Condemned Sector

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Condemned Sector
Sec2c 17.jpg
Condemned Sector at Last Resort, 1981
Background information
Origin Onslow College
Years active 1980-1981
Associated acts Neoteric Tribesmen, The Resurrectionists, Flesh D-Vice, Ambitious Vegetables, The Mockers, Domestic Blitz
Members Nigel Elder (guitar), James Gilberd (drums), Richard Watts (guitar/ vocals), Jenny Whyte (bass)
Past members Caroline Forsythe (vocals), Peter Henderson (guitar)


Condemned Sector was formed in early 1980 by Onslow College students, Richard Watts and James Gilberd; both in an covers band called "The Vultures", while Jenny Whyte was recruited from Wellington East Girls College to play bass. “Although Richard had introduced punk and new wave cover material into The Vultures set the intent of Condemned Sector was to perform solely original material”.

“Richard's dad was probably the first and only solicitor in Wellington to be listening to bands like The Stranglers, The Clash, and Sex Pistols. He also supplied Richard with various punk badges and clothing brought back from his business trips to London.”

Peter Henderson played bass for a while before Jenny joined and through him Condemned Sector were able to share the Clyde Quay School practice rooms with Rongotai band The Ambitious Vegetables members of which later formed The Red and The Mockers. This basement practice room later became the location for the famous jam session with The Cure. This connection with The Mockers led to Condemned Sector's first public performance, supporting them at the Union Hall, Victoria University in September 1980. Caroline Forsythe, Richard Watts then girlfriend, had joined the band at this stage and sang backing vocals for three months before leaving.

“Condemned Sector played at a variety of locations around Wellington from August 1980 until about April 1981, but most often at the Last Resort in Courtenay Place. “The pattern was to carry guitars, snare drum and cymbals, around the corner from the practice room, simply showing up at the venue and asking to play. Other times things were slightly more organised, allowing time for posters to be photocopied. Sets were typically forty minutes of high energy, flat out playing, usually getting through eight or nine songs. I remember my hands would often cramp up on the drumsticks after about half an hour, and I would struggle through the last few songs, which were usually the fastest.”

Condemned Sector made their first recordings in August 1980 at Sausage Studio's. “By January 1981, when Condemned Sector recorded again at Sausage, Nigel Elder had joined as a guitarist, vocalist, and additional songwriter. Nigel was also from Onslow College and had just started work at an insurance company. Bridge for One and Instrumental show Nigel's songwriting input and influences”

In October, 1980 Condemned Sector played at the controversial Battle of the Sounds competition. The common perception amongst the new punk bands was that they were disliked by the competition's judge Phil O'Brien and that the whole judging process was a forgone conclusion. Condemned Sector later recorded "Sounds O.B" about O'Brien's judging.

In early 1981 Jenny Whyte left the band and with a now three piece line-up of James, Richard and Nigel the decision was made to relaunch the band as Neoteric Tribesmen.


Condemned Sector - 1.Mutants 2.Pop Bop 3.School Days


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