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 debut Warm Hand surfaced in 2006), the group have re-united for subsequent tours in 2012 and later.
- 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 -)
- 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]
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