The Warratahs formed in 1986 around Barry Saunders and Wayne Mason (ex-Fourmyula, and composer of the classic 'Nature'). TVNZ arts presenter Nik Brown played fiddle. Following a residency playing covers of country standards at Wellington's Cricketers Arms, the band began recording their own material. Their timeless, Kiwi-inflected, neo-traditional country, and relentless touring made them a beloved and unique presence in the fashion-conscious music scene of the late 1980s. After a few years off, the band reformed, this time without Mason.
The Warratahs were unique in the late 80s NZ music scene — a band playing classic country music with an eye on the mainstream. They enjoyed some chart success but director Waka Attewell's video for their first single almost seems to anticipate that they will make their major impact as a live act — honing their sound on the road in halls, pubs and woolsheds the length and breadth of the land. The location is a school hall in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn, with a room full of dancers responding to the Warratahs' signature warmth and timelessness.
The second single from Wellington's country crossover kings is a classic tale of lost love and the girl that got away: propelled by Nik Brown's fiddle, with Barry Saunders out front singing it like a cowboy. Director Waka Attewell's music video intersperses the band's performance with shots of Saunders in and around Wellington with a supporting cast of planes, trains and automobiles. The car is a cut-down Holden Belmont and there's a glimpse of the Cook Strait ferry (but the Warratahs' involvement with the Interislander is still a few years off).