4 Sep 2015

Interview: Fur Patrol

9:06 am on 4 September 2015

It's been six years since Fur Patrol last took the stage. They explain what brought them back for a one-off gig.


Fur Patrol (L-to-R: Simon Braxton, Andrew Bain and Julia Deans)

Fur Patrol (L-to-R: Simon Braxton, Andrew Bain and Julia Deans) Photo: Dan Robinson

Twenty-three years after they first assembled, and six years since their last live performance, Wellington's Fur Patrol hit the stage again to celebrate the demolition of their old hang out, Munki Studios. 

Cast your mind back to the late 90s, when Wellington was home to a vibrant rock scene before the emergence of the much-loved, sometimes maligned, Welly dub or BBQ reggae of Fat Freddy's Drop, The Black Seeds, Rhombus, Trinity Roots et. al.  On any given night you could catch Shihad, Weta - with frontman Aaron Tokona, Letterbox Lambs, Head Like a Hole or Fur Patrol with a $5 pint in hand. 

Fur Patrol gained a strong national following, in part from their persistent touring, recording output, and a good dose of moxie courtesy of frontwoman and chief songwriter, Auckland-resident Julia Deans.  

Onstage with her bandmates, now Melbourne-based drummer, Simon Braxton, bassist and Wellington native Andrew Bain, and former guitarist Steve Wells, these guys rocked the stage, and student radio/Channel-Z airwaves with tracks like 'Andrew', 'Not Your Girl' and 'Now'.

Then along came their 2000 debut album, Pet, produced by Muttonbird Dave Long, and everything changed.

The release of 'Lydia' saw the band crossover. They went to no.1 on the NZ Single Charts, snatched up four New Zealand Music Awards, and consequently became a high-rotate favourite of any call-centre hold music of major New Zealand businesses.

Following in the footsteps of their honorary rock brothers, Shihad, and buoyed by their chart sucess, Fur Patrol headed to Melbourne. Despite their punishing touring schedule, and releasing an EP and follow-up albums, the enormity of the Australian scene never yielded the success of 'Lydia'.

The familiarity and depth of their shared experience means that the sibling-like banter is still there. And this might not be the last time we hear from the trio either, says Simon Braxton.

"Never say never, it's much to fun. If there was the right party, a la this one, then it's totally on the cards."

PODCAST: Fur Patrol catch up with Music 101's Yadana Saw.