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The Distinctive Sounds of Don McGlashan

The distinctive sound of STREET LEGAL is courtesy of Don McGlashan but it's far from the first score he’s written.  He’s applied to his talents to Jane Campion’s ‘An Angel At My Table’, the British Film Institute's “Cinema of Unease – 100 years of NZ Film’, he wrote and arranged pieces for the 1990 Commonwealth Games and was Assistant Musical Director of the Games' opening ceremony.

McGlashan’s most popular legacy is that of his work with the Mutton Birds.  He has been singer and main songwriter with the band since 1991.  Each of their four albums has made the NZ top ten.  They have had two singles in the top 5, a number one hit with ‘The Heater’, and McGlashan’s song ‘Anchor Me’ won the A.P.R.A Silver Scroll in 1994. In 1995, the group signed with Virgin Records UK and based themselves in London from then until 1999, touring and releasing records all over the world.

In 1999 McGlashan returned to New Zealand in search of a quieter life, but wound up as musical director of 'This Is It', the millennium celebration in Auckland’s Domain.  This involved coordinating and writing for the Auckland Philharmonia, a 200-voice choir, hundreds of community performers and a percussion ensemble suspended over a seven story high pyrotechnic volcano.

McGlashan was a member of ‘From Scratch’ from 1979-86 and was drummer and singer with legendary band ‘Blam Blam Blam’ from 1980 –82.  In 1985 he formed ‘The Front Lawn’ with Harry Sinclair, performing at the Edinburgh festival in both 1988 (when they won The Independent’s theatre award) and 1989. They also toured throughout Europe, America, Australia and here at home.

He currently lives in Auckland with his wife and their two children and is writing songs for the next Mutton Birds album. 



McGlashan studied English and Music at Auckland University and played French Horn and Percussion in the Auckland Symphonia from 1979-82.