Reading through a list of New Zealand musicians who've garnered an audience outside their native land, most of the names are quirky outsiders like The Verlaines, The Bats and The Clean. When Crowded House is your country's most popular expert, you know you haven't raised a nation of rock stars. Even musical comics Flight of the Conchords skew toward the fringe.

Reading through a list of New Zealand musicians who've garnered an audience outside their native land, most of the names are quirky outsiders like The Verlaines, The Bats and The Clean. When Crowded House is your country's most popular expert, you know you haven't raised a nation of rock stars. Even musical comics Flight of the Conchords skew toward the fringe.

Keith Urban, then, is the outlier by being an insider. Yet even Urban feels like an anomaly - a Kiwi country singer turned Hollywood heartthrob? Very strange indeed.