Spdfgh were Kim Bowers: guitar, vocals, Liz Payne: guitar, vocals) Tania Bowers: guitar, vocals and Melanie Thurgar: drums.

In chemistry, the letters (spdfgh…) are used when determining the number of electrons in the shells of an atom (the letters denote the first six states of orbital angular momentum in atomic physics).

The band name came about this way: Liz Payne’s brother Geoff and friend Paul Hillard were studying for their Higher School Certificate physics exams and recited ‘spdfgh’ to aid recall of this topic. Soon, this became the title of a song (written by Hillard, Geoff Payne and Crowe) for Geoff’s band Wilson Tuckey Goes To Hobart. Liz also wrote songs for Wilson Tuckey Goes To Hobart, as did Mel Thurgar, and both performed with WTGTH in the early to mid-90s. Kim and Tania Bowers also featured briefly in WTGTH before all the girls decided to pursue Spdfgh only.

The original members (which also included singer Angela Morosin) got started playing together at St. Patrick’s College (Campbelltown, southwest of Sydney). A very early gig was the St Patrick’s School disco and featured the unreleased “Help! Help! It’s a dance party!” The band and Morosin parted company soon after high school.

In their early days – to get noticed – they would travel to Sydney, sneak into soundchecks of bands they liked and just start playing. Payne left after the group had recorded Leave Me Like This and Sally Russell (later known as New Buffalo, Sally Seltmann) briefly replaced her on guitar in mid-1995. Russell, still a member of Lustre 4, had co-written the track “You Made Me” with Tania (later known as Via Tania) for that album. Russell continued her work with Lustre 4 and was replaced in Spdfgh by Christina Hannaford by the time the album was issued.

The band had songs included on the soundtracks of the films Love and Other Catastrophes and The Well.

Since breaking up, the members have pursued new projects.

Kim Bowers recorded some electronic tracks under the name of Deep in Sound, which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1999 Australian film, Fresh Air. Most recently she has been working with her sister Candy Bowers on hip-hop/theatrical performers Sista She.

Tania Bowers went on to record and tour with Godstar, contributed songs to the Fresh Air soundtrack under the name of Sunday (releasing a mini-album Thema), and has since released three albums (and six singles) under of the name Via Tania – with help from her then-husband, sound engineer Casey Rice. In April 2020, under the name T Wilds, Tania released a single “I Swim” from forthcoming album due out 2021.

Liz Payne went on to Rocket and Sonic Emotion Explosion, both with former Gerling guitarist Brad Herdson. The duo has since renamed themselves to Little Sky and turned into a fully-fledged band.

As of 2009, Melanie Thurgar was drumming in Sydney-based hard rock outfit Death By Proxy.


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Leave Me Like This



Leave Me Like This (hac46)
released 1996

The band’s expanded vision became a little clearer on the stunning “Leave Me Like This” LP (recorded in Autumn of 1995 and released in February 1996) which, while based in guitars and drums, showed a leaning towards hip hop, groove & all things funky. The album was also released in the US on New York-based Dirt Records. Three singles were released from the album “Wikky’s Ode”, “Give Me Time” and “The Pseudo Blues”.

Opening the album, “The Pseudo Blues” was inspired by Billie Holiday and other greats, while the record’s second single, “Give Me Time”, written by Tania, comes from a similar period. “That reminds me more of old songs from the 40s and 50s,” says Kim. “Tania especially is interested in looking back. People are saying retro is from the 80s and 70s, but I’ve been inspired by old blues and stuff like that. It’s starting to come out more. Punk rock’s great because it makes you really jump. But the blues is good because you can feel it. We mix the two together.”

These roots are matched by the album’s upbeat moments, including tunes like the happy/sad ditty “Jack”, the chop change of “Gun” and the sweepingly beautiful “You Made Me”. Other highlights include the raucous “Salt To Pain” and “Blue Angel”, featuring Liz’s angelic, childlike vocals.