The jan­gly Fly­ing Nun pop of Sneaky Feel­ings is back af­ter three decades.

New Zealand Listener - - CONTENTS - By James Belfield

Sneaky Feel­ings re­u­nited; a new al­bum from Aaron Car­pen­ter & the Reve­la­tors

We’re putting the band back to­gether” may be one of the most pop­u­lar – and fraught – de­ci­sions for ageing pop­sters for whom life out of the spotlight hasn’t re­ally cut it.

Whereas the likes of Blur, Fleet­wood Mac and the Po­lice have patched things up and hit the road, there have been other re­unions that have frac­tured: we’re look­ing at you, Jason Or­ange and Tony Hadley.

So when word got out that 80s ­Dunedin sounders Sneaky Feel­ings had booked a show in Hamil­ton for Au­gust 30 to ­co­in­cide with a new al­bum, Progress­Junc­tion, and a spot at The Oth­ers Way fes­ti­val on Septem­ber 1 in Auck­land, it seemed like a good idea to dis­cover what the cat­a­lyst had been for a re­union af­ter al­most 30 years.

The an­swer, ac­cord­ing to Matthew Ban­nis­ter, who has car­ried on his mu­sic along­side a ca­reer as a lec­turer at Waikato In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy and oc­ca­sional au­thor, is sim­ply that they found them­selves all back liv­ing in the same coun­try.

And what’s more, gui­tarist David

Pine not only re­turned from be­ing New Zealand’s High Com­mis­sioner in Malaysia to live in Christchurch but also de­cided to build a record­ing stu­dio in his new home.

“When David said he wasn’t go­ing to move any­time soon, we had the ­op­por­tu­nity to get to­gether again, and his record­ing stu­dio gave us an ideal place to re­hearse undis­turbed,” Ban­nis­ter says.

Hav­ing orig­i­nally gone their sep­a­rate ways in 1989 for the same rea­son of ­geography – “We all went to Auck­land with dreams of pos­si­bly con­quer­ing the world and then [drum­mer] Martin ­Dur­rant got a job with the Govern­ment in Welling­ton and it be­came ­pro­gres­sively harder to main­tain the band” – it seems only right that prac­ti­cal­ity has brought the band back to­gether.

Sneaky Feel­ings ce­mented their poppy, jan­gly Fly­ing Nun sound with a $300 video of their 1985 sin­gle Hus­band House, in which they hung out in clas­sic Dunedin lo­ca­tions be­fore end­ing with “Out now on Fly­ing Nun” writ­ten in the sand on a cold, windy beach. “We’re not par­tic­u­larly vis­ual peo­ple, so we thought, we live in Dunedin, we’re a Dunedin band, peo­ple wanted to see im­ages of Dunedin, so we should have a Dunedin back­drop,” Ban­nis­ter says.

Ev­ery­thing about the re­union is just as prag­matic. The al­bum is shared out equally be­tween the four mem­bers, with three tracks each. Bassist John Kelcher was an ar­chiv­ist at the Nga Taonga sound ar­chives and he was able to “bor­row some old ra­dio pro­mos to blur be­tween the tracks”. And hav­ing made an al­bum and then re­al­is­ing they may have to tour it, the band have “fleshed out” the team with key­boards, thanks to one of ­Ban­nis­ter’s Win­tec ­col­leagues, Nick Braae, who wrote his PhD the­sis on Queen.

Af­ter 10 days of re­hearsals, they’ve got their “chops back and are feel­ing more con­fi­dent” about play­ing live once again – mix­ing a bit of the old with some of the new.

The band have “fleshed out” the team with key­boards, thanks to Nick Braae, who wrote his PhD the­sis on Queen.

Sneaky Feel­ings, circa 1983: mix­ing the old with the new.

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