McGlashan and Carter together, writes Dionne Christian.

They're singing songs they've never performed live before from a playlist they didn't choose, but Don McGlashan and Shayne Carter sound relaxed about it.

Two of our most acclaimed singer/songwriters, McGlashan and Carter have spent the past few months quietly listening to music from their respective back catalogues - the Mutton Birds, the Front Lawn, Blam Blam Blam, Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer - and musing about the way these songs could be reworked for a concert unlike any they've performed before.

With a successful rehearsal at the other end of the country completed, they'll perform tomorrow night in a one-off Auckland Arts Festival show described as bringing to audiences music "meant to be experienced up close".

McGlashan's chosen the songs for Carter; Carter's picked for McGlashan and they're both pleased with what the other has unearthed.


There are 18 songs in total; they'll alternate between their songs and use all manner of instruments and arrangements from rip-roaring drum sets to acoustic guitar.

"It errs on the side of the stranger and darker because we decided to put a show together to please ourselves and just try a few things out," says McGlashan, who'll perform live for the first time No Plans for Later from the Mutton Birds' self-titled debut album and Themes from the Lounge Bar from his days with the Front Lawn.

He's also looking forward to a version of Blam Blam Blam's Don't Fight it Marsha, it's Bigger than Both of Us.

Carter says neither of them has ever been in a position when someone else has picked the playlist.

"We didn't go for our most well-known stuff at all. If anything we've picked the most unlikely but it works and it's been fun."