Dave McLean - A Brief History.
Former frontman for Auckland RnB legend The Furys, Dave McLean has become something of an icon in New Zealand RnB.
Beginning his career as guitar player and onstage focus for RnB punks Johnny & The Hookers back in 1977, Dave played throughout NZ, impressing audiences from Auckland's leading venues to the provinces, and prompting John Dix to write in his definitive history of NZ Rock'n'Roll, 'Stranded In Paradise' that Dave was "the meanest mutha to grace a NZ stage...". Dix may have been right, but the volatile personnel mix of Johnny & The Hookers couldn't last, and Dave left to form The Furys in 1979. As a result of a gruelling touring schedule early in the life of The Furys, the new band gathered a formidable reputation for exciting live performances with punters all over the country, whether in small, medium or large barrooms or on larger stages at concert halls and festivals throughout the country.
In 1980 The Furys signed to Charley Gray's Muchmore record label and released the 'Auckland Fun' EP, followed later by another titled '4 x 5'. Both releases contained examples of Dave's burgeoning songwriting ability, notably the title track 'Auckland Fun' and '4 x 5's 'Thief Of Love', both of which became firm favourites with the band's fan-base, and prime support slots to international touring acts such as Elvis Costello and Dr. Feelgood followed.
These gigs, along with concerts such as Save The Whales in the Auckland Town Hall, saw Dave and the band gaining much wider exposure, whilst making the pub-rock scene very much their own, until the pressures of raising a young family saw the band in recession in 1983.
With the downsizing of the pub-rock scene in the 1980's, Dave and the band made only sporadic live appearances through the rest of the decade as they concentrated on alternative careers. One gig included the 1988 closure of the famed Gluepot Tavern, which saw the band invited to play the venue's final week. By 1988, Dave had joined the church and even did a stretch at a local Bible College, but a falling out with the church establishment was the main result. Now Dave is back, ably helped his latest bunch of cohorts The Raucous Brothers, his most versatile band yet.
The years haven't been wasted, as great songs reflecting New Zealand life and love, faith and murder, sex and sewage have poured from Dave's soul. In 1999 the task of recording some of these songs began, first in demo form at a friend's small studio, followed by fuller sessions with John Roy Kempt in charge.
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