The Datsuns

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Christian and Dolf

The Datsuns are a rock band originally from Cambridge. In 1995, while still at school, Dolf de Borst, Phil Buscke Somervell and Matt Osment formed a band under the name Trinket. Christian Livingstone joined the band in 1997. Recording and releasing material on cassette tapes, Trinket built up a solid following around Hamilton due to goofy yet irresistible songs like Girly Gumshoe and a tendency to play raucous, highly energetic, equipment-smashing live sets. De Borst and Livingstone attended Waikato University in Hamilton.

On the cover of Salient, 2002 - pic by Toby Morris

In 1998 they entered the Contact 89FM Battle of the Bands, eventually losing out to Trucker (for whom Dolf played bass also). The following year the group were victorious.

Renaming themselves 'The Datsuns', in August 2000 they released their first single, Super Gyration! on seven inch vinyl only, with a show at Ward Lane. In July 2002, after featuring several times on John Peel's programme on the UK's BBC Radio 1 and being hailed as "the future of rock" by the British music press, the band signed with the V2 record label.

Page one of the story of the Datsuns, as imagined by cartoonist Toby Morris in Salient & Nexus 2002 (313kb)

By the time of their next gig in Hamilton, the band were huge. They sold out Diggers back bar as well as other venues across NZ with ease. Within a year, they were able to charge $25 and fill a venue as large as Altitude - two years prior, they struggled to fill Ward Lane while charging only $2.

In 2003 the band played on the mainstage at Ozzfest, alongside the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson and Korn. They played the main stage of the 2004 Big Day Out festival and opened for Metallica in their Australian tour in the same year, and toured with The White Stripes. Their second album Outta Sight, Outta Mind, released in 2004, was produced by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones.

In 2006 they released their third album, Smoke and Mirrors. Near the end of the year, founding member Matt Osment left the band, replaced by Ben Cole (formerly of Pugnaut).

In 2007 The Datsuns moved to Gütersloh, Germany to record their 4th record; however, the recordings were to become demos, and the band traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden, to record at a studio owned by Swedish band Soundtrack of Our Lives, with long time live engineer Scott Newth at the controls. The resulting album, Head Stunts, was released in 2008.

The Datsuns fifth album, Death Rattle Boogie was released in 2012. Half the album was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden under the watchful eye of The Hellacopters singer Nicke Andersson, while the rest of the album was produced in Auckland at Roundhead studios. They returned to Roundhead to complete sixth album, Deep Sleep, in October 2014.

In 2016 The Datsuns began working on their seventh studio album, with the bulk of the tracking completed at Roundhead Studios in Auckland with the remainder of the songs to be completed in Stockholm with a possible 2017 release date.

The Datsuns headlined 2018's Future City Festival with the closing slot at The Meteor. Dolf called it "the first time we've played together in a couple of years".

The band now live in separate cities; de Borst in Stockholm, Livingstone in London, Buscke Somervell in Auckland, and Cole in Wellington.


They have been managed throughout their career by Tom Dalton

Singles and EPs[edit]

"The Datsuns", circa 2007


Datsuns live poster, 2003.JPG


Other Releases[edit]

Commercial Compilation Releases

NB: all of the above compilation releases can be found on other releases except All I want for Christmas on the 2001 compilation Christmas On The Rocks: A New Zealand Rock 'N' Roll Christmas

Datsuns NME cover, 5 October 2002

Promotional Compilation Releases

Significant Published Articles[edit]

  • The Datsuns: A Rock'n'Roll Fairytale, New Zealand Herald, 29 September 2002
  • The Datsuns, NME, 5 October 2002 (on cover)
  • The Datsuns, Rip it Up 312 (Aug/Sep 2006), P60-61

External links[edit]