The Plunderers were an Australian power pop band which formed in May 1984 in Canberra. The group's founding mainstays were Nic Dalton on bass guitar and lead vocals and Stevie Plunder (born Anthony Hayes) on lead guitar and vocals. In October 1985 they added Andy Waterhole (aka Andy Lewis) on keyboards, guitar and harmony vocals but he left by June the following year. The group issued three mini-albums, Trust Us (June 1988), Sarah's not Falling in Love (April 1990), and Home Movie (1992); a live album, 13.7.91 Live! Live! Live! (1991); and three albums, No Era Is Safe (1986), Half a Cow (1986), and Banana Smoothie Honey (1992); before disbanding later that year. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described their early sound as "a punky brand of power pop that mixed frantic guitar riffs, sharp harmonies and diamond-hard pop melodies" before starting to "explore a more tripped-out kind of psychedelic revivalism". In 1989 Dalton and Plunder and their drummer, Geoff Milne, formed a side project, Hippy Dribble, playing "tongue-in-cheek, thrashy neo-psychedelic pop". In December 1990 the trio also formed Captain Denim to play "more laid-back songs mostly ... influenced by the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Country & Western and folkrock". Both these groups issued material including a split album, Silver Apples/Fade in 1994. In late 1992 former band mates, Lewis and Plunder, formed The Whitlams with Tim Freedman. Plunder died on 26 January 1996, aged 32 years-old and Lewis died on 12 February 2000, aged 33 years-old.
The Plunderers formed in May 1984 in Canberra with Nic Dalton (initially as Nic Name) on bass guitar and lead vocals; Lyndsey Dunbar on drums; and Stevie Plunder (born Anthony Hayes) on lead guitar and vocals. Dalton and Plunder had been members of Go Set Go, a folk-pop band, with Suzie and Jenny Higgie. Suzie later recalled "down at Commonwealth Park there used to be a tunnel with a power point ... My first band with Nic Dalton later of the Lemonheads and Stevie Plunder the Whitlams wrote most of our songs down there". The Plunderers' early sound was described by Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, as "a punky brand of power pop that mixed frantic guitar riffs, sharp harmonies and diamond-hard pop melodies". Dunbar soon left and the group went into hiatus for six months. In June 1985 Dalton and Plunder were joined by The Gadflys' drummer Pete Pillage (aka Pete Velzen), who also provided lead vocals. This line-up released their debut single, "Strange Affection" on their own label, Rattlesnake Records. It had been recorded in August with the group self-producing at Trafalgar Studios, Dalton was credited as Nic Name. The group moved to Melbourne in October and added Andy Waterhole (aka Andy Lewis) on keyboards, guitar and harmony vocals. They provided two music cassette albums, No Era Is Safe and Half a Cow, on Rattlesnake, both in 1986.
In July 1986 they relocated to Sydney without Waterhole and performed at inner-city venues. In June 1988 they issued their debut five-track mini-album, Trust Us, which was produced by Charlie Owen (guitarist, pianist for New Christs) on the Green Fez label. They followed in November with another single, "I Don't Mind", produced by Rob Younger (ex-Radio Birdman, vocalist for New Christs). The next month Pillage was replaced on drums by Geoff Milne (ex-Eastern Dark). The group issued their next single, "I Didn't Even See Them at All", in June 1989 on Citadel Records. In April the following year they issued another five-track mini-album, Sarah's not Falling in Love, which was produced by Younger and Ted Mulry (solo artist). In November another single, "Christo", appeared, which was followed in July the next year by a four-track mini-album, Home Movies, produced by Younger. McFarlane noted their sound had started to "explore a more tripped-out kind of psychedelic revivalism".
In 1989 Hippy Dribble was formed as a side project with Dalton as Nic Dribble, Milne as Geoff Dribble and Plunder as Stevie Dribble. Hippy Dribble played "tongue-in-cheek, thrashy neo-psychedelic pop" and issued a four-track extended play, Wild Strawberri, in November 1990 on their own Trip Records label. The trio formed another side project, Captain Denim, in December 1990 to play "more laid-back songs mostly from the very early Plunderers days when they were influenced by the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Country & Western and folkrock". In 1991 Dalton formed Godstar, a psychedelic pop band. He continued with The Plunderers in 1992, which issued a full length album, Banana Smoothie, Honey, on Citadel and an eight-track live album, 13.7.91 Live! Live! Live! on Club Records/Shock Records. The Plunderers disbanded by the end of the year when Dalton joined United States alternative rockers, The Lemonheads.
In 1993 Dalton and Plunder revived Hippy Dribble to release another four-track EP, Cheerleader, in September on Dalton's own label, Half a Cow. Then Dalton continued with Godstar to 1995. In April that year, Hippy Dribble resumed and issued a split album: their side is Silver Apples; while Captain Denim is on the other side with Fade; on the Half a Cow label. The material had been recorded four years earlier by the line-up of Dalton, Milne and Plunder. According to Dalton "Hippy Dribble were a bit more psychedelic and modern, whereas Plunderers were more of a rock band". After The Plunderers had disbanded Plunder joined New Christs and then formed The Whitlams with Tim Freedman and former The Plunderers' band mate, Andy Lewis (previously Andy Waterhole). Dalton performed in various groups, including Love Positions, The Gloomchasers and Ratcat; and also issued solo material. By 1995 Milne had joined Red Planet Rocketts on drums.
On 26 January (Australia Day) 1996, Stevie Plunder was found dead at the bottom of Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, aged 32 years-old. On 12 February 2000 Andy Lewis died, aged 33 years-old. In November 2000 Half a Cow re-issued Banana Smoothie, Honey in a 2× CD format with five bonus tracks originally released by Hippy Dribble or Captain Denim. In September 2005 Dalton recalled "The Plunderers kept saving our songs for our first album. Stevie Plunder died and we never got to record an album - my single biggest regret regarding music. We had all these great songs that were never recorded". In 2008 Dalton issued a retrospective album, Last Seen Near Trafalgar 87-89, which included original versions of early The Plunderers material.
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