Blam Blam Blam

Biography

Don McGlashan will always be the center of attention as the leader of The Mutton Birds, but he had his first hit single (the notorious anti-establishment anthem ‘There is no depression in New Zealand‘) with bizarre music troupe 3-piece Blam Blam Blam (plus he’d been playing percussion with From Scratch since 1979).

One of Propeller Records signature bands, they created warped pop through-out the early 80’s, touring the country from their Auckland base with the likes of ska outfit The Newmatics, fellow Propeller figureheads The Screaming Meemees, and even the early incarnations of The Netherworld Dancing Toys – whom they split a live LP with (‘The Story of Blam Blam Blam’).

Formed by Tim Mahon and Mark Bell in 1980 (originally as The Whizz Kids) McGlashan joined the band to add a more eclectic-leaning to what was at the time a more sturdy post-punk outfit.

McGlashan’s use of the euphonium quickly characterized their sound, particularly on their second hit ‘Don’t Fight It Marsha (Its Bigger Than Both Of Us)‘ which is by all accounts an utter pop gem.

Members

  • Tim Mahon (Bass, 1980 – 1982)
  • Mark Bell (Guitar/Vocals, 1980 – 1982)
  • Don McGlashan (Drums/Euphonium/Vocals, 1980 – 1982)

Discography

  • Blam Blam Blam (EP 1981, Propeller Records, REV10)
  • There Is No Depression In New Zealand/Got To Be Guilty 7″ Single (1981, Propeller Records, REV11)
  • Don’t Fight It Marsha 7″ Single (1981, Propeller Records, REV14)
  • Luxury Length (1982, Propeller Records, REV204)
  • Call For Help 7″ Single (1982, Propeller Records, REV17)
  • The Blam Blam Blam Story (1984 W/ Netherworld Dancing Toys, CBS, SBP237993)
  • Don’t Fight It Marsha 7″ Single (1992 Reissue, Propeller Records, REV28)
  • The Complete Blam Blam Blam (1992, Propeller Records, REV502)

Links

 

The Front Lawn

somewhere between a band and a performance troup..well closer to the later, really – they released their albums as ‘songs from the front lawn..’ to indicate they were more soundtracks than albums, though both featured the odd sparkling quirky pop jem. featuring the six volts as a supporting band, the front lawn’s albums are as musically dynamic, varied and accomplished as mcglashan‘s song-writing is quirky.
this was when don mcglashan really hit his stride, and was at his most unusual (especially with the fabulous single ‘the beautiful things’), though he had a lot of help from harry sinclair (who’s also quite the accomplished kiwi film-maker) and actress / singer jennifer ward-lealand (who went on to make her name in an australian comdey skit series). their video for ‘theme from ‘the lounge bar” is a true classic, a 10 minute long short-film backing a brilliantly witty pop dity.
discography
picks in bold

  • songs from the front lawn [1989 virgin FLCD200] rn
  • more songs from the front lawn [1993 live recording virgin 4353032]

awards et
rianz awards 1989

  • most promising group of the year the front lawnrn
  • international achievement the front lawnrn

rianz awards 1990

  • film soundtrack songs from the front lawnrn

The Mutton Birds

Biography

Probably Don McGlashan’s most famous song-writing vehicle, the Mutton Birds achieved considerable success in the 1990’s, with a number of successful singles, albums and even award recognition.

Originally an Auckland-based trio comprised of McGlashan (pulling double-duty with the theatrical group The Front Lawn), Six Volts guitarist David Long and drummer Ross Burge – who was also playing double duty in Dribbling Darts.

After adding (Burge’s Dribbling Darts band-mate) bassist Alan Gregg in 1992 the group released their self-titled debut, which tasted immediate success, particularly on the back of their cover of the Wayne Mason / Fourmyula classic ‘Nature‘.

Further albums followed in the mid-90s, with further success coming at the hands of their first number 1 single – ‘The Heater‘, plus perennial favorite ‘Anchor Me‘ from 1994’s Salty. Another cover – this time Blue Oyster Cults’ classic ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper‘ was used on the soundtrack to Peter Jacksons’ film ‘The Frighteners‘, further increasing their profile, particularly outside of New Zealand and Australia.

Towards the end of the 1990’s both Long and Gregg moved on, British guitarist Chris Sheehan, bassist Tony Fisher and another ex-Dribbling Dart – Matthew Bannister (most notably of Sneaky Feelings) filling the line-up as the decade came to a close.

Though essentially disbanding around 2002, with McGlashan going on to record under his own name (solo debutĀ Warm Hand surfaced in 2006), the group have re-united for subsequent tours in 2012 and later.

Members

  • Don McGlashan (Vocals / Guitar / Euphonium, 1991 – 2002, 2011 -)
  • David Long (Guitar, 1991 – 1997)
  • Ross Burge (Drums, 1991 – 2002, 2011 -)
  • Alan Gregg (Bass, 1992 – 1999)
  • Chris Sheehan (Guitar, 1997 – 2002, 2011 -)
  • Tony Fisher (Bass, 1999 – 2002, 2011 -)
  • Matthew Bannister (Guitar, 2000 – 2002, 2011 -)

Discography

  • The Mutton Birds [1992 Bag Bag1003]
  • The Heater Ep [1994 Virgin 8770192]
  • Salty [1994 Virgin 8394882]
  • Box Of Birds [Compilation 1994 Virgin 4710572]
  • Nature [1995 Virgin]
  • Envy Of Angels [1997 Virgin 8425842]
  • Rain, Steam and Speed [1999 Virgin]
  • Flock: The Best Of.. [Compilation 2002 Virgin]

Awards

RIANZ Awards 1992

  • Single Of The Year: Nature
  • Album Of The Year: The Mutton Birds
  • Top Group Of The Year: The Mutton Birds

APRA Silver Scroll 1994

  • Song Writing Award: You Oughta Be In Love

Links