They last played together in 2012 and now the original lineup of the Mutton Birds join the bill for the Christchurch Great Kiwi Beer Festival. The band began in New Zealand in 1991, sounded by singer and songwriter Don McGlashan, guitarist David Long and drummer Ross Burge, joined by Alan Gregg on bass.
Three years later The Mutton Birds were about as big as it is possible to be in New Zealand. They had released two platinum albums: a self-titled debut and another collection called Salty. They’d scooped music awards, McGlashan had won the APRA Silver Scroll for his song-writing, and they’d become one of the biggest live acts in the country.
In 1995, the band began to get restless and moved to the UK where they turned heads all over Europe. Two more critically acclaimed albums followed: Envy Of Angels (which made the UK Sunday Times Top Ten Albums of the year), and Rain, Steam and Speed (called “a minor masterpiece” by Q Magazine). Although the band’s live following in the UK was growing steadily, some of the members decided to return to NZ which eventually led to the Mutton Birds disbanding in early 1999.