“Fiji Baby” is a sweet song looking at relationship troubles. The title is explained in the first verse – a trip to Hamilton is made sweeter by pretending they’re heading to Fiji, baby.
The video is set in the claustrophobic world of an old-fashioned hotel room – one without the luxury of an en suite bathroom, but with the most exquisite Rococo decor. Rodney checks in, turns on the jug, stares at the wallpaper, plays his portable keyboard, goes out for a wee, makes a cup of tea and takes a nap. He evidently has a very short attention span.
While he’s asleep, he dreams of the rest of Goodshirt. They’re sitting around a table enjoying a meal while wearing animal masks. Two of them are wearing horse masks, predating the horse mask meme by several years.
Rodney wakes up and very quickly leaves the room. What did the animal head dream/nightmare reveal to him? As he power-walks down the hallway, his phone rings. The video thoughtfully subtitles his quiet conversation. “Hello…? Yeah, nah, yeah.”
The video has a slightly uneasy feeling, a little bit Twin Peaks in style, which seems to symbolise the relationship stress rather than literally depict a holiday in Hammo.
And by avoiding the literal meaning of the lyrics, the song touches more people. I was interested to find a couple of heartbreaking comments on YouTube:
This is such a sad, sad, video – it makes me remember being young and poor, and the family only being able to afford to go to Hamilton 🙁
I grew up in Wairoa, Napier was a trip to the big city. Auckland seemed like a foreign land you only saw on telly.
Well, the video might sing of Hamilton, but you wouldn’t get that sort of room in the Fountain City Motor Lodge.
Best bit: the suitcase essentials – clothes, a Rubik’s cube, a knitted rabbit, and a photo of his sweetie.
Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… a big clean-up.