After starting off with some self-funded videos, the Phoenix Foundation produced their first NZ On Air-funded video for “Damn the River”. The band are absent from the video, meaning we don’t get to see some of that “Sultans of Swing” inspired guitar work. Instead the song is illustrated with arty imagery that doesn’t dominate, letting the song stand out. And not a dam (or a river) to be seen.
An elderly man features a lot. He’s not like the wise old man who has seen it all in Trinity Roots’ “Little Things” video. Instead things get a bit surreal – he lies down, sans shoes, with ramps of a motorway rapidly constructed above him. Fortunately the codger does not complain about progress or how when he was a boy it was all fields.
It’s a short song – just over two minutes – but the video packs a lot in and goes with the tone of the song. At the end, when the song reaches its uplifting conclusion, the old man looks content as he is slowly covered with water.
Best bit: the busy digger, building those super highways.
Next… house party, beach party.