Jay Clarkson

aka They Were Expendable, The Expendables, Breathing Cage

Jay Clarkson sits uncomfortably in the South Island indie continuum. She didn’t play the folk pop card, thump the garage rock drum or end up shaping sound or free noise. Her path was a determined and singular one.

A prolific songwriter who time and time again found the players to bring her music out in bands They Were Expendable, The Expendables, Breathing Cage, The Matches and solo, Clarkson’s songs are still revealing their worth over 30 years on. 

Breathing Cage
Playthings - Coloured (1981)
The Expendables - Michael Kime, Jay Clarkson, Robert Key
Jay Clarkson & The Containers - Far (2021)
Jay Clarkson
Photo credit: Nigel Yates, P2020-026-001-012, Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hākena, University of Otago
Jay Clarkson and bassist Marc Howe, Breathing Cage, 2019
Photo credit: Alister Reid
Breathing Cage - Gary Sullivan, Jay Clarkson, Greg Malcolm-Boelee, Michael Kime
Jay Clarkson - Walk Away (1999)
They Were Expendable - Big Strain, 1983
Jay Clarkson and the Containers in the rehearsal room.
Photo credit: Richard C Wallis
The Expendables - Liberal Cad
They Were Expendable - Big Strain (1983) Rob Mayes Collection
Jay Clarkson performing at Dog With Two Tails, Dunedin
Photo credit: Sam Clarkson
Jay Clarkson takes a selfie next to a Jay Clarkson and the Containers gig poster.
The Playthings at Christchurch's Gladstone Hotel, 1980
Photo credit: Photo by Gordon Bartram
The Playthings at Christchurch's Gladstone Hotel, 1980, playing with The Gordons, hence the shared drumkit
Photo credit: Photo by Gordon Bartram
David Mitchell poster for The Chills, Expendables, Exploding Budgies at Mainstreet, Auckland 1984
Photo credit: Mike Corless Collection. Design: David Mitchell
Jay Clarkson performing in Glasgow
Photo credit: Leesa Tilley
Jay Clarkson - Boy With The Sad Hands (1987) Bob Sutton Collection
The Playthings with Paul Kean, Christchurch University 1982
Jay Clarkson

Flying Nun


Tall Poppy

Arch Hill Recordings


Nick Strong - guitar, bass

Robert Key - drums

Chris Matthews - drums

Graeme Jefferies - guitar

Gary Sullivan - drums

Michael Kime - bass

Greg Malcolm - guitar

Johannes Contag - bass, vocals

Justin Barr - bass

Janine Saundercock - vocals

Dave Toland - drums

Nick Carter - guitar

Donna Sheene - vocals, percussion

Russell Hoffman - keyboards

Jay Clarkson - vocals

Jay Clarkson - guitar, bass

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