The Haunting

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The Haunting were formed in 1990 with Paul Tregilgas (drums), Wheels (guitar), Maria 'Ree' Stead (bass) and Luana Atger (vocals).

The Haunting had no official releases, but recordings of Rats and Switch It Off from the band's sessions at Contact 89FM's Fridge Studios received regular airplay on Contact. Rats was also heard on TVNZ's youth-culture series Life In the Fridge Exists (L.I.F.E) (1989-1990) in an article about Contact. Other recordings circulated on unofficial demo cassettes included the tracks Tripped, 2-2 Fear and Grave Words. They were also known to cover the song Temple by Book of Martyrs.

Compared to Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure, X-Mal Deutschland and early Cocteau Twins, The Haunting were seen as part of a "dark" movement in late '80s/early '90s Hamilton, alongside contemporaries Cygnet Committee, Requiem, Book of Martyrs, A Crown Of Wild Myrtles (whom Paul T also played drums with at the time) and others.

In 1991 the band's sound was augmented by the addition of keyboard player Brent Soper. By 1992 both Ree Stead and Luana Atger had quit music, whilst Wheels and Paul T went on to form Hapukalypse Now along with front-man Jonathan Armstrong (formerly of Watershed and Book of Martyrs) and bassist Paul Oakley (of Zangiacomo's Eastern Tour and Book of Martyrs).

Later in '92 Wheels and Ree moved to the UK together. Luana and her husband set up Hamilton's first alternative clothing store Havoc - A Nightmare on Alma Street (now simply known as Havoc on Ward Lane), and she has since gone on to become a schoolteacher. Brent Soper later became a key member of Avant Garbage. Paul T has continued to play in countless Hamilton bands ever since.

Rats was later covered by Disjecta Membra by way of tribute to The Haunting, and released on their 1997 CD album Achromaticia (Heartland Records, Australia - HL09). Paul T has also played as a member of Disjecta Membra since late 2004.

Published Articles[edit]

  • The Haunting, Garbage, August/September 1991