Headless Chickens “Expecting To Fly”

1998-headless-chickens-expecting-to-flyThis song was originally on the Headless Chickens first album, “Stunt Clown”, but it was remixed for the “ChickensHits” greatest hits/remixes album in 2002, with this single released in 2003. So what’s it doing in the 1998 funding round? Well, the band originally received funding in 1998 for the song “Chicken Little”. This video didn’t get made, but the funding stayed on the books until the Chooks were ready to make another video in 2003.

The band are totally absent from the video. Instead the screen is occupied by some very attractive young people. The video seems to have been a promo for the spring/summer 2003 collection from the iconic Dunedin fashion label NOM*d.

Directed by Rachael Churchward, the video is shot in black and white and is set in a bleak landscape. The models mooch around in a miserable holiday camp, going about ordinary domestic tasks. Doing the dishes at a stainless steel sink never looked more awful and yet so glamorous.

It’s interesting having a video without the band. It feels like the band have taken a step away from the spotlight, in preparation for their demise. Sometimes the models lip-sync the song, and other times select lines of the song are subtitled – a visual reminder of the lyrics. Somehow there’s enough of the Headless Chickens character for the video to work. It’s a bit dark, a bit depressed and still stylish – all hallmarks of the Chickens.

After the mixed quality of videos from “Greedy”, I’m glad the band has ended with a good video. Sure, it’s no “Donde Esta La Pollo”, but for a swansong, it’s a good one.

Best bit: the ceramic chicken, never forget.


Director: Rachael Churchward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… future boys tell us.

4 thoughts on “Headless Chickens “Expecting To Fly””

  1. Robyn, this is a remix from the Chickenshits best of album that came out in 2002.
    Majik’s (Dick Johnson) Back To The 80s’ Remix

    So it’s not from 1998.

    The video is possibly a bit of an afterthought.

  2. NZ Film Archive credits Rachel Churchward as director (she’s partner of Grant Fell, Chooks’ bass player)

  3. Posted a link to this to Chris Matthews via FB, he confirmed it was done by Rachel Churchward, and is off the remix disc from that Chickens best of comp. The remixes were not to his liking….

  4. Thanks for finding that out! So I’d guess the funding didn’t originate in 1998 (just the same as the 3 The Hard Way video). The NZOA database is usually pretty accurate, so this is weird.

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