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One Man Bannister: And Your Bird Can Sing

Matthew Bannister has some serious form, as they say. A founder member of the singular Flying Nun band Sneaky Feelings, he then formed Dribbling Darts of Love when SFeelings folded, and subsequently founded the Weather and has also recorded as One Man Bannister.

Oh, and there was also the Changing Same

He is a Beatles fan from childhood -- he said the Sneaky Feelings photo on the famous Dunedin Double album referred to the classic With the Beatles image -- and has never denied that he wants to write pop/popular music, which sometimes didn't sit well within the Nun indie-pop/rock ethos as he revealed in his fascinating music-memoir Positively George Street.

But Bannister -- who played guitar in Don McGlashan bands along the way -- has always been true to his own direction . . . and this year delivered an album which is unique in New Zealand pop.

For Evolver -- which he recorded at home -- he has covered the whole of the Beatles innovative Revolver album of '66, but in an idiosyncratic manner where Tomorrow Never Knows sounds beamed in from Manchester in the 90s and McCartney's ballad For No One is turned into a stately country waltz. It is reviewed at Elsewhere here.

“I took the melody and lyric as given," he says, "but everything else was up for grabs. So I changed the musical style and often the chord structures and harmonies, but not the actual tune, which is sacred, to me at least.”

And in a futher break with tradition the album is not available as a digital download, only as a physical copy (through Powertool Records). Just like back in '66.

And, as he should, he takes his live band on a brief New Zealand tour to let others experience it in person. The dates are below. 

Time then for Matthew Bannister to join that long list of people to answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire . . . 

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

“The Laughing Policeman”

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Benny Hill (Ernie, The Fastest Milkman in the West)

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?

Tend towards the former in most cases

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Celebrity chef

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .

All by Dusty Springfield

mozartAny interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

I’m not a hoarder

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Mozart by Wolfgang Hildesheimer

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)

Zooey Deschanel. The fool, probably

The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

Muriel’s Wedding, Casablanca, Billy Liar

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

The Shirelles Greatest Hits

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .

"I’m Listening to Merle Haggard Singing She Thinks I Still Care” by David Pine.

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

A picture of my wife.

Evolver_coverYou are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

Nothing, I hate tattoos

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?

At work

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

All the songs were written by someone else.

One Man Bannister’s ‘Evolver’ North Island tour

One Man Bannister (Evolver), The Changing Same, The Honeywine Stones at Static, Hamilton, Thursday 14 November

One Man Bannister (Evolver), Vorn, The Changing Same at Meow, Wellington, Saturday 16 November

One Man Bannister (Evolver), The Changing Same, The Honeywine Stones at St. Peter's Hall, Paekakariki, Sunday 17 November

One Man Bannister (Evolver), The Changing Same, The Honeywine Stones at Golden Dawn, Auckland, Friday 6 December

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