The Front Lawn

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The Front Lawn
Origin Auckland, New Zealand
Genres Pop, musical theatre, performance art, comedy
Years active 1985 (1985)–1993 (1993)
Labels Front Lawn Records, Virgin Records
Associated acts The Mutton Birds, Six Volts
Past members Don McGlashan
Harry Sinclair
Jennifer Ward-Lealand

The Front Lawn was a New Zealand musical/theatrical duo founded by Don McGlashan and Harry Sinclair in 1985. In 1989 and 1990, they were joined by actor Jennifer Ward-Lealand. The Front Lawn were known for their live performances, and toured extensively in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and America. They released two albums and made three short films.

Don McGlashan went on to form New Zealand band The Mutton Birds, and had a successful solo career. Harry Sinclair has written and directed television and feature films, including Topless Women Talk About Their Lives, The Price of Milk, Toy Love, and the reborn 90210.


The Front Lawn toured Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand with a series of live shows including Songs and Stories from The Front Lawn, The Reason for Breakfast, The Washing Machine, The Story of Robert and "The One That Got Away". They performed at the Edinburgh Festival, in 1988 and 1989, winning The Independent newspaper's theatre award for the festival in 1988, and in both years were included in the "Pick of the Fringe" season at London's Donmar Warehouse.


The Front Lawn released two albums - Songs From The Front Lawn (1989) and More Songs from the Front Lawn (1993). They also had two singles in the New Zealand top 50 - "When You Come Back Home" (#49) and "The Beautiful Things" (#22). Their song "Andy" was voted as number 82 in the APRA Top 100 New Zealand Songs of All Time list. The group won three New Zealand Music Awards in 1989: Most Promising Group, Best Film Soundtrack/Compilation and International Achievement.

Short films[edit]

  • Walkshort (1987)
  • The Lounge Bar (1988)
  • Linda's Body (1990)

Sinclair and McGlashan made several short films: Walk Short (in which between them, they played every character on screen), The Lounge Bar (which was featured in North America's First Annual International Festival of Short Films as one of the "world's best live-action shorts"), and Linda’s Body (which won Best Short Film at the New Zealand Film Awards). Of their three short films two - "Walk Short" and "The Lounge Bar" - were screened by Channel 4 in the UK, and "The Lounge Bar" was a finalist in the 1989 American Film Festival.[1]



Year Title Details Peak chart
1989 Songs From The Front Lawn
  • Label: Front Lawn Records
  • Catalogue: FLLP200/FLCD200
1993 More Songs From The Front Lawn
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • Catalogue: 4353032
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
1989 "When You Come Back Home" 49 Songs From The Front Lawn
1993 "The Beautiful Things" 22 More Songs From The Front Lawn
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videos[edit]

The Front Lawn produced music videos for their singles "When You Come Back Home" (1989) and "The Beautiful Things" (1993).[4] In 1991, the Front Lawn was one of three artists given $5000 in the pilot scheme for NZ On Air's music video funding. This was for the production of "The Beautiful Things" video. Directed by Fane Flaws, the clip was nominated for Best Video at the 1994 New Zealand Music Awards and was the overall winner at the 1993 New Zealand Music Video Awards.[5][6]


Year Nominee/work Award Result
1989 "Songs from The Front Lawn" New Zealand Music Awards - Album of the Year Nominated[7]
1989 The Front Lawn New Zealand Music Awards - Most Promising Group Won[7]
1989 The Front Lawn New Zealand Music Awards - International Achievement Won[7]
1989 "Songs from The Front Lawn" New Zealand Music Awards - Best Film Soundtrack/Compilation Won[7]
1990 Linda's Body (Harry Sinclair, The Front Lawn) New Zealand Film Awards - Best Short Film Won[8]
1993 Fane Flaws "The Beautiful Things" NZ Music Video Awards - Overall Winner Won[6]
1994 Fane Flaws "The Beautiful Things" New Zealand Music Awards - Best Video Nominated[5]


  1. ^ "The Lounge Bar". The New Zealand Film Commission. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Front Lawn discography". Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Fur Patrol discography". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Front Lawn - When You Come Back Home". YouTube. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "1994 Winners". NZ Music Awards. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "FRONT LAWN. BEAUTIFUL THINGS". Film Archive. 
  7. ^ a b c d "1989 Winners". NZ Music Awards. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "NZ Film Awards 1990". Lonely Geek. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dennis, Jonathan and Bieringa, Jan (Eds), Film In Aotearoa New Zealand, Victoria University Press, 2nd Edition, 1996. ISBN 0-86473-309-7

External links[edit]