By 1999 Salmonella had taken a form that would lead them on to many successes. They’d acquired a new singer Tiki Taane, a charismatic, handsome and cool dude to front the less remarkable band. But most importantly, they’d stumbled across their sound, what Wikipedia terms “a unique Pacific style of dub/drum ‘n’ bass/reggae/hip hop and groove-based rock” and what others may unflatteringly call barbecue reggae.
The “For the Love of It” video is like a manifesto of what the new Salmonella Dub is all about. The opening shot in the video is a wide panorama of a pristine lakeside area, empty of people. It’s the way New Zealand has been portrayed in tourism propaganda for over a hundred years.
We soon meet the band as they travel through rural New Zealand, hanging out at the beach and by waterfalls. They finally arrive at their destination – music festival the Gathering. This lets the band engage in the very modern, very manmade act of performing amplified music, but keeping it in a natural setting.
There’s lots of random footage of the Gathering, which is a nice record of that period of the late ’90s. And with that context, it seems obvious why Salmonella Dub would have appealed to a field full of loved-up festival-goers.
But the live performance almost takes a backseat to the footage of the band enjoying the great outdoors. There’s a game of beach cricket, skateboarding, fishing, riding an inner tub in a river and, yes, even a barbecue. “Stripping it back to the roots,” declares Tiki in the lyrics, and that’s exactly what this video it all about.
Occasionally there’ll be a glimpse of the band indoors, recording stuff in dark rooms. But that never lasts for long. This is a sunny, summery video to remind people of the real wicked-as time they had on their holidays.
Best bit: the stilt-walker performance artist at the Gathering.
Director: Rongotai Lomas
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… eat your greens.