Since 1990, The Mad Scene has been the “other” project for New York based Hamish Kilgour, who founded legendary Flying Nun band The Clean with his brother David in the late seventies.
Following The Clean’s initial split in 1982, the Kilgour brothers formed The Great Unwashed. Hamish was an early member of Bailter Space and, after performing with them at a New Music Seminar, he stayed in New York where he met his future wife and band mate Lisa Siegel.
Kilgour returned to New Zealand with Siegel after The Clean’s reunion in 1988. In Dunedin, they met up with Danny Mañetto and formed Monsterland, a three-piece which saw them sharing vocal, instrumental and songwriting duties.
They supported The Clean and recorded at Incubator studio in 1990 with additional tracks recorded in New York in April 1991. American label Homestead released their debut EP Falling Over, Spilling Over in 1992 – but the competing claims of another act called Monsterland forced a name change to The Mad Scene. Their debut album A Trip Thru Monsterland was released by Flying Nun in 1993.
Back in New York, The Mad Scene’s membership became more fluid around a core of Kilgour and Siegel. Former Go-Betweens bass player Robert Vickers joined for their second album Sealight, which Merge released in 1995. The Chinese Honey EP followed a year later with more input from Vickers; but their third long player Blip didn’t emerge until 2012. Produced by Sonic Boom, it numbered Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley amongst its contributors.
Sweet Dreams (Live at Cake Shop NYC, 14 August, 2009)
The Mad Scene, Brooklyn, NYC, 2004 - Hamish Kilgour, Robert Vickers, Lisa Siegel