Vapour + The Trails

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Al Park Collection


Vapour and The Trails - circa late 1970s
Terry Bird, Al Park, Murray Olds and Leigh Perry

Through his running of the second-hand section of Echo Records, Al's circle of friends was growing, and it included innovative mechanical engineer John Britten and musicians Leigh Perry and Ian Whitehead - they were joined by a drummer and a bass player, and this unit became Vapour and the Trails.  Their first gig was at a two-night fashion parade organised by John Britten, who had designed a wedding dress for the finale.  The first night's performance did not eventuate due to time constraint, but the following night, everyone went crazy, and they had to do their whole set twice.


Terry Bird, Leigh Perry, Ian Whitehead, Al Park
Murray Olds in front

Al Park during a work-break
Christchurch City


As they consolidated, the group added more and more punk material - with an attendant rise in decibel levels, and this led to them having to vacate their Arts Centre Practice Room, necessitating a move to Mollett Street.  By August 1977, with the name Mollett Street having stuck (no longer the intended Club de Rox), and although initially planned as a private club it became THE venue with its punk attitude, party atmosphere, $1 entry, and groups lining up to perform.  When it closed 18 months later, and Vapour and The Trails needed a gig, they approached the Gladstone on Durham Street, auditioned, got the gig, and attracted 1100 on the first weekend and 1300 the second.  Old Denis was formed and was playing down at the British Hotel in Lyttelton.  Al felt the urge to go overseas, and in 1981 he headed for Los Angeles - with no particular game-plan, and he returned home that same year, to form Louie and The Hotsticks.


Vapour and The Trails  —  Hillsborough

Vapour and The Trails outside The Town Hall, Christchurch - late 1970s

Vapour and The Trails  —  DB Lancaster Park


Vapour and The Trails
.... at the Marine Tavern, Sumner, Christchurch - late 1970s

Vapour and The Trails
.... article in Christchurch Press - 23rd August, 1979

Vapour and The Trails + The Vauxhalls
... at the DB Gladstone, Christchurch - late 1970s

Vapour and The Trails
.... at the Cave Rock Hotel, Sumner - late 1970s


Additional Al Park and related groups information is available on the Audio Culture Website .....


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