Sunday, November 06, 2022

The Mutton Birds: The Falls

Another New Zealand band. Is New Zealand music the new New Zealand wine? It seems to share some of its virtues: approachable yet sophisticated.

It turns out that The Mutton Birds flourished in the 1990s and were based in Britain for a while.

A New Zealand review of their valedictory greatest hits album said:

The Mutton Birds created something that hadn't quite existed in New Zealand for some time - a pop-rock band for grown-ups, people who thought that lyrics mattered, but were happy to hoof around like the students they once were ...

That, of course, meant that to survive the Mutton Birds had to fly the coop, picking up an enthusiastic fan base especially in Britain and Europe - and, oddly, among Scottish thriller writers: Christopher Brookmyre's Not the End of the World had a character who raved about While You Sleep; Ian Rankin named one of his Rebus novels The Falls, after a song from final album Rain, Steam and Speed. 

And it was hearing an interview with Ian Rankin on BBC Radio 6 Music that put me on to them.

Now listen to a present-day New Zealand band, The Beths.

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