Alastair Riddell

Alastair’s first steps on his musical journey was a memory as a small child of being hooked on Del Shannons ‘Runaway’. The moment he discovered his calling - seeing a band play at Auckland town hall in 1964 - The Beatles. His tastes were further honed by a love of the blues, and as a dedicated 16 year old ran the first NZ Blues Festival in 1968 - possibly the first music festival in NZ.

In the early 70’s whilst at university studying Art History Alastair formed the prog rock band Orb, with Paul Crowther, Eddie Rayner and Peter Cuddihy and later Wally Wikinson. The band dissolved, with Paul, Eddie, and Wally joining Split Enz - Alastair was also asked to join, but declined, going on to form ‘Space Waltz’ around his collection of songs.

Alastair Riddell and Space Waltz won the NZ music award for best new act in 1975

This accolade was bestowed on the back of 2 performances on the NZ talent show ‘New Faces’ in 1974 - which resulted in the huge number one single ‘Out On The Street’ only one of a handful of NZ songs to be certified equivalent of a million seller in NZ.

The Album ‘Alastair Riddell’s Space Waltz’ got thrashed on the turntables of the young and disaffected across the country, its stand out mix of Glam, Prog and Distopian themes of Science Fiction where like nothing seen in the Southern hemisphere at the time, and has endured as a cult classic - it has even been re-released worldwide by UK label RPM records.

Alastair released a second self-named album in 1978, which spawned the hits ‘What good does it do me’ and ‘Wonder Ones’. Alastair followed it up with 1982’s ‘Positive Action’.

The early eighties were spent playing music in the US and the UK, after which he met and married an English model, Vanessa, and returned to NZ where he concentrated on raising a family of 4 children in Titirangi, West Auckland.

In the latter half of the 2000’s Alastairs’ musical popularity in NZ culture has been borne out with tracks appearing in the films ‘Boy’ and ‘In My Fathers Den’, as well as TV series ‘Jacqui Brown Diaries’ and ‘Underbelly New Zealand’.

Alastair has spent this decade honing a new skill - that of directing and shooting Film. His first feature ‘Broken Hallelujah’ is in post production, and his short film ‘ The Last Stop’ premiered to a full house at the Academy Cinema in Auckland in April 2012. It has subsequently been picked up for broadcast by Sky Rialto Channel and the Trinity Film Festival in the USA.


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