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My Favourite New Zealand Artist: The Larry Normans on Sticky Filth

“I’ve always thought rock ‘n’ roll should be a bit unpredictable and dangerous”

The Larry Normans


The Larry Normans recall a standout gig at the now-closed, iconic Auckland pub, the Kings Arms.

A vivid memory from the mid-2000s remains etched in their minds as a raucous – and we mean truly raucous – night out. It was all thanks to New Plymouth’s Sticky Filth, one of New Zealand’s most significant hard-rock and punk groups, who delivered several blistering sets over the years at the central Auckland pub, a beloved hub for the ciy’s music community for decades. The Kings Arms stage hosted the likes of The White Stripes, The National, The Black Keys, and a slew of local legends for over two decades.

The raw, untamed spirit of bands like Sticky Filth (and the revered Kings Arms shows, now legendary among those fortunate to attend) clearly courses through the veins of Auckland’s own four-piece outfit The Larry Normans.

Their latest album, Dirty Living, unleashed last year, features original members guitarist Andrew Ashton and drummer Paul ‘Bubs’ Stephenson, joined by fresh recruits singer Nathan Rea and bassist Jonathan Bowen, delivering a relentless barrage of rock across its twelve-song collection. 

Andrew Ashton of The Larry Normans shares more about his admiration for Sticky Filth below.

I’ve always thought rock ‘n’ roll should be a bit unpredictable and dangerous. Tight, but not to polished, on-form but not predictable. A band that comes to mind is Sticky Filth. The night I’m thinking of was at the Kings Arms, mid 2000’s.

“I remember walking into the venue and having a sense of immediate threat – as in, ‘someone is going to stab me’. The band was relentless and fierce, as were the people at front the stage – it felt like a bomb could go off.I don’t think you get those sort of fans unless you’ve continued to deliver the goods over the decades.

“That’s the kind of band that inspires me.” 

The Larry Norman’s Dirty Living is out now.