Playing live to 100,000 people. Signing to two international labels. Recording with Radiohead. Having a track chosen as NME single of the week. These are just some of the highlights of Dianne Swann’s career as a vocalist, songwriter, and performer.
Dianne’s career began when she fronted the band Everything that Flies in the mid-80s, the group disbanding not long after winning Best Music Video at the 1986 Aotearoa Music Awards.
She followed this by linking up with Margaret Urlich, Annie Crummer, Kim Willoughby and Debbie Harwood as When The Cat’s Away which proved staggering successful with a gold album, number 1 song and two years of sell-out national tours; also finding time to release the solo single ‘Something Good’ in 1989.
In 1991 Dianne moved to London and formed The Julie Dolphin after linking up with guitarist Brett Adams & bassist Geoff Hayden of The Mockers. The following year their alt-rock album Lit was released, lauded by the British music press and the album’s lead single ‘Birthday’ was named as an NME single of the week. Headline shows followed as well as supporting the likes of Green Day, Oasis, and Radiohead; the latter connection leading to Dianne singing on the B-side to ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ and joining them on stage as keyboardist.
The Julie Dolphin switched gears, changing both their name and record companies. But after the newly-minted Boom Boom Mancini, recorded an album, released two singles and filmed videos, the label folded and the album remains unreleased to this day.
Returning to New Zealand in 2003, Dianne and Brett reinvented themselves once more as The Bads releasing Earth From Space in 2005, So Alive in 2009, Travel Light in 2013, and their most crtically-acclaimed album Losing Heroes in 2017.
Demand for Dianne’s musical talents soared, touring and performing with the likes of Tim Finn, Opshop as well as fellow Hall of Famers, Dave McArtney and Straitjacket Fits. After a career of music released under band names, Dianne released her first solo album, The War on Peace of Mind, to critical acclaim in April of this year whilst behind the scenes, she is also a regular guest contributor to RNZ Music and AudioCulture
It is with great pleasure that we welcome Dianne Swann into the NZ Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa.