Space Waltz – “Out On The Street” and “Beautiful Boy”

In 1974 Alastair Riddell’s band Space Waltz took New Zealand by storm with “Out On The Street”.

The rest of the world, with the exception of Australia, has probably never heard of it.

Many considered Alastair to be “New Zealand’s David Bowie”. He certainly cultivated that image.

Anyway, that year, Space Waltz were the winners or runners up of a television music competition called Studio One New Faces – what you might call an early forerunner of “American/Australian/ etc. Idol” or the UK’s “X Factor”.

To promote “Out On The Street” they went on tour, and after the exposure of the show and the release of their album, they toured again in 1975.

At the time I was the editor of a school magazine, and it just happened to be the May holidays, if I recall correctly.

Space Waltz were playing in Gisborne, and I managed to get an interview with them.

I did the interview at the sound check, and then we all went to a small restaurant to have dinner before the concert started.

Unfortunately, although there were no other guests, the restaurant took so long to deliver the meal that we had to leave without eating so the show could start on time!

Some of the members of Space Waltz went on to greatness in other bands, such as Split Enz and its successor Crowded House (keyboarder Eddie Rayner, called Tony Raynor on the album cover, who also worked with Paul McCartney), or Citizen Band (guitarist Greg Clark, drummer Brent Eccles).

And when Phil Judd, co-founder of Split Enz, left the band, Alastair was invited to replace him.

He declined, and Neil Finn, the little brother of the other co-founder Tim Finn, headed for London to join his brother’s band, and the rest is history. Neil wrote a number of hits for Split Enz and later formed super band Crowded House (I interviewed him and his brother in Frankfurt in 1991.).

But back to our story…

Actually I don’t know what has since become of Alastair Riddell, though I did find out he later had a band called Modern Contour. And much shorter hair.

I still have my copy of the album “Space Waltz”. Before I got it, I used to listen to “Out On The Street” over and over again on a compilation LP.

So here it is, “Out On The Street”, first the clearer album version:

This is how Space Waltz performed “Out On The Street” on New Zealand television:

And also from the “Space Waltz” album, “Beautiful Boy” (in black and white and followed by the judges’ comments on Studio One, and the competition they were up against, a family singing what would now be considered a “politically incorrect” traditional piece):

No doubt in my mind where the talent in that particular talent show lay…


P.S. I’ve meanwhile just read that Eddie Rayner and Alastair Riddell re-made the “Space Waltz” album and released it in 2004.

P.P.S. Some time later, I came across this video showing a cross-section of the guys “then” and many years later, on The Paul Holmes Show I believe:

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One Response to “Space Waltz – “Out On The Street” and “Beautiful Boy””

  1. jazz blues says:

    jazz blues…

    […]Space Waltz – “Out On The Street” and “Beautiful Boy” | My Seventies Music[…]…

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