Members of Nelson band the Repeat Offenders are Aaron Russ, Andy McCubbin, Sam Wilson and Kingsley Burgess. Photo: Phillip Rollo.

Local rock band takes on local bars


Heavy metal bands may be a dying breed but one Nelson act is striving to ensure the genre’s survival.

Repeat Offenders, a four piece covers band comprising of friends Sam Wilson (vocals), Aaron Russ (drums), Andy McCubbin (guitar) and Kingsley Burgess (bass guitar), has lined up numerous gigs around Nelson pubs, with its next four hour set to be held at The Star and Garter in Richmond on September 15.

Aaron believes the band is the only of its kind remaining in Nelson. “No one else is doing it. There’s a hole and we’re filling that up,” he says. “If you wanted to go out and listen to the type of songs we play, you just couldn’t.”

Repeat Offenders only perform “dirty old rock” covers. Those include anything from well known hits by metal icons Metallica and Iron Maiden, to more stadium rock sounds of Muse. Andy highlights the band’s age as an influencing factor in its song choices. “We all bring different things to the table and we’re still merging and figuring things out. Initially it was ‘is this really going to work?’ but it’s come off really well.”

Aaron, Kingsley and Sam have performed in the same bands on and off for the past 15 years. “It was a long time ago. We were kids then,” laughs Sam, who is the only member of the band that was not born in Nelson.

All of the members had competed at local battle of the bands concerts, doing extremely well. “Hence the name Repeat Offenders. We’ve all done the band thing before around Nelson. That’s us. I think a lot of rock on the radio has got a bit soft so we’re trying to put a bit of rock back in the pub, nothing crazy.”

The band is known for its skilled musicianship and energetic stage presence. “We don’t just stand around and play. The band was picked because we’re all good at what we do. We get out their and nail the songs.”

The dream of conquering the world may be over, says Aaron but the band still has a duty to entertain local fans.

The four hour Star and Garter gig will begin around 9:30pm and is likely to finish when the venue closes.

If you can’t make it to the next gig, the Repeat Offenders will also perform at the Shark Club on September 29.