Huband / Husband House on Hope Street #flatnames

Sneaky Feelings was an early Dunedin Sound band who formed while at the University of Otago. Their hit single, Husband House (1985) which made it to 17 on NZ singles charts, refers to a house on Hope Street – the exact address is not known. The house referred to in the song was actually called Huband House, and according to legend, a group of eligible young men lived there.

The album cover and poster for the single both depict a house, but it’s not the flat itself, rather the photographer Jeremy, used the terrace houses on Dundas Street.

Poster for the release of the Husband House EP.

Poster for the release of the Husband House EP. MacLean, Lesley, fl 1985. [Maclean, Lesley], fl 1985 :Sneaky Feelings. New single. “Husband house”. A Flying Nun record. [1985].. Various artists :[Posters advertising sound and phonographic recordings made in 1985].. Ref: Eph-D-PHONO-1985-04. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

In March 2014, a discussion formed around Ali Clarke’s blog post about the Dunedin Flat Names Project. A woman named Bronwyn commented, and to which Ali and I both replied.

“You forgot Husband house! (Huband House – donated to St Matthews Anglican Church) The sneaky feelings even wrote a song about it…

“Hi Sarah, this house is important to us. The Sneaky Feelings wrote about it (held the NZ charts at #2 for quite some time) because, living in the house were a number of lads. It seemed that every time girls went around there, they ended up getting married. Prior to my husband living there, three couples from the house ended up getting married off. We were the fourth, marrying in 2005 – long after the Sneaky Feelings. Since then, St Matts has demolished the house; it was not structurally sound.”

Positively George Street by Matthew Bannister

Positively George Street by Matthew Bannister

Find out more about Sneaky Feelings on Audio Culture, or heck out Matthew Bannister’s book, Positively George Street, at your local library.

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