Second Child

Second Child were an oddity on the Auckland rock scene in the early 1990s, with their musically complex, almost progressive take on alternative rock. Their line-up gradually shifted around key members Damien Binder and Chris van de Geer, who sought a more melody-driven sound on their 1996 album, Slinky. The pair went on to long careers in music and Second Child’s best songs capture them coming into their own as songwriters. The songs serve as a window into how van de Geer’s long career as a studio engineer-producer first began.

The earliest incarnation of Second Child emerged in 1987 through guitarist Chris van de Geer. “I was at Avondale College and had a band with Paul Balmer on bass. We put an ad up and found Luke [Casey], who was playing in Albino Slug at the time (who went on to become S.P.U.D.). We used to jam up at Paul’s parents place in Titirangi, doing a mix of originals and covers. We needed a singer – I was handling vocal duties but really just wanted to play guitar – and Luke was at Western Springs College with Damien [Binder] and he happened to be into a lot of the same music so he brought him along.”

Second Child - 'Disappear', from Slinky, their 1995 Wildside album. Directed by Jonathan King, starring actor John Leigh.
Second Child line-up 1991-92: Chris van de Geer, Theo Jackson, Damien Binder (at-front), Jules Barnett.
Second Child - Crumble (1995) - directed by Jonathan King
Second Child in a Slinky era news clipping.
Second Child - A Slinky promo shot.
Second Child, 1994, L to R: Damien Binder, Isaac Tucker, Chris van de Geer, Theo Jackson.
Second Child promotional B&W from Wildside Records (Slinky era, 1995). L to R: Chris van de Geer, Damien Binder, Theo Jackson, Ben Lythberg. Photo by Murray Cammick
Second Child, L to R: Ben Lythberg, Damien Binder, Chris van de Geer (front), Theo Jackson.
Photo credit: Ian McRae
Second Child, 1989: Barbara Morgan, Chris van de Geer, Jules Barnett, Damien Binder.
Second Child - Desire You (1996) - directed by Jonathan King, starring Joel Tobeck
Second Child - Prove You Wrong (1996, directed by Jonathan King)
Damien Binder - Good As Gone (2000)
Second Child, 1991-1992. Clockwise from top left: Damien Binder, Jules Barnett, Theo Jackson, Chris van de Geer.
Second Child - promo postcard for 'Disappear'.
Second Child: Damien Binder (top), Chris van de Geer (middle left), Jules Barnett (middle right) and Barbara Morgan (front).
Freak The Sheep (1991), compiled by Lisa Van Der Aarde. bands included Hallelujah Picassos, Freak Power, Second Child, Nixons, Watershed and Nemesis Dub Systems.
Second Child, Thorazine Shuffle and Sniff at Squid, O'Connell Street, Auckland, February 1994

Luke Casey went on to play in bands as diverse as Seven Dials, Bygone Era, Eye TV, and The Relaxomatic Project. He also started his own group, Tinpot Guru.

Ben Lythberg went on to play in hardcore legends, Snapcase. Through this connection he went on to do stage production and drum tech work for bands like Sick Of It All, The Offspring and Good Charlotte, even working with pop artists like Ricky Martin in more recent years.

Jules Barnett also played bass in Freak Power whilst he was in Second Child. He went on to be the drummer in Thorazine Shuffle. He now works as a production engineer at BFM.

Theo Jackson now lives in Devon UK where he plays double bass in a lively irish influenced folk trio called Castletown.

Barbara Morgan went on to play and tour in the UK with Andrew Fagan’s band LIG which became Fagan and the People.

Isaac Tucker went on to drum in The New Loungehead.

Damien Binder’s longterm collaborator, Bob Shepherd, has a career that stretches back to 80s post-punk band Missing Tremble, and his connection to this scene later saw him playing in the reformed version of Penknife Glides.


Damien Binder - vocals, guitar

Chris van de Geer - guitar

Theo Jackson - bass

Barbara Morgan - bass

Ben Lythberg - drums

Jules Barnett - drums

Luke Casey - drums

Paul Balmer - bass



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