The Clean

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The Clean
Origin Dunedin, New Zealand
Genres Indie rock, alternative rock
Years active 1978–present
Labels Flying Nun Records, Merge Records
Members Hamish Kilgour
David Kilgour
Robert Scott
Past members Peter Gutteridge
Doug Hood

The Clean are an indie rock band that formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1978, and have been described as the most influential band to come from the Flying Nun label, whose repertoire included many major components of the "Dunedin Sound".[1][2] Led through a number of early rotating line-ups by brothers Hamish and David Kilgour, the band settled down to their well-known and current line-up with bassist Robert Scott.[1] The band name comes from a character from the movie Free Ride called Mr. Clean. [3]


Hamish and David Kilgour started to play and write music together in Dunedin in 1978, "building up a fat songbook of primitive punk, minimalist pop, infectious folk rock, and adventurous psychedelic instrumentals. Their sound was built around David Kilgour’s off-centre, 1960s-influenced guitar, Hamish’s motorik drumming, and melodic driving bass, first from Peter Gutteridge, then Robert Scott".[1] The band's 1981 debut single "Tally Ho!" was the second release on Roger Shepherd's Flying Nun Records label. "Tally Ho!" reached number 19 on the New Zealand Singles Charts, giving the fledgling label its first hit.

Even with the group in abeyance The Odditties compilation tape of unreleased material appeared in July 1983, followed by a live EP Live Dead Clean in 1986, and a greatest hits collection called Compilation and second Odditties tape in 1988.[1]

During much of the 1980s, The Clean disbanded, and during this time the Kilgour brothers worked together on an experimental album and EP using the deliberately punning titles "The Great Unwashed" and "Clean Out of Our Minds".[4]

In 1989-1990, the Clean toured around the world (New Zealand and the United States in 1989, and Great Britain and Europe in the 1990), to promote their album Vehicle.[1]

In 2003 the double CD compilation Anthology for prominent indie Merge Records awakened new interest in the United States building on an international reputation enhanced with respect given by important 1990s indie groups like Pavement and Yo La Tengo.[1]

The Clean continue to release records (Mister Pop in 2009) on American and New Zealand labels and they toured the USA as recently as 2012 and 2014.[1]


Main article: The Clean discography


  • 1999: Scarfies, in which they are seen performing the song Tally Ho! in a performance at the Empire Tavern, Dunedin (the line-up for this performance was David Kilgour, Robert Scott, Robbie Yeats, and Thomas Bell). The song appears on the soundtrack.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Schmidt, Andrew. "The Clean - Profile" profile.AudioCulture.
  2. ^ ed. Cargill, Angus (2008). Hang the DJ: An Alternative Book of Music Lists. London: Faber and Faber. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-571-24172-9. 
  3. ^ Betts, Greg. 20 Questions With David Kilgour.The Austin Chronicle. May 30, 2012.
  4. ^ Schmidt, Andrew. "The Clean Part One: 1978-1988".AudioCulture.

External links[edit]