Sneaky Feelings

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Sneaky Feelings
Origin New Zealand
Genres Rock
Years active 1981–1992
Labels Flying Nun Records
Associated acts The Blue Meanies, Death Ray Cafe, Dribbling Darts, The Mutton Birds
Past members Matthew Bannister (guitar, vocals)
David Pine (guitar, vocals)
Martin Durrant (drums, vocals, 1981-1988)
Kat Tyrie (bass, vocals, 1981-1983)
John Kelcher (bass, vocals, 1983-1992)
Ross Burge (drums, vocals, 1988-1992)

Sneaky Feelings was a 1980s New Zealand pop/rock band, led by Matthew Bannister, which recorded on the Flying Nun label. Initially recording with the line-up of Bannister (guitar), David Pine (guitar), Kat Tyrie (bass guitar) and Martin Durrant (drums), Tyrie was replaced by John Kelcher early in the band's career. Durrant left shortly before the band's demise, and was replaced by Ross Burge.

Sneaky Feelings were unusual among Dunedin Sound bands in that all four members of the band sang and several of the members wrote material. The jangle sound of the guitars and layered vocals drew their influence from the music of the Byrds and the Beatles, and comparisons can be made with some of California's Paisley Underground bands.

The band's name comes from a song by Elvis Costello, "Sneaky Feelings", which is on his first album My Aim Is True (1977).


Sneaky Feelings was one of four Dunedin bands to reap the benefits of the newly formed Flying Nun label with the release of the Dunedin Double EP, alongside the Stones, the Verlaines and the Chills. The multi-voiced harmonies of the band's sound were not well-suited to the primitive recording conditions of early Flying Nun, so it is rarely captured at its best on the albums they released. The band's biggest hit was with the single "Husband House" in 1985.

After the demise of Sneaky Feelings in 1989, Bannister moved to Auckland where he founded the Dribbling Darts. He later worked briefly with the Mutton Birds alongside Ross Burge, and has since formed a new band, The Weather. He also wrote a book about the experience of being in a band during the heyday of the Dunedin Sound movement - Positively George Street. Pine has returned sporadically to music, notably in the Dunedin-based band Death Ray Cafe in the late 1980s, but his involvement in music has been largely curtailed by his work in the New Zealand diplomatic corps (as of 2012 he is New Zealand's High Commissioner in Malaysia). Sneaky Feelings briefly re-formed in 1992 to record several extra tracks and to tour to promote the CD release of Send You. They also re-formed to perform a one-off concert as part of a celebration of Dunedin music, held in that city in 2006. In early 2008, Kelcher formed The South Tonight with Richard James, who had also been in an early Flying Nun group, Mainly Spaniards. Kelcher later stood as a candidate for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand in the 2014 New Zealand general election, for the Christchurch seat of Ilam.


Date Title Label Charted Country Catalog number
1983 Send You[1] Flying Nun Records - - FEEL 1
1986 Sentimental Education Flying Nun Records - - FEEL 6; FNE 14CD
1986 Waiting for Touchdown (compilation) Flying Nun Records - - FN ANDA62
1988 Hard Love Stories Flying Nun Records - - FN112; FNE 26 CD
1999 Positively George Street (compilation) Flying Nun Records - - FNCD441
1982 Dunedin Double EP[2] Flying Nun Records - - FN DUN 1/2

Featured appearances[edit]

The group appeared on several compilations over the years in New Zealand. The following is a list of these albums that included tracks by Sneaky Feelings:


Year Single Album NZ Singles Chart Label
1982 "Be My Friend" - 31 Flying Nun Records – FN015
1985 "Husband House" Take Sides 16 Flying Nun Records – FEEL 2
1986 "Better Than Before" - 34 Flying Nun Records – FEEL 3
1986 "Coming True" Sentimental Education - Flying Nun Records – FEEL 5
1987 "Trouble With Kay" Sentimental Education - Flying Nun Records – FEEL 7
1988 "Long Time Gone" Hard Love Stories - Flying Nun Records – FN119


  1. ^ released on CD with extra tracks in 1992
  2. ^ along with The Chills, The Stones and The Verlaines

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Eggleton, D. (2003) Ready to fly: The story of New Zealand rock music. Nelson, NZ: Craig Potton Publishing. ISBN 1-877333-06-9