The Mutton Birds “Dominion Road”

There’s a second “Dominion Road” video, the “UK version”. In it, the Mutton Birds play the song in a empty warehouse, filmed with blue filters, flash editing, random out-of-focusness, and Don McGlashan’s wearing sunglasses. It looks like a mid-’90s attempt at turning The Mutton Birds into an antipodean Oasis.

But thankfully we don’t need to concern ourselves with that video. The one we care about is the earlier version promoting what was their debut single.

The original video alternates between black and white footage of the band performing the song in a stark white studio, and the troubled subject of the song walking around Dominion Road.

Don McGlashan looks like Norman Cook with his short back and sides, possibly going for a cleaner look from his curly days with the Front Lawn. Oh, speaking of which – it’s nice to see Don back after his previous appearance with the very first funding round.

The scenes of a worn down inner Auckland suburb may not have the edge of an empty warehouse, but it’s those shots that give the song its context. This is not a love song, but it’s where This Is Not A Love Shop used to be.

The Dominion Road of 1992 feels different to the Dominion Road of today. It’s less multicultural and didn’t have as many posh bits. You’d probably have to get three-quarters of the way down Dominion Road to have the same effect today.

Best bit: Don’s scared-of-heights acting during the “up 10,000 feet” part.

Director: Fane Flaws
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… wave your hair in the air, and wave it like you just don’t care.

4 thoughts on “The Mutton Birds “Dominion Road””

    1. There’s a lot more Don to come! Feel free to jump ahead – a fan has uploaded to YouTube pretty much every Muttonbirds video ever made.

  1. About 90% of the Dominion Road shots in that video (e.g. that double-decker state house and other bits near Mt Roskill shops) look EXACTLY the same, modulo the motorway they chucked through.

    The fish shop is still there, and the Hong Lee takeaway. But the dry-cleaners has been subsumed into the antiques shop next door.

    I have known that weird plaster man holding the birdbath my entire life. It was a sad day when the prudish (new?) owners painted the undies on him.

    1. Ah, somehow I thought it was filmed closer to the Mt Eden end. I’m glad to hear that part of Dominion Road is still Mutton Birds-esque!

      Also, maybe it’s now time to lobby for historic recognition of the weird plaster man and have his nether regions restored.

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