by Rich Manic

Mixtape: Captain Festus McBoyle

by Rich Manic

Mixtape: Captain Festus McBoyle

Tāmaki Makaurau’s punk rock pirate Captain Festus McBoyle, aka Rich Manic has just released his fourth studio album titled ‘Look Wot The Cat Dragged In’. With an international fanbase frothing for the release the award-winning comedy/novelty family music artist intricately produced the album with help from a tight and talented team of friends, and the support of NZ On Air Music. NZM asked the multifaceted Manic to create a mixtape featuring some of his own favourites, which he generously filled with tales of travels, eclectic fandom, local lovin’ and some damn fine rock tunes. 

Motorhead: Ace Of Spades

Can’t beat a bit of metal – I’m a bogan from West Auckland after all! I got to be a Motorhead roadie on their last NZ tour. Met the man, a real gentleman. It was an honour to carry his dirty washing and to partake in his extensive rider!

Hoodoo Gurus: Like Wow – Wipeout!

This song still blows my mind, especially when the harmonies kick in. I’ve seen them live numerous times and just brilliant every time. I was at the Powerstation just the other week to see them again. One of the great Aussie rock bands of all time. A lot less hair these days but one cannot defy gravity. They rock the pants off most bands regardless of both hair and age. Even saw them live at The Gluepot.

Captain Festus McBoyle: Breathe

This song was meant to be a collab project with Levity Beet and Fleabite but I just couldn’t share it. It just had to be completed by me. It’s about being present, staying in the moment and remembering to Breathe. Nothing is as bad as you first think. Really pleased with this one, less comedic and definitely more message-driven. Amos Clarke at Show Pony Studio engineered this one, we both mixed it and then Chris Chetland at Kog mastered it. A good song which brings skills and hope for difficult times.

The D4: What I Want

One of the best live NZ bands ever. I used to supply them with T-shirts back in Manic shop days in High Street. Lovely lads, very polite but possessed animals on stage. More powerful than a sledgehammer. I like sledgehammers – very therapeutic tools I find.

Dance Exponents: Checking To See That Your Kiss Is The Same

One of the first NZ bands I saw live. I guess Jordan was my first ‘man crush’, besides Brett Anderson from Suede. A great band and a great frontman. Bumped into him out of the blue in the ’90s in Canning Town in London. We were both getting onto a No.15 bus.

First time I saw them live was at The Venue on Symonds St. That was Russell Crowe’s (aka Russ Le Roque) old club. Jordan was looking for a light – the only time I wished I smoked and had a lighter!

Captain Festus McBoyle: This Song is Pants

An epic true story and a bit of a tribute to Monty Python, I feel. Again, the message to stay present and to be in the moment can be found.

Life without your trousers is far more difficult believe me! A play on words – when something is pants, it’s said to be rubbish. This song is definitely not rubbish – it’s a goodie! Ebenezer Strong on gats, yours truly on banjolele (1930’s Pearloid London Broadcaster).

Suede: Animal Nitrate

Loved that song. I was in London when that came out – the one band I didn’t see live.

Was hanging out a lot at the Intrepid Fox in Soho, a place where I felt very comfortable wearing make-up and flaunting my girlie side. So much fun in London and a very hard adjustment coming back to Auckland. I formed a glam band when I got back to Auckland with Steven Ward (Five Go Mad) and Aidan Phillips (Silk Cut) called Teenshag Superstar.

Suede are still one of my favourite bands. They bring back some very interesting memories.

The Cult: Wild Flower

Another truly savoury flavour. Remember it well cranking incredibly loud at the 5 bands for 5 bucks nights at the Powerstation – one of the best places to play. A great place to see live bands too. Saw The Cult there a little while back. Such infectious guitar riffs and solid drums. Disappointed that Ian Astbury felt the need to hide behind sunglasses all night – there was no sun! Billy Duffy was a god that night!

Captain Festus McBoyle: Dance Like a Sea Anemone

This song was something completely fresh – an educational punk song and a tribute to Chris Knox and his band The Enemy. He loved it, called us ‘the punk rockers of the kids’ world’.

I love that quote and I use it regularly. Learnt so much about sea anemones too. Did you know that they only have one hole? That one hole can eat and poo – that truly is disgusting!

Adam Ant: Dog Eat Dog

Adam Ant (AKA Stuart Leslie Goddard) is still incredible. All the swagger of a 20-year-old and his voice is still holding together quite nicely. I love the way he moves, a wonderful entertainer who really fills me with hope what with being in my 50s now!
They have two drummers you know? Makes me very grateful that I’m still not a roadie – two kits is far too much gear to carry.

The Datsuns: MF from Hell

Definitely not a kids’ song, but an epic song all the same. These guys kick proverbial butt! Saw them live at The Kings Arms and it was truly incredible.

We did a kid’s show at The Kings Arms not long before it closed. A hair-brained scheme but my goodness what a gig! We sold out – had over 750 people crammed into The Kings Arms with thunderstorms and torrential rain outside – Captain Festus McBoyle’s Travellin’ Variety Show, a punk band called Torana and Mr Roberelli. Thank you Lisa Gordon for believing in our mad plan!

