Found videos from 1997

A fluffy bra, nightclub, a prison, a derelict swimming pool, three lifts and an escalator.

February 1997

Bailter Space “Pass It Up”

This is Bailter Space right in the midst of their poppiest period (lol). The video pleasingly subverts the “in the club” cliche. We see the trio heading out in a vintage car, eventually making it to a hip night club full of cool kids. But in that context, Bailter Space look like three dads who realise they’ve made a horrible mistake, and slump on the sofas, looking bored shitless. But they make things work when they start performing. It turns out the ’90s kids are totally digging their bored-dad aesthetic.

Director Marc Swadel describes the video shoot: “I had devised a hip hop video for the track – and organised a helicopter and a bunch of classic NZ style cars as the bands ‘ride’, and bitch hipsters as the ‘posse’.. Alister, on arriving – decided he wanted quote.. ‘Space.. you know.. like Tarkovsky..’ so I had to make it spacey – which made for a fucking confused clip. Watch out for a cameo from a teen Labretta Suede.”

Director: Marc Swadel
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “Bad For Me”

“Bad For Me” is a bright indie rock track. The band features in the video (in a traditional studio setting) but most of the action is giving over to a saucy couple, one or both of which we assume is bad for the other. The couple go through various types of sexy dress-up, all without success. It turns out actual first aid experience is more useful than a sexy nurse’s outfit.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1997

Propeller “Suva Yacht Club”

Semi Lemon Kola has rebranded as Propeller, and ditched their Red Hot Chili Peppers-influenced sound in favour of a harder Tool-inspired style, with lots of meandering bass. The video is set in some sort of prison/asylum where the members of the band are each playing in their own cell. The video, which is largely shot from the perspective of security cameras, and keeps its distance from the band members, putting the viewer in the role of a bored security guard.

Director: Steve Morrison

June 1997

Muckhole “Not Like U”

It’s morning in the Muckhole house, home to four women (played by Muckhole in the laziest, least convincing drag ever) and Muckhole. The ladies all sleep in the same bed and dress like they’ve raided an opshop. While they’re out for the day, the Muckhole punks perform in a spare bedroom, angrily ranting about the “them” they don’t want to be like. The video provokes the question – who do we not want to be like – a punk band or a group of men in drag?

Ma-v-elle “Three Flow”

“Three Flow” takes inspiration from the CrazySexyCool-era style of TLC. We see the girl group looking slick in black outfits, and later being cool in streetwear. And that’s pretty much the video – lots of straight-to-camera delivery, either in front of a velvet curtain or amid corrugated iron and barrels. It works in mid-’90s R&B style, but Ma-V-Elle feel constrained by the video, roped in by its tiny universe.

Director: Grant Lahood

August 1997

Breaks Co-Op “Sound Advice”

“Sound Advice” was the first single released by Breaks Co-Op. The video was shot in and around the Saltdean Lido in Brighton, UK, an art deco outdoor swimming pool. At the time, the lido was derelict (which makes provides some great settings for the moody video), but in the late ’90s it was restored and now has a historic listing. The “Sound Advice” video captures the lido at its most unloved, and, well, it makes a change from the Parnell Baths.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Strawpeople “Inject Me”

Here’s a tricky one – “Inject Me” isn’t listed in the NZOA database, but yet there’s the familiar logo. I think it might have replaced the listed Strawpeople song “Sun Comes Up”. Anyway, it’s a minimalist song and video, but there’s a lot happening. It’s mostly filmed at Artspace gallery in Auckland, exhibiting Fiona Jack’s Nothing billboard series. But in one of the galleries we find Killer Ray, the legendary jazz cowboy, at his drumkit. And there’s also Fiona McDonald wearing a fluffy raver bra, but because it’s black and she’s cool it works.

Director: Paul Casserly
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1997

Ermehn “Don’t Be Late”

This video seems to have been shot in a lift – a small metal-lined room with a safety rail and air-conditioning vents. But it looks great, thanks to dramatic lighting reflecting off the metal. He’s also joined by various members of his posse, including one dancer who is on the verge of having a wardrobe malfunction with her short skirt vs the low camera angle. Ermehn also makes it outside, rapping by the Palace Hotel, demolished in 2010 after some construction work went dangerously wrong.

Director: Kane Massey
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Moizna “Keep on Moving”

Ermehn might think he’s cool using one lift in his video but Moizna use two lifts and an escalator – and the locations have a direct reference to the song. Moizna had a good thing happening in 1997. As part of the four acts that made up Phil Fuemana’s Urban Pacifika label (Moizna, Lost Tribe, AKA Brown, and Dei Hamo) they were considered the most successful. Their first single “Just Another Day” charted at No.6 the following year they won Most Promising Group at the New Zealand Music Awards. But then what? “Keep on Moving”, which references “Maneater”, “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough” and “Only Shooting Love”, is a decent enough pop tune from the late ’90s, but it doesn’t have the same impact as “Just Another Day”.

Director: Joe Lonie
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

December 1997

Breathe “Get To You”

It’s a windy Wellington evening and lead singer Andrew is doing some outdoor waterfront karaoke. This leads to live footage of the band, rocking out at a real gig. It’s a completely ok video, but given that the song is such a hook-laden pop number, I would have like something with more hard-sell pop energy.

Director: David Stubbs
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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