Nov 1980: Martin and a fledgling band are invited to play an unadvertised support slot for 2 other local bands: ‘The Clean and ‘Bored Games’, in Maori Hill Dunedin. In what became a seminal moment, Martin Phillipps, Peter Gutteridge, Jane Dodd, and Alan Haig took to the stage (Rachel Phillipps was unable to play as the other bands didn’t have keyboards). The first Chills was on!
Up until this point the band had been called, The Same, and it was at this pivotal show that they announced, “This first one’s called, Motels and Cars, and we are probably going to call ourselves The Chills”.
With a career spanning three decades Martin Phillip’s and The Chills have pumped out numerous hits such as: ‘Heavenly pop hit’, ‘Pink frost’, ‘Come Home’, ‘Doledrums’ and, ‘I Love My leather Jacket’. These hits maintained a cumulative 72 weeks in the NZ Top 40. Interest in the band quickly spread overseas. With a high calibre of musicianship and raw passion The Chills are still regarded as one of the most well known New Zealand bands to date, particularly in the USA, UK and Europe. The Chills have become a NZ institution with their songs being used on TV shows, commercials, and in movie soundtracks.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s they were one of the proponents of the Dunedin Sound.