Well, this is an interesting video. Love Soup was Bic Runga’s high school band, a duo with Kelly Horgan, later of the Heavy Jones Trio. The Cashmere High pair came in third place in the 1993 Smokefreerockquest and part of the prize was a single and video to be released through Pagan Records. Only at around the same time, Sony had began to take an interest in Bic, signed her and bought her recordings from Pagan.
This left the tricky question of what to do with the “You” video. It had been funded and produced and therefore had to be broadcast. This was the old Bic and it wasn’t what she or Sony wanted to present as her New Zealand debut. So in order to tick the boxes, the video screened once, on a lazy afternoon, as a between-programme filler. No one noticed. But when it came time for Bic to properly launch her solo career later in 1995, plenty of people noticed.
The video itself focuses solely on Bic. Kelly doesn’t feature in the video at all, other than his guitar playing on the track. Bic dances around an empty house and on a rocky beach, while wearing long dresses and a garland of flowers. It’s different from the more stylish urban look she took for her solo videos. Because of this, while it’s a great song and Bic is already a skilled performer, it doesn’t quite feel like Bic Runga.
Bic is sometimes joined by a spooky figure, like a CGI shop mannequin. This CGI creature manages to make the video feel really weird. It ends with the figure attached to a wooden frame, in a crucifixion-like pose, floating off into the sky. This might actually be the most unsettling scene I’ve seen in all these videos.
The “You” video is an interesting glimpse into the early days of Bic Runga’s career. And it makes me glad that Sony were prepared to put a bit more money into her later videos.
Best bit: the weird winged creature that swoops past Bic as she emotes on the rocky shore.
Bonus: Watch the 1993 Canterbury final of the Smokefreerockquest. Love Soup start at 5:45.
Next… some yuletide beats.