback laced” song one of the best New Zealand singles of the ’60s. ( That is saying something.

Who is Brett Tauri? Andrew Schmidt informs us that:

The Smoke’s slight, long-haired guitarist Brett Tauri left home at 15, got his own flat . . . learnt one of the new instruments of teen rebellion (the bass) and grew his hair long, copping the usual redneck flak around town. At 16, Tauri hit out for America, playing guitar on a cruise ship headed for San Francisco . . . . He returned to New Zealand in 1965 . . . . Smoke played their first show at the infamous Battle of the Bands at the Auckland Town Hall in January 1967, when a bogus Australian promoter skipped with the proceeds and the prizes. The Smoke attracted the attention of local promoters . . . who set them up with South Auckland residencies . . . . ‘No More Now’ was one of the Smoke’s rave numbers, a loosely structured, semi-improvisational jam. . . . [It] sold well in the Auckland area, gaining the band a lot of work. It also made good ground in the Dunedin and Christchurch charts, and sold well in the United States, England and Germany, where it had good radio play on Radio Berlin. . . . . The Smoke [then recorded] their follow-up single, a version of Procol Harum’s Someone ‘Following Me’, together with a . . . Tauri composition, ‘Control Your Love’, which featured a swinging dance beat, wild Tauri guitar, and a reflective lyric. They played one final . . . tour with Larry’s Rebels . . . . Then . . . they were gone. Brett Tauri played in several bands in New Zealand . . . . [and then] worked as a session guitarist well into the 21st Century.

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