Hello Sailor sign on for Outrageous Fortune prequel

Band members from Hello Sailor pictured in Graham Brazier's bookshop on Dominion Road, Auckland. From left, Harry Lyon, ...
Lawrence Smith

Band members from Hello Sailor pictured in Graham Brazier's bookshop on Dominion Road, Auckland. From left, Harry Lyon, the late Dave McArtney and Brazier.

One of New Zealand's most legendary bands has landed the theme song for the highly anticipated prequel to Outrageous Fortune

New Zealand television show Westside starts on TV3 later this year and it's signature tune will be Hello Sailor's Watch Your Back.

Westside is a prequel to the hit New Zealand show Outrageous Fortune, which had Hello Sailor's Gutter Black as its theme song. 

The late Frank Whitten, who played Grandpa Ted on Outrageous Fortune.
Nicola Murphy

The late Frank Whitten, who played Grandpa Ted on Outrageous Fortune.

Hello Sailor frontman Graham Brazier said he was touched the band had managed to score the theme song for both shows. 

"We did the theme for Outrageous Fortune and now we've got the theme for Westside too. It's great, especially since [fellow band mate] Dave [McArtney] has passed away now. It's quite nice to be able to do this," Brazier said.

"Gutter Black had a rebirth, a renaissance from Outrageous Fortune. It was great." 

Brazier has fond memories of his involvement with the Outrageous Fortune cast and crew, especially the late Frank Whitten, who played Grandpa Ted West. 

"We'd play all the wrap parties, every year when they finished filming. Frank and I become really good friends. He was a wonderful, wonderful man. 

"He told me he'd once worked with Michael Caine in England and he said to Michael Caine, 'What do you do when you've got a particularly hard on-camera scene but you're not speaking?' And Michael Caine said 'Look to the left and think of a deep dark secret'.

"I miss Frank. When we did the wrap parties, in between playing I'd always end up sitting at the table with him yapping away for hours. He was a lovely man, and crazy funny."

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Brazier started out playing music in folk and blues clubs when he was about 17 years old and is in the process of writing his latest solo album, which he says has bought him back to where he started.

In the mid 70s Brazier went from being poet to a songwriter when he joined Hello Sailor.

He lived the life of a rockstar playing sold out concerts in some of the biggest venues across New Zealand, Australia and America. 

The band's chart topping hits Blue Lady and Gutter Black have become anthems of New Zealand history and led to Brazier being referred to as The "Godfather" of New Zealand music. 

Now, Brazier is working on his fourth solo album, with Alan Jansson of OMC's How Bizarre fame. 

"I started playing when I was about 17 or 18 in folk and blues clubs, so this album has kinda taken me full circle. It's all original songs, more of what you would call new folk or roots music. I don't like saying Americana, but with that kind of flavour. 

"There's a couple of rock songs on there, some ballads. All the songs are written over a three year period so its got quite a good thread to it." 

Brazier, who runs his own antique bookstore by day and collects first edition books, has just started playing his saxophone again.

"It's been 10 or 12 years since I last played. I'm enjoying it, but it's just a matter of hardening up your lip again, like most woodwind instruments.

"It's kind of weird though, because you think of how many singer saxophonists there. Not many people play at the same time they are singing. You use two totally different structures. You sing from your abdomen, and you play saxophone from your throat and mouth."

Brazier will play two solo gigs in Taranaki this weekend: Urenui Dive Club, from 7pm, on Friday May 15 and Waitara Bridge Cafe and Bar from 8pm, on Saturday May 16. 

 - Stuff

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