new zealand electronic poetry centre

Matthew Bannister

 Capital of the minimal  


Matthew Bannister, founder member of Sneaky Feelings, comments: "Sneaky Feelings were the poppiest Nun band, preferring poise to noise. They didn't set out to be cool; they set out to make great, hummable records with thoughtful lyrics." William Dart observes that the band’s name was "almost a confession of their musical tactics – the sneaky skill they had for getting their catchy and often subversive pop songs to worm their way into your consciousness." Sneaky Feelings formed at the University of Otago in 1980, debuting with The Chills that November. Matthew Bannister and David Pine were the guitarists and main songwriters; drummer Martin Durrant contributed the odd tune, while Kat Tyrie played bass. In November 1981 they played with The Verlaines  at the Gladstone Hotel in Christchurch. Flying Nun’s Roger Shepherd was impressed and asked both bands to participate in the seminal Dunedin Double EP (1982) with The Chills and The Stones. They recorded their debut LP Send You in 1983; shortly after Kat Tyler left and was replaced by John Kelcher. This line-up then released the single Husband House (1985), which reached number 17 in the NZ Singles Charts. Sentimental Education (1987) was followed by their final LP, Hard Love Stories (1988), as referenced by poet David Howard in You Say It’s Your Birthday: "sneaky feelings tell hard love stories". Bannister subsequently formed Dribbling Darts of Love [see Discography], and his current band The Weather. He also performed as the lead guitarist in Don McGlashan’s The Mutton Birds.

Auckland seemed very strange to our southern eyes, and we regarded it with considerable suspicion. It was known for producing crap imitations of overseas bands. Their music was well produced, they dressed nicely, they posed, they performed -- all of which was anathema to us….It never occurred to us we needed to hustle to be successful. We were musicians. We were artists. Business was for managers and record companies, not us. Some knight in shining armour would say, ‘I’m going to make you into stars!’ He’d make us sign the most penny-pinching contract he could devise, work us like dogs and sell the rights to all our songs to Michael Jackson. We’d end up in rest homes or pumping gas, rueing our missed opportunities. [Positively George Street, 1999]


Sneaky Feelings    

  • FN DUN ˝ VARIOUS ARTISTS Dunedin Double 2xEP (1982)
  • FN FEED 001 (Promo Only) Better Than Before 7"
  • FNMC FEEL 001 Take Sides TC
  • FN FEEL 1 Send You LP (1983)
  • FN FEEL 2 Husband House 12"Single (1985)
  • FN FEEL 3 Better Than Before 12"Single
  • FN FEEL 5 Coming True 7"
  • FN FEEL 6/FNMC FEEL 6 Sentimental Education LP/TC (1987)
  • FN 112 Hard Love Stories (1988)

Dribbling Darts of Love

  • Shoot EP (1990)
  • Florid Dabblers Voting EP
  • Dribbling Darts of Love LP
  • Present Perfect LP (1993)


Work in Progress

The lyrics are reproduced the way I write them on the computer, which tends to be in this shorthand, telegraphic style. I spend enough time trying to write ‘proper’ English at Varsity. In general I try to simplify my lyrics now and let the listener fill in the gaps.

Matthew Bannister, May 2004


© Matthew Bannister 2004


Last updated 13 August, 2004