The Exponents is a well-known rock band led by a songwriter and vocalist Jordan Luck. The band went on to become one of the longest playing bands in New Zealand.

Since its inception, they went by the name ‘Dance Exponents’ until ditching the ‘Dance’ in 1991. For more than three decades they performed live gigs across the country, and in the United Kingdom to huge crowds.

The career story of the band – of the mainstream popularity, successes, and setbacks, and the musical left-turns, futile overseas sojourns accompanied by the local comebacks – has been canvassed well in various media platforms over the years. The rock’n’roll aura of the singer Jordan Luck is legendary; so are the excellent pop songs of the band that they produced over 4 decades.

Quick Start Guide The Exponents:

The band was formed in 1981 after guitarist Brian Jones and singer Jordan Luck disbanded their original band, Basement, and moved from Timaru to the Christchurch with their best friend, Steve “Fingers” Cowan.

Looking for a good drummer in Christchurch, the trio met Michael “Harry” Harallambi (drums) and David Gent (bass) from the punk band Channel 4. Harry hailed from Nelson and David from Oamaru and to fit them both into the group, Steve changed from bass to guitar and keyboards, and the five-piece became the “Dance Exponents.”

Their debut gig was at the Hillsborough Tavern one week later on Steve’s 22nd birthday and Jordan’s 20th– Oct. 15th, 1981. A residency at the Christchurch’s Aranui Tavern swiftly gained them an excellent live reputation, and on recommendation of their former manager, Jim Wilson they were signed to the Mushroom Records by Mike Chunn in 1982. Victoria was the first track of the band.

Powered by remarkable writing output of Jordan, Victoria was followed by an impressive run of big hits for the group. Steve Cowan departed the band prior to the release of the second track; Airway Spies and Martin Morris who just spent 6 months in the band, departing before the group recorded their first album in 1983 replaced him. Unfortunately, Steve passed on a couple of years after exited the band.

In late 1983, Chris Sheehan then joined the band as a guitarist, just before they released; Prayers Be Answered. Chris introduced a new edge to the band, best known on his debut recording with the band; the Julian Mendelsohn recorded and produced the track; Sex & Agriculture.

The track was recorded in the Australia where the group had shortly tried to re-locate. The immigration issues for Canadian-born Jordan and British born Brian meant the band went back to the New Zealand to record their 2nd album.

The production and the maturity of Sex & Agriculture provided Mushroom the high confidence to set a larger budget to the 2nd album, and they hired Ian Taylor, the UK producer to make the record.

Steve Birss, the Christchurch drummer, who was only to play a couple of concerts with The Exponents replaced Harry for a short time. As Steve hadn’t had the time to settle with the group before recording started, Ian pulled in Vince Ely from The Psychedelic Furs to the drum on an album.

Recorded at the Mandrill Studios in the Auckland and issued in May 1985, Expectations featured the tracks Christchurch (In Cashel St. I Wait), My Love For You and the Australian only track Greater Hopes, Greater Expectations.

Following the release of their album, Eddie Olson joined the group on the drums as they proceeded on the great national “Expectations” tour.

The third album of The Exponents; Amplifier was co-produced by Doug Rogers and John Jansen at the Harlequin Studios in Auckland and issued on the Roger’s Zulu label in 1986.

After only a modest reaction in New Zealand to Amplifier, Eddie Olson departed the band and the group relocated to the UK in 1987.

In London, The Exponents was an admired draw for the expatriate New Zealanders, but the urgent need to earn cash meant that the group had to look for day jobs. Brian and Dave became gardeners whereas Jordan worked at the Cable & Wireless.

Living in various parts of London meant that they didn’t play as often as they intended but, with the support of the drummers Brendan Fitzgerald and Barry Blackler, the band did manage shows wherever they could.

Jordan went on to write and accumulated a big batch of captivating new tracks that were demoed by the group. Their live shows and these demos bring about interest in the group from the CBS Records (now Sony). The band performed a showcase for the CBS A&R Director Muff Winwood, but he chose to sign Deacon Blue over the band.

They still wanted a drummer, and it was Harry who they requested to rejoin the band. He agreed and to mark a reunion of the four founding members; the group chose to change their name from the Dance Exponents to “Amplifier.”

After a quick tour in New Zealand where no one knew who they were, the group quickly re-named themselves The Exponents, and large crowds came flocking.

Career Highlights:

In 1992, The Exponents signed to the Phonogram Records in Australia and moved to Sydney to record their 5th album; Grassy Knoll. Before they started, Brian departed the group and moved to the United Kingdom.

With the guitars played by Dave Dobbyn, who was also residing in Sydney, and Brent Williams, Grassy Knoll was considerably rockier than the Something Beginning With C. It released the tracks; Don’t Say Goodbye, Like She Said and House Of Love.

New management was in place at PolyGram in New Zealand and wasn’t largely supportive of The Exponents or the new album. With the reduced promotion in New Zealand, Grassy only managed to go gold. The album has a keen reputation to date, but it couldn’t match Something Beginning With C’s runaway triumph.

In 2005, the four original Exponents –Harry, Brian, David, and Jordan came together to record Or A Girl I Knew, and Geraldine with the producer Neil Finn for the inclusion in a new Exponents hits collection known as Sex & Agriculture – The Very Best Of The Exponents.

The album included a single disc of the hits and a second of rarities and b-sides. The band performed a small tour in great support of the album that went platinum and reached No.7 on the charts.

At the 2007 APRA Silver Scroll Awards on Sept. 18th, Jordan’s old friend, Mike Chunn named him as the first inductee to New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in appreciation of his exceptional body of work as one of the New Zealand’s best songwriters.

David, Harry, Jordan, and Brian came together again in 2010 to perform at the “Band Together” benefit show for the 2010 Canterbury earthquake. Their 1985 hit Christchurch (In Cashel St. I Wait) turned out to be the theme song for the show, and the group closed the concert that was screened live on the national television with the mass chorus of the track featuring all the artists who played at the concert.

In Dec. 2014, Chris Sheehan, who had contributed a lot to shape the sound of the band in the ’80s, sadly passed away in Spain after a battle with  Melanoma Cancer. He was only in his early 50’s – RIP Chris.

Present Status:

Have not seen any concerts from the lads for a few years.