|Part of the first batch of Dunedin groups on Flying Nun, Sneaky Feelings were excellent songwriters, and a hard working and prolific band. The only reason I can think of for them not being a lot more successful than they were is that they weren't particularly fashionable as individuals, the right hair cut, the cool clothes, the angsty indie cred etc.|
The band could always be relied upon for an evening of strong guitar pop and melody.
Their best recorded efforts would probably be their Send You mini album and the Husband House single which really did capture something of what made this band special.
Their other records did come close at times, and the pure brilliance of their songs often shone through some average arrangements.
"Husband House" was a truly classic New Zealand composition, and was even better live on occasion.
The band originally featured:
David Pine - Guitar / Vocals (Death Ray Cafe)
Matthew Bannister - Guitar / vocals (Dribbling Darts)
Martin Durrant - Drums / Vocals and
Kat Tyrie - Bass / Organ
John Kelcher - Bass / Vocals (Alien, Creeley, Solo)
Kat suffered an arm injury which left her unable to play
bass guitar and so she played bass organ for a while. She
later left the band and was replaced by John Kelcher (Alien).
All the band members wrote and sang lead vocals on their
own compositions, Bannister and Pine being the two most
Initially Pine's songs were the simple rock numbers with
the compelling vocal delivery, such as the track 'Throwing
Stones' off the Send You release. Bannister's were the
more wistful melody-infused tracks.
Pine moved on to a more quirky and slightly irritating
style of writing on the next recordings where Bannister
remained true to his pure melodic and honest style. Bannister,
a left-handed guitarist, had a strange almost geeky stage
persona, rapping his head from side to side around his
microphone as he delivered his very personal lyrics. I
have long been a fan of his songwriting.
The 2 tracks that are available on the Failsafe Biding
Our Time compilation were recorded live at the Gladstone. "Take The Darkness" was sort of an introduction to another
the band played round with this song over the next couple
of years, but never recorded or released it elsewhere.
"Broken Man" appears on a Flying Nun record somewhere.
The band released 2 more albums after Send You, the later
Hard Love Stories was well underrated and more or less
ignored as the band had pretty much given up by that stage
after touring the world and not achieving the success they
should have expected.
Bannister went on to form Dribbling Darts Of Love, a group
whose recorded output never seemed to do the songs justice,
and a band who were much more impressive live. They originally
were a three piece with Bannister on Guitar and vocals,
partner Alice Bulmer on Violin and Vocals, and Alan Gregg
- Bass, and Ross Burge - Drums, who were borrowed and eventually
stolen for the Muttonbirds by Don McGlashan.
Bannister and Bulmer played a number of South Island sets
with the rhythm section of Christchurch outfit Creeley,
who featured ex-Sneaky Feelings man John Kelcher on Bass.
These were particularly impressive performances of Bannister's
great songs. Not all his work since Sneaky Feelings has
been great but there's always a few goodies in the batch.
I haven't heard anything from him since the present perfect
album on Flying Nun in 1994. Hope he's still writing music.
Pine went on to play with Dunedin outfit Death Ray Cafe,
a band that lacked subtlety, reinforcing Pine's move toward
quirky and less personal songwriting.
Pine eventually moved to Wellington to live and work,
and has been involved in some low-key local projects but
I've heard of.
John Kelcher recorded a solo album on 4 track; Personal
Disorganiser was released through Failsafe and impressed
those who heard this low key offering.
Kelcher went on to join forces with ex-All Fall Down members
Blair Parks and Bert Aldridge to form Creeley. Later Bert's
brother Brett joined Creeley taking over full bass duties,
leaving Kelcher to concentrate on Guitar and Vocals.
Another solo recording was completed on 8 track in 1994
using co-Creeley member Aldridge for drums, but this
album never saw the light of day.
Creeley recorded material for a release at Fish Street
Studios in Dunedin, one track of which ended up on the Good Things
Compilation through Failsafe. The band continued
to record and self-release their own material.
|SNEAKY FEELINGS RECORDINGS
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