The Stereo Bus “Birthday”

1999-stereo-bus-birthdayThis is a quality song. It’s the sort of song that is sometimes described as “perfect pop” but it never managed to bother the charts the way that the similarly perfect pop of Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys or Westlife did at the same time.

Maybe “Birthday” was a little too depressing to get higher than #26. But it’s a good kind of depressing. “Today is your birthday and not mine,” sings Dave Yetton, looking miserable.

The video is a simple affair. It focuses on brightly lit close-ups of band members. Dave is shot against a white background, the rest of the band against a black background. And while it’s Dave’s voice we can hear, the lip-sync is shared amongst the band.

Cut between that are shots of brightly coloured sweeties. There’s Tim Tams, Cadbury DMCs (Dairy Milk Centres aka off-brand M&Ms), Pink Smokers, Jet Planes, eerily corpse-like Eskimos, licorice allsorts, Shrewsburys… Oh, I’m starting to feel a little ill now.

“No, you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” admonishes Dave. And the video conveys that well – the dark side of celebrations. Whether it’s a child stuffing their face until they turn green or an adult dealing with the end of a relationship, life has a funny tendency to get in the way of the best laid plans.

Best bit: the old-style H2GO bottle.

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

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