Don and his euphonium
Singer Don McGlashan, 51, performed at San Francisco’s Café Du Nord ahead of a “songwriting train trip” from Chicago to Oakland. Former Muttonbirds frontman, Auckland-born McGlashan, learnt the French horn at school before settling on the unlikely — and unwieldy — euphonium, which he recently played on tour with his good friends Crowded House, who in turn featured him as their opening act. Why the awkward instrument choice? “I had a very aggressive brass teacher in school,” McGlashan says. “He tried to get me to play trumpet, but my teeth were too crooked. And he needed a good euphonium player, so he managed to convince me that the euphonium was made for me and it would get me lots of girls.” In New Zealand, McGlashan is currently working with side group The Bellbirds, and on several TV and film soundtracks.