Researching World Gone Wild got me sucked right down a google hole while finding out about the career of Stanley Manthyng, one half of the goth-pop duo. Firstly: best name ever. Since the end of World Gone Wild he’s gone on to other projects, including co-writing four songs for Double J and Twice the T. He also formed his own group, dance-pop duo Manthyng (again, best name ever). If you’re going to watch one Manthyng video, I recommend the official “Nek Minute” song, with vocals by Levi Hawken himself and a cameo from MC OJ and Rhythm Slave. It’s actually quite good, and a far better catchphrase song than Suzanne Paul’s “Blue Monkey”.
Anyway, back to World Gone Wild. Mr Manthyng and co-goth Michael Caulfield had modest hits with “Shy Shy Jenny” and “Standback” in the early ’90s. “Touch” didn’t chart but the group took advantage of the brand-new music video funding scheme.
The video starts with a man furiously running through the back streets of downtown Auckland, taking care only to run town the coolest looking lanes. We then find the band in a studio, lit with deep shadows. Lightbulbs dangle dramatically.
Both the song and the video feel like a remnant of the ’80s, about to be washed away by the tsunami of grunge. But the chorus, with its gravelly cry of “touch me and set me free!” has a glorious creepy fun.
The video concludes with the running man still running, sprinting past graffiti-covered buildings that are probably now hip boutiques. Maybe this is the horrific end result of being touched and set free.
Best bit: the man’s panicked sprint up the Exchange Lane spiral stairs.
Director: Tony Johns
Next… spies, lies and vampi(r)es.