Anchors aweigh


He’s been a mainstay on the New Zealand music scene for more than three decades, but you’d still be hard pressed to find someone as passionate about the craft as Don McGlashan.

The 59-year-old muso’s in the middle of a nationwide tour that’ll bring him to Queenstown’s Sherwood this weekend.

When Mountain Scene calls him for a chat, he’s in a Wellington cafe, about to head north to the big smoke of Paekakariki.

“There’s a really cool little hall there, quite near the sea. You can hear the Tasman as you’re soundchecking.”

From creating iconic Kiwi hits like Dominion Road and Anchor Me with his band The Mutton Birds, to penning Hollie Smith’s hit Bathe in the River, McGlashan’s more than made his mark on Aotearoa’s musical landscape.

He’s also toured the USA and Europe with Crowded House, and in 2009 was part of Seven Worlds Collide, a collaboration with musicians including Neil Finn, Johnny Marr and members of Wilco and Radiohead.

But if you think he’s going to rest on his laurels, you’ve got another thing coming.

He’s been busy working on new music, including a song he wrote for a friend who passed away a few months back.

His songs usually tell a story, but some of his more recent work’s focusing on “one emotion, one feeling”, he says.

“It’s been a really rewarding process.”

He set himself a challenge to have it ready to play on national radio before the tour started, and then perform it around the country.

The tour, which started out as 17 dates and has expanded to 21 due to demand, really is taking him right around New Zealand.

Not content to stick to the main centres, he’s heading everywhere from Rangiora to Leigh (in the far north).

He’s never happier than when he’s got “a decent number of miles to cover”.

“I really enjoy seeing the country; it’s an opportunity to check in with places that I love.

“Over the years I’ve tried to take in the whole country and get around all the regions, places that quite a lot of bands don’t go to often.”

While he’s been performing for decades, he’s still got a few surprises up his sleeve.

“I’m doing some songs on piano, I’ve never toured with a piano before, it’s an interesting sort of situation.

“It’s an interesting new take on a normal show.”

To catch Don McGlashan, head along to Sherwood, Sunday, 7.30pm, $38