Don McGlashan (born 18 July 1959) is a New Zealand musician and songwriter who has been a member of bands such as The Plague, From Scratch, The Whizz Kids, Blam Blam Blam, The Front Lawn, The Mutton Birds and, from 2009, The Bellbirds. He composed several pieces for the Limbs Dance Company. He has now embarked on a solo career.
Don won the ‘Best Song’ award in the 1982 New Zealand Music Awards, for the Blam Blam Blam song Don’t Fight It Marsha, It’s Bigger Than Both Of Us. In the 1989 awards, McGlashan, along with Harry Sinclair, received three awards for their work as The Front Lawn: ‘Best Film Soundtrack / Compilation’, ‘Most Promising Group’ and ‘International Achievement’. In 1993, McGlashan’s group The Mutton Birds won a further three New Zealand Music Awards: ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Single of the Year’ (for Nature), and ‘Best Group’.
Warm Hand was announced as a finalist for ‘Album of the Year’ in the 2006 awards. His work on the album has also placed him in the running for the ‘Best Male Solo Artist’ award. McGlashan, SJD and Ed McWilliams were nominated for the ‘Best Producer’ technical award, but did not win.
McGlashan’s first solo album, entitled Warm Hand, was released in May 2006. In March 2009, the Marvellous Year album was released through Arch Hill Records. This album is the first to be credited to ‘Don McGlashan & the Seven Sisters’. It includes a new version of the hit ‘Bathe in the River’, this time with McGlashan on lead vocals.
McGlashan has played a number of different instruments throughout his musical career. Some of his earliest instrumental work was with the French horn and percussion for the Auckland Symphonia. Working with From Scratch, from 1979, McGlashan played a number of more eclectic percussion instruments, such as PVC piping struck with jandals; the name of the group came from the fact that they produced their own instruments ‘from scratch’. When asked what Instruments he plays he answered with “Well I don’t play violin”.
With Blam Blam Blam, McGlashan played drums and euphonium. He later picked up guitar duties for his work with The Front Lawn and The Mutton Birds. McGlashan has also collaborated with other New Zealand musicians, playing the euphonium in tracks by Dave Dobbyn (‘It Dawned On Me’), Tim Finn and on Time On Earth, by Crowded House. He played live with Crowded House at Glastonbury 2008 and has been a regular member of the touring line-up throughout their 2008 world tour.