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Hero image for Gutter Black

Hello Sailor perform the classic single from their debut album, for TVNZ's cameras. 'Gutter Black' features what composer Dave McArtney called the band’s trademark “whiteman’s attempt to play that ska rocksteady beat” — plus the distinctive sound of amped-up drums and handclaps. 'The song was originally titled 'Sickness Benefit', with lyrics mentioning “dole bludgers living in Ponsonby” —  as revealed on a 1996 greatest hits compilation. Reconstituted as 'Gutter Black', the song took on a new lease of life as the opening theme for TV's Outrageous Fortune

It was the drum sound in Gutter Black that caused the ears of radio to prick up ... The loping feel, with no glue in the form of a steady eight-note pattern to glue all the ingredients together, was an almost pagan disregard for musical convention.
– Dave McArtney in his 2014 book Gutter Black, page 105

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