The Warratahs Profile

Kerry Doole
Published: 1 Jul 2013
Updated: 14 Aug 2018

In a career now past the quarter-century mark, The Warratahs have given homegrown country music real credibility, bringing their fresh sound to just about every nook and cranny in the country.

Here's a band that got together for all the right reasons – to play the music they loved with a bunch of mates down at the pub. There was no vision of world or even national domination as The Warratahs took to the stage at The Cricketers' Arms in Wellington in 1986.

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The most recognisable Warratahs line-up that recorded two albums and toured virtually nonstop from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Left to right: Wayne Mason, Clinton Brown, Barry Saunders, Nik Brown, Rob Clarkson.
Photo credit: Trevor Reekie Collection
Making Music - Wayne Mason
The Big Sky-era Warratahs line-up. Left to right: Clinton Brown, Wayne Mason, Barry Saunders, Mike Knapp, Nik Brown.
Photo credit: Bruce Ward collection
Big Sky (1993)
The Warratahs, 2013: Nick Theobald, Nik Brown, Barry Saunders, and Mo Newport
The Warratahs in the 2000s. Left to right: Nik Brown, Barry Saunders, Alan Norman, Mike Knapp.
Photo credit: Trevor Reekie Collection
The Only Game in Town (1987)
The Warratahs in the 2000s. Left to right: Nik Brown, Barry Saunders, Sid Limbert, Mo Newport.
The Warratahs on the cover of Rip It Up, December 1990
Photo credit: Polly Walker
Clinton Brown with The Warratahs in Hastings in 1990
Photo credit: Glen Moffatt collection
Wild Card (1990)
Barry Saunders, 1995. 
Photo credit: Guy Robinson
Wayne Mason with The Warratahs in 1990
One Of Two Things (1999)
Barry Saunders with The Warratahs at Snobbz Nightclub, Hastings, 1990
Photo credit: Glen Moffatt collection
The poster for the Wildcard release party (with Dribbling Darts Of Love) at The Gluepot, December 1990
Nik Brown with The Warratahs in Hastings, 1990
Photo credit: Glen Moffatt collection
The most recognisable Warratahs line-up that recorded two albums and toured virtually nonstop from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Left to right: Rob Clarkson, Wayne Mason, Barry Saunders, Clinton Brown, Nik Brown.
Photo credit: Trevor Reekie Collection
Kerry Buchanan reviews The Warratahs' debut LP The Only Game In Town, Rip It Up, March 1988.
Nik Brown and Barry Saunders with The Warratahs at Snobbz Nightclub, Hastings, 1990.
Photo credit: Glen Moffatt collection
Rob Clarkson with The Warratahs in Hastings, 1990
Photo credit: Glen Moffatt collection
The Warratahs in the 2000s. Left to right: Mike Knapp, Barry Saunders, Nik Brown, Alan Norman.
Photo credit: Trevor Reekie Collection
The original Warratahs line-up. Left to right: John Donoghue, Wayne Mason, Barry Saunders (seated), Marty Jorgensen, Nik Brown.
Photo credit: Trevor Reekie Collection
The most recognisable Warratahs line-up that recorded two albums and toured virtually nonstop from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Left to right: Wayne Mason, Barry Saunders, Clinton Brown, Rob Clarkson, Nik Brown.
Photo credit: Trevor Reekie Collection
Rip It Up February 1988
Photo credit: Photo by David Hamilton
The short-lived Warratahs line-up between The Only Game In Town and Too Hot To Sleep. Clockwise from bottom left: John Donoghue, Nik Brown, Wayne Mason, Rob Clarkson, Barry Saunders.
Photo credit: Photo By David Hamilton - Trevor Reekie Collection
The Big Sky-era Warratahs line-up, 1993. Left to right: Mike Knapp, Barry Saunders, Wayne Mason, Clinton Brown, Nik Brown.
Photo credit: Trevor Reekie collection
Barry Saunders on Radio Wammo 2012
Hands Of My Heart
The Warratahs, 2018. From left: Nick Theobold, Barry Saunders, Mike Knapp, and Nik Brown.
Photo credit: James Gilberd
Too Hot To Sleep (1989)
The Warratahs on stage at Snobbz Nightclub, Hastings, 1990.
Photo credit: Glen Moffatt collection
Radio With Pictures - My Kind of Town - 1981 documentary directed by Simon Morris, featuring interviews with Barry Saunders and Nick Theobald during their time as the Tigers, plus Sharon O’Neill, producer Peter Dawkins, Dragon’s Marc Hunter, Kevin Stanton of Mi-Sex, and Dave McArtney.
The Big Sky-era Warratahs line-up, 1993. Left to right: Mike Knapp, Nik Brown, Barry Saunders (seated), Wayne Mason, Clinton Brown.
The Warratahs in the 2000s. Left to right: Nik Brown, Sid Limbert, Barry Saunders, Mo Newport.
The short-lived Warratahs line-up between The Only Game In Town and Too Hot To Sleep. Left to right: Nik Brown, John Donoghue, Barry Saunders (seated), Wayne Mason, Rob Clarkson.
Photo credit: David Hamilton - Murray Cammick Collection
Clinton Brown with The Warratahs in Hastings in 1990
Photo credit: Glen Moffatt collection
Barry Saunders with The Orange in Christchurch, 1969
Photo credit: Kevin Hill
Maureen
Members:

John Donoghue - bass

Barry Saunders - vocals, guitar

Wayne Mason - keyboards

Nik Brown - violin, mandolin

Marty Jorgensen - drums

Rob Clarkson - drums

Nick Theobald - bass, vocals

Mo Newport - drums

Clinton Brown - bass

Alan Norman - keyboards, accordion

Sid Limbert - bass

Mike Knapp - drums

Trivia:

The Warratahs were named by John Donoghue, after a character in Footrot Flats.

A highlight of Barry Saunders’ solo career was opening for Patti Smith and Bob Dylan in Christchurch in 1998. He recalls now that “my part went really well and got a great review. Patti Smith was fantastic, and Bob Dylan came and said a brief hello after.”

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