Whatever I Do It’s Right

The Clean are on their way to the USA for a quick tour and it is great to see them continue to generate the international recognition they deserve and still be making great albums like the recent Arch HillMerge release Mister Pop

The Clean (L-R: Robert Scott, David Kilgour and Hamish Kilgour)

Without The Clean our local musical landscape would be very different. Punk and more importantly post punk showed us all there was another way but The Clean were the ones that affectively broke down the stolid industry and cultural boundaries with their initial 1981 success. Great music on records like Tally Ho, Boodle, Great Sounds and Getting Older (all found on the Anthology CD set) that sold and charted extremely well and also changed everyone’s ideas about how music could be made (with Chris Knox and his 4 track) and marketed and sold (through Flying Nun). And they inspired many other bands not just in Dunedin and New Zealand but right around the world to follow their hearts and musical foibles. “What Ever I Do It’s Right”.

‘Whatever I Do It’s Right’ – From Getting Older 7″ (1982)

And The Clean were fundamental to the development of Flying Nun Records.  They were the glue that connected my fledgling Christchurch based label to Chris Knox and his 4 track and a recent conversation with Chris was very much about how important and motivating The Clean continued to be for both of us. So the band connected us and inspired many of the other bands that were to follow in their wake which were to collectively create a golden era of New Zealand music. But of course The Clean have always done their own thing so they broke up at the height of their initial success in 1981 due to the associated pressures.

Chris Knox and his four track, as well as sturdy looking filing cabinet. (Photo: Jonathan Ganley, 1984)

They got back together for a trip to the UK later in the 80s (when this sort of travel was still complicated, fraught and seldom undertaken) recorded the Vehicle album. And this is the way they have worked ever since getting together every so often for a bit of live work and recording (Modern Rock in 1994, Unknown Country in 1996 – both of which we have just re-issued – and Getaway in 2001) ever since. Spasmodic bursts of sustainable activity around recording projects and live work like the current US jaunt.

The Clean on tour:
Sep 29: Hoboken, NJ  – Maxwell’s
Sep 30:  Chicago, IL  – Bottom Lounge
Oct 04: San Francisco, CA  – The Independent
Oct 05:  Portland, OR – Holocene

The Clean - Modern Rock (FNCD292 - 1994)

The Clean - Unknown Country (FNCD349 - 1996)

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One Response to “Whatever I Do It’s Right”

  1. Dave in Melbourne Says:

    Tsk tsk Roger we may be getting older (arf!) but we remember the details!

    Shurely you mean The Clean broke up in late 1982, or maybe it was early 1983? That first Great Unwashed Tour, which included the gig in Akaroa, happened damn quick afterwards and that was in 1983….

    signed, A Trainspotting ex-Spaniard

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