Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Night Local: Sneaky Feelings - Husband House (1985)

Crikey Fridays - trailers everywhere! If you haven't already seen the Star Wars one then you might have seen the Batman vs Superman leaked one. Coming soon: the same thing with motion control and no Spanish subtitles!

Yes, it's the season. And the change of seasons is the subject of tonight's Friday Night Local. Last week I did all I could to not put another Shihad video up, because even then it was two weeks gone from Daylight Saving, and so a song that begins with the line "Put your clocks back for the winter" - though appropriate and wholly deserving - not to mention useful, just seemed an indulgence. So here instead is a song that marks the seasons change while being about something else.

Sneaky Feeling were a 'Dunedin Band' - one of the classic acts from Flying Nun's roster, although since their early triumph at making FN's much-lauded 'Dunedin Double' EP twinset, it seems the rest of the band's life was spent for the most part escaping the Dunedin label, while at the same time fighting for recognition from their record label. It's a complicated and somewhat fraught story, told much better and more personally by chief spokesman and frontman Matthew Bannister in his must-read memoirs Positively George Street. I was not a fan, but felt more than a little alliegance wit them during band days - they were local, they were somewhat 'outsiders' among the cool alternative Nun set, I could claim a vague familial connection with one of them, sat in lectures behind another, and so it went. But they didn't fit the Flying Nun label, and they weren't the only band to suffer for this. Bannister does a nice line in sardonic observational lyrics, but it's safe to say there's probably no other ex-FN act that can boast a teacher, archivist and high commissioner in its collective future.

And no other Flying Nun act produced a 'Husband House', with its opening crawl across the Sew Hoy factory and Speights brewery rooftop, goofy chess-club cool video, and irresistable droning chord refrain, which I stole for at least one of my songs back in my guitaring days. Some form of suspended A, if I remember it right.

'Husband House' of course observes the approach of Autumn with the not-too-shabby line "the season's old, and the leaves have turned to gold/and the wind blows cold from the south." It might sound a little pithy, but anyone who's experienced a southern winter in the Feelings' home town will know exactly what Matthew Bannister is talking about - and if you don't, just cop a view at theose wonderful rolling St Clair waves, delivered hourly from the South Pacific ocean. Now that's cold water surf. And speaking of rolling, mister projector sir:

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