This November, NZ’s Flying Nun records will celebrate their 30th year as a label. Record store-proprietor-turned-label founder, Roger Shepherd recently discussed the upcoming festivities and reissues on Kiwi FM. Several new releases are slated for 2011 (including Popstrangers, Surf Friends, T54, and Grayson Gilmour), they’ll release “Tally Ho” a best of CD comp (paying homage to the song responsible for starting the label), and (more excitingly) a double LP comp that focuses on early 80s obscurities. Entitled “Time To Go,” the 2LP comp will explore the label’s early history on the  South Island. Additionally, “Time To Go” will be compiled by Bruce Russell, who worked at Flying Nun during that time, before leaving to start Xpressway (Now dead and buried, but a lot of Xpressway stuff has found it’s way onto other labels like Ajax, Turbulence, New World of Sound etc..)

Upcoming re-releases include a complete vinyl compilation of the Pin Group’s material, re-releases of HDU’s ‘Metamathics’ (originally released on Shoot The Freak Records) and The Shocking Pinks first album ‘Dance, the Dance Electric’ (originally on Pinacolada Records). Dates for vinyl re-releases of the debut albums by The Bats – Daddy’s Highway,  and The 3Ds – Hellzapoppin, as well as singles from new signings (Pop Strangers, Surf Friends and T54) will be officially announced soon.

Furthermore, Flying Nun has reason to celebrate their ability to regain creative control–a victory over a somewhat tumultuous past, which seems to be behind them. In 1990 Festival Records bought a fifty percent stake in Flying Nun, and then in 2000 merged with Mushroom Records bringing Flying Nun into the Festival Mushroom Records family of companies. Flying Nun was bought 100% as part of the purchase of FMR (Festival Mushroom Records) by Warner Music Group in 2006, but thankfully bought back from Warner in 2009, by Roger Shepherd. He said he bought it for “more than what I sold it for”. New Zealand musician, Neil Finn, his wife, Sharon, and another silent business partner, together own a quarter share in the repatriated record label.

Richard Langston’s mid 80s zine that tracked early Flying Nun bands in NZ, entitled ‘Garage zine’ has been re-issued as a free PDF download. Get them here:  Garage 1   Garage 2   Garage 3

Additionally, there will be 30th anniversary parties in Auckland and Wellington, and additional shows by participating artists. Realllllly hoping some of these tours will make their way to NYC. (Sorry for the obnoxiously large poster)