The Verlaines Profile

Andrew Schmidt
Published: 22 Aug 2013
Updated: 4 Feb 2021

It’s no surprise to find the song playing as the central characters in Scarfies – Robert and Duncan Sarkies’ smart evocation of Dunedin 80s student life – knit themselves together in their new home is ‘Death and The Maiden’. The Verlaines’ single could well be the ultimate 1980s student anthem.

The words and The Verlaines’ name itself have enough pretension and mystique to provoke the air of difference that keen young minds seek. And they fit the infectious and similarly appropriate, clangorous rush of trebly, reverberated guitar with locked-in rhythm, broken up only by a woozy, off-kilter middle, perfectly. Flip that July 1983 single and you get ‘CD, Jimmy Jazz And Me’, where The Verlaines’ Graeme Downes imagines himself in bohemian Paris with Claude Debussy and James Joyce.

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The Verlaines reviewed in Book of BiFim, 1986.
Graeme Downes and (right) Jane Dodd of The Verlaines, performing at the Kings Arms, Auckland, 2014.
1984 poster for The Captain Cook
Photo credit: Design by Sarah Caselberg
The Verlaines at Auckland's Windsor Castle probably in 1984
1985 Verlaines, Rip and Weeds poster
Photo credit: Design by Robert Scott
It Was Raining
Graeme Downes performing with The Verlaines
Zippy's Last Tour, February 1985
Bird Dog
Baud To Tears - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
Graeme Downes and Jane Dodd, The Verlaines, at the 2014 reunion gig at the Kings Arms, Auckland. 
Jane Dodd, The Verlaines.
David Mitchell poster for The 3Ds and The Verlaines. NYE 1991
Photo credit: Design by David Mitchell
The Verlaines, The Stones and The Clean. This was The Verlaines first gig as a three piece, 1981. They only played three songs before it was shut down
Robbie Yeats, Graeme Downes and Jane Dodd, probably early 1984
Joed Out bFM In Session
Juvenilia, 1993
The Verlaines, The Chant and The R.I.P. at the Dunedin Music Centre, 28th January, 1983
Photo credit: Graeme Hill Collection
Interview with Graeme Downes from The Verlaines, 30 June 1994. Directed by Ross Cunningham.
Come Sunday - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
C.D. Jimmy Jazz and Me - bFM In Session
The Verlaines.
The Verlaines in 1982 - Graeme Downes, Jane Dodd, Greg Kerr
Photo credit: Photo by Terry Moore
Graeme Downes.
The Verlaines at The Windsor Castle, Auckland, December 1985
Photo credit: Graeme Hill collection
The Funniest Thing
The Verlaines.
Graeme Downes on stage with the Verlaines performing 'Way Out Where', the title song of their 1993 album. The drummer to his left is Darren Stedman. 
Wind Song
Death and The Maiden (1983)
The Verlaines on the cover of Rip It Up, December 1985; original B&W photo by Jeremy Freeman
Where Do You Think You're Going - Live at Avalon Studios for Radio With Pictures (1987)
Death And The Maiden (live on National Anthem, May 2004)
The poster for the 1986 12-inch Doomsday single
Photo credit: Ian Dalziel collection
Robbie Yeats, The Verlaines.
Robbie Yeats, The Verlaines.
The Verlaines, Hallellujah - All the Way Home (Flying Nun, 1985). 
Hanging By Strands
1985 poster for Bird Dog by John Collie
Photo credit: Design John Collie
The Verlaines in the Californian desert, during the sessions for the 1993 album Way Out Where at NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, Los Angeles. From left: Darren Stedman, Mike Stoodley, Graeme Downes, and Paul Winders. 
Photo credit: Jeff Bender
The Verlaines outside Graeme Downes's home at 101 Dundas St, Dunedin, c. 1986, just before Bird Dog was released. From left: Jane Dodd, Robbie Yeats, Graeme Downes. 
The poster for The Verlaines' Hallelujah - All The Way Home, 1985
Photo credit: Graeme Hill collection
Jane Dodd and Robbie Yeats
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Ganley
Graeme Downes, The Verlaines.
Death And The Maiden
Untimely Meditations, 2012
Photo credit: Design by Todd Narbey
Graeme Downes, The Verlaines.

Graeme Downes - vocals, guitar

Jane Dodd - bass

Alan Haig - drums

Phillip Higham - bass

Craig Easton - guitar, vocals

Greg Kerr - drums

Anita Pillai - keyboards

Robbie Yeats - drums

Caroline Easther - drums

Mike Stoodley - bass

Gregg Cairns - drums

Paul Winders - guitar

Darren Stedman - drums

Russell Fleming - bass

Stephen Small - keyboards

Tom Healy - guitar

Rob Burns - bass

Chris Miller - bass


Flying Nun reissued Hallelujah - All The Way Home and Juvenilia in December 2013.


Flying Nun