Captain Festus McBoyle: Seaweed Song

This song was an attempt to blend pirates with reggae – bugger me, it worked rather nicely!

Educational at times and even managed a shout-out to Bob Marley along the way. We like to transcend both age and culture with our music and try to show plenty of genre diversity. This was one genre I hadn’t explored yet. I think the only ones I haven’t touched now are disco and techno. Not sure if I’m that brave? Who knows though – never say never!

The Mockers: Forever Tuesday Morning

Another great Kiwi band – I saw them live first at the Howick Community Centre. Ended up under the stage – long story… I remember Andrew Fagan dancing above my head. My mate Paul Leadbetter drove us home in his matt black Morris 1100. We thought that car was so cool!
I gigged with Andrew Fagan in later years whilst in Runninghouse. A truly loveable and somewhat eccentric man!

Blam Blam Blam: Battleship Grey 

My first live gig. This was at Manurewa High School when they were doing school tours. I loved it. It was a lunchtime gig in the school hall. Most of the school was rather confused.

I fully got it and it pushed me to find like minds and go on to create some horrendous first musical projects including a Duran Duran cover band called Parisian. We had an old pink Peugeot as a bandwagon – we looked great but sounded terrible!

Captain Festus McBoyle: Leaking

This song is my favourite. So much work in this one. More of a comedy/novelty song but then I don’t see Captain Festus as being designed solely for kids. This song set out to recreate those early BBC radio broadcasts. Intentionally lo-fi and very much a true story. It was written with much fondness about the phone conversations I have with my Mum. We love to unload and complain on the phone. It’s our English right I feel. It’s a song which makes me smile, written without judgement or prejudice. It’s a song from the heart, meant to bring lightness and joy.

Chris Knox: My Only Friend

So many great Chris Knox songs. This is but one that I love.

Chris Knox always just does his thing, he’s honest and he’s real and that’s something I admire and respect. Privileged to have gigged with him back in the Runninghouse band days too. We’ve incorporated him into one of our music videos (Jack Spratt) and written a punk song in his honour (Dance Like a Sea Anemone). I’m pretty sure he approved of both efforts!

Bressa Creeting Cake: Palm Singing

Quite an incredible band. I never saw them live, unfortunately. But I was very lucky to work with Ed Cake [aka Ed McWilliams] on one of our songs, Love Song 4 Lucy. Such a different kind of mix for Captain Festus but one which set the mark for the future. Intentional lo-fi, pushing levels and creating something rather magical – that’s Ed Cake for ya! Another person I need to reach out to again. Thanks for the reminder.

Captain Festus McBoyle: Love Song 4 Lucy

Engineered by Jason Smith and mixed by Ed Cake. I wrote this for my lovely wife Miss Lucy Drawers for Valentine’s Day. She loved it and a lot of brownie points were scored. She truly is a beautiful lady and very patient. Putting up with me is no easy task I’ll tell ya!
Got to pull out my 1920s GH and S banjolele for this one. Big thanks to Barebones Acoustic Instruments. Love ya Bones, you’re a magician!

Voom: King Kong

Another great staple in any Kiwi song list. Buzz Moller is a clever sort indeed. He also did a great job with the bFM Kids Show, I have to say. I chatted with him on the phone for advice at one stage. He seemed to like what we were doing. Did mention maybe doing some writing with me but we both got busy and never reconnected, unfortunately. Maybe I’ll reach out to him again. King Kong is a great song – listen and go ape – I dare ya!

The Swingers: Counting The Beat

Still love this song, such a classic! I grew up in South Auckland so a little outside of the live band scene in my early days. I was a late bloomer musically and didn’t start till I was nearly 20. I remember seeing this song on Ready To Roll as a kid. It blew my mind and again drove me toward seeking like minds and making some terrible musical first efforts. I used to sing with my back to people at first. Now I’m in your face without mercy -what a turnaround!

You can’t blame The Swingers entirely but they did help immensely!

Captain Festus McBoyle: McBoyle’s Meditation Medication

This is actually an 11-minute meditation designed to help kids sleep. It soothes, it calms, it gives parents a break. This was a collaboration with Vishaal Brahm who is a sound healer and also a talented blues guitarist based in Lake Rotoma. He used to play in the Ted Clarke Backdoor Blues Band. Good mate of mine and a lovely man. This track includes an ‘armonica and the trickling noises of Henderson Creek.

Iggy Pop: I Wanna be Your Dog 

I saved this one ’til last. I really like dogs. They are usually very loyal and much fun. Poo patrol was one of my jobs as a kid at my house. Never enjoyed that at all. Our dog would always poo beside the Para pool on the far side. If you missed one it would be very unpleasant whilst floating on your lilo listening to Wham’s Club Tropicana

Iggy is amazing and this song speaks for itself. Seen him live twice – blew my mind – BOOM!


Festus’ new album, out now!