David Kilgour (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

David Kilgour
BornRanfurly, New Zealand
Genresindie rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
LabelsFlying Nun Records, Arch Hill Recordings, Merge Records
Associated actsThe Clean, The Great Unwashed, The Heavy Eights, Stephen

David Auld Kilgour MNZM is a New Zealand songwriter, musician and recording artist from Dunedin. He first started playing guitar as a teenager in the late 1970s. With brother Hamish he formed The Clean, a group that went on to become one of the most popular and most respected bands in New Zealand.

Early life and family[edit]

Born in Ranfurly, Kilgour is the son of McGregor Kilgour and Helen Stewart Kilgour (née Auld). He was educated at Otago Boys' High School from 1974 to 1976.[1]

The Clean and The Great Unwashed[edit]

The Clean are recognised as one of the founders of the New Zealand independent rock scene and a pivotal band in the development of the Dunedin sound, which was centred on the Flying Nun record label and produced other acts including The Verlaines, The Chills, Straitjacket Fits, The Bats (which included The Clean bassist Robert Scott) and the Tall Dwarfs. The Clean broke up in the early 1980s, and David Kilgour proceeded to form and play with other bands such as Stephen and The Great Unwashed. The Clean reformed in 1989 and produced the album Vehicle, arguably their strongest work to date.

Solo career[edit]

In 1991, Kilgour struck out on his own and recorded his first solo CD, Here Come The Cars, which received much critical acclaim. 1994 showcased the release of his second solo lp, Sugar Mouth. In 1995 he released First Steps and False Alarms, a compilation of recordings & demos, so called the 'best of the worst',done between the late 80s and early 90s. In 1997 he recorded his 3rd lp David Kilgour and The Heavy Eights, made with the help of several other notable Dunedinites such as Martin Phillipps from The Chills. In late 2000, after a four-year hiatus, The Clean reformed again to record Getaway, only their fourth full-length LP—along with Vehicle, Modern Rock (1994) and Unknown Country (1996)—in their 20+ year history.

Kilgour has come to be known as one of the most respected and admired songwriters of his generation and certainly one of the greatest rock musicians to come out of New Zealand. His signature guitar twang and languid, carefree melodies are readily identifiable. His more obvious influences include Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, with other, less obvious influences including Brian Eno, to whom an instrumental on First Steps and False Alarms is dedicated.

In the 2001 New Year Honours, Kilgour was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to music.[2] That same year, he released his 4th solo LP, A Feather In The Engine, hailed by many as his best work yet. His current U.S. label, Merge, describes it as "pure psychedelic pop bliss".

In 2004, his fifth solo album Frozen Orange was released on Arch Hill Recordings (NZ) and Merge Records (USA). For Frozen Orange, Kilgour left his native New Zealand and recorded in Nashville with members of Lambchop and Jason Loewenstein of Sebadoh, along with his longtime backing band The Heavy Eights, consisting of Taane Tokona, Alan Haig, Tony De Raad and Thomas Bell. The album also marked the first recording that Kilgour did not produce himself, a task left to Mark Nevers (producer / engineer of Lambchop).

Kilgour released his sixth solo album, The Far Now, on 5 February 2007 on Arch Hill/Remote Control (NZ/Australia) and Merge (USA). The new album was recorded in Kilgour's hometown of Dunedin with his backing band The Heavy Eights. Recording of the album was split into two parts, with some songs laid down in winter 2004 at the Tinshed, and the rest between 2005 and 2006 at Studio One.



  • Here Come the Cars (1991)
  • Sugar Mouth (1994)
  • First Steps & False Alarms (1995)
  • A Feather in the Engine (2001)
  • Frozen Orange (24 August 2004)
  • The Far Now (23 January 2007)
  • Falling Debris with Sam Hunt (2008)

as David Kilgour & Heavy Eights[edit]

  • David Kilgour & Heavy Eights (1997)
  • Left By Soft (26 April 2011)
  • End Times Undone (2014)
  • Bobbie's a Girl (2019)

with Stephen[edit]

  • Dumb (EP - Flying Nun Records - 1988)
  • Radar Of Small Dogs (Compilation - Flying Nun Records - 1993)

with The Clean[edit]

See The Clean discography

with Pop Art Toasters[edit]

  • Pop Art Toasters (Flying Nun Records, Mushroom - 1994)

with The Great Unwashed[edit]


  • Clean Out of Our Minds (Flying Nun Records - 1983)
  • Odditties 2 (Flying Nun Records - 1988)

Singles & EPs[edit]

  • Singles (Flying Nun Records - 1984)


  • Collection (Flying Nun Records, Festival Records - 1992)


  1. ^ Taylor, Alister, ed. (2001). New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa 2001. Auckland: Alister Taylor Publishers. ISSN 1172-9813.
  2. ^ "New Year honours list 2001". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 30 December 2000. Retrieved 17 August 2019.

External links[edit]