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Tall Dwarfs are a New Zealandmarker rock band formed in 1981 by Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate who, through their do-it-yourself ethic, helped pioneer the lo-fi style of rock music. The duo formed out of the ashes of Toy Love.

The band lacked a drummer but would use household objects and handclaps to act as percussion. Either member can play guitar; with 12 strings and bass guitar often heard on their records. Both can play organ as well, which has been utilised on some of their songs. The Casiotone is used frequently too, especially in live-concerts.

Their debut was the EP Three Songs (1981), and for many years they released EPs only. The album Weeville (1990) was their first full-length album. They did, however, release a number of full-length compilations of their EPs, like Hello Cruel World and The Short And Sick Of It.

In the liner notes to their album 3 EPs (1994) (released as a single CD, or as three vinyl EPs collected in one box) they asked for listeners' rhythm tracks: "Send us your idea of a great T.D. throb." The responses came from many different countries and were used for the next album, Stumpy (1997). This album was therefore officially credited to "International Tall Dwarfs."

Bands who have claimed to be influenced by the Tall Dwarfs include Elf Power, Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control. In 2005 they did a small number of concerts in the USA, playing with the Olivia Tremor Control.


Date of Release Title Label
1981 Three Songs Flying Nun Records
1982 Louis Likes His Daily Dip Flying Nun Records
1983 Canned Music Flying Nun Records
1984 Slugbucket Hairybreath Monster Flying Nun Records
1985 That's The Long And Short Of It Flying Nun Records
1987 Fork Songs Flying Nun Records
1986 Throw A Sickie Flying Nun Records
1987 Dogma Flying Nun Records
1998 Gluey, Gluey And The Ear Friend Flying Nun Records
1990 Weeville Flying Nun Records
1996 Stumpy
(as the International Tall Dwarfs)
Flying Nun Records
1998 Fifty Flavours of Glue Flying Nun Records
2002 The Sky Above The Mud Below Flying Nun Records
Compilation Albums
1988 Hello Cruel World Flying Nun Records
1991 Fork Songs Plus Dogma Flying Nun Records
1992 The Short And Sick Of It Flying Nun Records
1994 3 EPs Flying Nun Records

Featured appearances

Music by the Tall Dwarfs has appeared on many compilations by Flying Nun Records in both New Zealandmarker and Australia. The following is a list of these albums that have featured tracks by the Tall Dwarfs.

And on other labels than Flying Nun:

External links

  • Stasis - Tall Dwarfs, Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate fansite
  • Flying Nun - Flying Nun Records official website

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