The Exiles were the next project of Sean Strum after Eye TV called it a day. The band were described as “indie electro/rock” and had a harder sound than the popstastic Eye TV.
The video is a mix of animated backgrounds with live action people moving within them. Specifically, the Exiles are toiling in a prison, watched over by stern female prison guards all wearing tiny leather dominatrix suits because music video.
Life is tough in prison. The food is terrible, there’s only one basketball hoop for amusement, they’re on laundry duty. Black and white stripes is not the new black. Obviously the dudes must escape.
This requires an elaborate plan involving a huge amount of tunnelling, some distractions, and finally the dudes emerge from a muddy drainpipe onto a beach, all spotlessly clean. Waiting for them is an 18th century ship out in the harbour, which makes perfect sense in with the fantasy world logic of the video. Off you go, lads.
The video has various scenes pixellated out, presumedly because the content is too graphic. This includes a guard’s raised middle finger, a man being whipped, and a prisoner being injected with a hypodermic needle. Only the pixellation makes it look like someone is nudging the guy’s arm with their penis.
There’s a lot of goofy fun happening in this video, and the animated penitentiary is one of the most enjoyable animated videoes I’ve come across so far. The video won Best Director for Ed Davis at the 2005 Kodak Music Clip Awards.
Best bit: the various Wizard of Oz references, in both the lyrics and visuals.
Director: Ed Davis
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision