Big Sideways


UK musician Ivan Zagni was the key instigator and musical director of both Big Sideways and Avant Garage, two Auckland bands which grew out of a Labour Department initiative for unemployed musicians in the early 1980s. The depth of talent and amazingly innovative sounds they pulled together are a testament to his skills. Even today, the records produced still sound fresh and exciting.

Zagni had played guitar as a freelance musician and was in several improvisational groups in London. Prior to that he worked as choirmaster in his hometown of Norwich, at the Norwich St John the Baptist Catholic Cathedral. He also composed several works for the cathedral. His first musical experience had been as a choirboy there, followed by guitar lessons at the age of 12.

Chris Green (saxophone) and Mike Russell (trumpet) of Big Sideways. They soon became an in-demand brass section called The Newton Hoons. 
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Big Sideways' brass section, 1982. Second from left is Jacqui Brooks on tenor saxophone. Mark Bell is to her left on guitar. Don McGlashan is guesting on saxophone (right).
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Big Sideways: side two of their debut album (Unsung, 1982). 
Justin Harwood and Debbie Harwood in Big Sideways.
Photo credit: Debbie Harwood Collection
Big Sideways - Conversations With A Machine (written and sung by Mark Bell, from Big Sideways' self-titled 1983 album)
Big Sideways. From left: Chris Green (in beret), Robbie Sinclair (in hat and sunglasses), Phil Steel, Lee Connolly, Mike Russell, John Quigley. - Photo by Charles Jameson.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Big Sideways, a 1983 publicity shot. Clockwise from the bottom: Lee Connolly, Phil Steel, Mike Russell (with trumpet), Robbie Sinclair in the doorway, Chris Green (in white sunglasses), John Quigley with guitar.
Photo credit: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Ref PAColl-9882-001
Big Sideways - an illustration by Bob Withers. From left: Mike Russell, Robbie Sinclair, Debbie Harwood, Lee Connolly, John Bongo (Quigley), Phil Steel, Chris Green.
Photo credit: Chris Bourke collection
Big Sideways - Run From Here (written by John Quigley, from Big Sideways' self-titled 1983 album)
Big Sideways: side one of their debut album (Unsung, 1982). 
An early incarnation of Big Sideways, c. 1982. From left: Robbie Sinclair, Chris Green, Lee Connolly, Mike Russell, Sonya Waters John Quigley, and Phil Steel.
Big Sideways - Your Best Friend's a Moose (an instrumental written by Scott Calhoun, from Big Sideways' self-titled 1983 album)
Big Sideways - Let It Out (12" single, 1983 - written by John Quigley)
Big Sideways - Let It Out 12" (1983)
John Bongo (Quigley) of Big Sideways. 
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Kelly Rogers, Ivan Zagni and Chris Green of Big Sideways.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Big Sideways self-titled debut album (Unsung, 1982)
Debbie Harwood in Big Sideways, 1983.
Photo credit: Debbie Harwood Collection
Brent ‘Syd’ Pasley, John Bongo (centre) and Kelly Rogers of Big Sideways.
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Big Sideways set list, circa 1983
Photo credit: Mark Everton collection
Trivia:

In 1987 John Quigley – as Johnny Bongo – and Debbie Harwood released his Big Sideways song ‘Blue Water’ as a 12" single on Pagan. The duo won the “most promising group” at the RIANZ music awards that year. A video for the song was directed by Jed Town.

Labels:

Unsung Music

Members:

Ivan Zagni - guitar

Mark Bell - guitar

Jacqui Brooks - tenor saxophone

Lee Connolly - drums

Chris Green - baritone saxophone

Paul Hewitt - drums, percussion

Brent ‘Syd’ Pasley - guitar

John Quigley - guitar

Kelly Rogers - alto saxophone

Robbie Sinclair - bass

Phil Steel - percussion, vocals

Debbie Harwood - vocals

Justin Harwood - bass

Tim Robinson - drums

Mike Russell - trumpet

Sonya Waters - keyboards

Gill Civil - keyboards

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