The much-loved Dunedin indie trio was formed by David and Hamish Kilgour and the late Peter Gutteridge as part of the nation’s late 1970’s punk experiment, and they found their feet with new bass player Robert Scott in the even busier 1980’s post-punk scene.
While they may have broken up for a time in the early 80s, their music proved irrepressible, with multiple hit songs and EPs like Tally Ho!, Boodle Boodle Boodle, and Live Dead Clean entering and re-entering the charts, and making them famous in Australia, Europe, UK, and North America, even when the band were on hiatus.
The success of their songs brought the band back together, and globe-trotting tours continued right through the 1990s and well into the middle of the second decade of the new millennium. Occasionally the tours were followed by blistering live albums that pointed to the trio’s devastating onstage chemistry and the power of original songs that connect in the moment and continue to inspire decades on.
The group’s mix of driving folk-ish pop, insistent psychedelic instrumentals, and offbeat yet accessible minimalism, has proved timeless. As has The Clean’s philosophy and rationale.
Trusting your musical instincts and doing it for yourself were key ideals of the group, their success showing the importance and validity of taking complete creative control over the timing, capture, presentation and expression of your art.
In time, The Clean’s back catalogue would progressively be successfully reissued and reviewed favourably in international media, as well as at home with Boodle Boodle Boodle winning the IMNZ Taite Music Prize’s Classic Record Award in 2017.
Globe trotting tours by The Clean continued right through the 1990s and well into the middle of the second decade of the new millennium, followed, if lucky, by a blistering live album that pointed to the trio’s devastating onstage chemistry and the power of original songs that connect in the moment and continue to inspire decades on.
Peter Gutteridge • David Kilgour • Hamish Kilgour • Robert Scott
The Clean’s induction by David Merritt (Dunedin Town Hall, 28 September 2017)
Musical tribute to The Clean by Billy TK, Astro Children & Lucy Hunter (Dunedin Town Hall, 28 September 2017)