Straitjacket Fits from left: Shayne Carter, Andrew Brough, John Collie and David Wood

Andrew Brough, a guitarist and songwriter who played in multiple New Zealand bands in the 1980s and ’90s including Straitjacket Fits, part of Flying Nun Records’ second wave of the so-called Dunedin sound, died on Tuesday, the band announced on Facebook.

“So saddened to report that our band mate Andrew Brough has passed away in Dunedin. Not much to say right now, but sending aroha to Andrew’s whanau and loved ones,” said the band, which had reunited to play live in recent years — though without Brough, who had reportedly declined reunion invitations.

According to New Zealand press reports, police responded to a report of a death in the Dunedin suburb where Brough lived on Tuesday morning. Police said the death was not suspicious.

Martin Kean, a former bandmate in The Blue Meanies, confirmed to The New Zealand Herald newspaper that Brough had died. “Andrew was an amazing person and he will be sorely missed.”

Brough grew up in Dunedin, home to Flying Nun Records, and first got involved with The Blue Meanies, serving as their singer until that band fell apart. In 1984, he formed a trio called The Orange, which recorded an EP that was released in 1986 just before the band broke up.

That same year, Brough joined the Straitjacket Fits, which had formed the year prior. He wrong and sang pop-hewn alternative-rock songs on the Fits’ first two albums, 1988’s Hail and 1990’s Melt — including the song “Down in the Splendour,” off the latter LP. He and Shayne Carter served as the band’s songwriting team, though Brough would quit after a North American tour in 1991.

Following his time in the Straitjacket Fits, Brough formed his own band called Bike, which released an EP in 1996 and a debut album, Take In the Sun, in 1997.

On Tuesday, Carter posted a lengthier note about Brough’s death on his own Facebook page:

“So much has been made of the apparent divide between Andrew and myself in our time together in Straitjacket Fits, by people who were never there; in the van, or in the rehearsal room, or sharing the same stage or grotty motel room somewhere out the back of fuck knows where. Here’s the deal – we were two young men who, in our five years together, and along with David and John, produced powerful, beautiful music and played some truly scorching shows. We were the four in that maelstrom – no one else – and it’s we four who can be proud of our shared achievement. I have a lot of respect for Andrew; as a chess player, a humourist, a film buff, a songwriter and guitarist and someone who annoyingly always sang in tune. He was a sensitive and extremely smart man and I”m so saddened by his passing and also by the fact that two of SJF are now gone [Bassist David Wood died in 2010]. Sending aroha to Andrew’s whanau and all those that loved him and his work.”

Below, we’ve collected some of Brough’s songs with the Straitjacket Fits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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