Fur Patrol arrive on the scene, rounding out the trinity of late ’90s female-fronted bands, along with Tadpole and Stellar (who we’ll soon meet again). Of all these bands, Fur Patrol were the ones who did the most interesting things with their music videos. Julia Deans’ strong voice and skilful songwriting were given a dark twist by the content of their music videos.
“Dominoes” is a perfect example of this. It’s a tale of relationship troubles, with cheerful instrumentation and pensive vocals. But what does director Greg Page do with the music video? He puts the band in a swimming pool – I think we assume they’re up to their thighs in concrete – fills it with filthy water.
It’s a bit like a classic Joe Lonie video gimmick, but it’s how the band deal with it that makes the video work. There’s no indication that this is anything other than another gig for the band. In fact, they even look a little bored, like they’re tiring of their swimming pool residency. It’s this lack of comedic panic that lets the video get away with its outrageous concept.
The camera is in the pool with them, submerging into the mucky brown water, and with droplets trickling down the lens. The water rises and rises and there’s a feeling that either they’re going to drown or the water will be drained and they’ll have to perform the song again and again.
And it’s a good introduction to Fur Patrol. Here’s a band who know how to craft a good song but refuse to give it a standard pop package.
Best bit: the mini soccer ball pool toy; unloved.
Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… a team-building away day.