Able Tasmans “Hold Me 1” (1990)

able-tasmans-hold-me-1And Flying Nun birthday week concludes with something very sensible from the time before NZOA funding.

This video is so grown up, so adult. The first 45 seconds of the song is Graeme Humphreys’ lush piano intro. Subtly – and notoriously – he is revealed to be sporting a rats tail hair tuft. At the time, only bad boys had rats tails.

Slowly the piano starts to build and suddenly the whole band appears, looking very sensible, grown up and adult. The performance space is decorated in bright ’90s colours – strong blues, red, browns.

The band all have their roles, and seem to be working solidly and competantly at playing their instruments. There is no rock star posing. These are professional musicians. Their restraint is very pleasant to watch, especially after seeing videos from bands who try to do the big rock face but don’t quite get it right.

Most pleasing is the scratchy old organ, where its switches are flipped with great importance, like a PhD student (not a mad scientist) conducting valuable scientific experiments.

There are nine people on board – pianist, organist, drummer, bassist, lead singer and guitarist, cellist, two violinists, and a backing singer who only has 24 words to sing and spends most of the time standing very stiffly in the background. In fact, the backing singer isn’t shown singing until three minutes into the song, making his appearance initially very mysterious for the first-time viewer.

This is a very serious, grown up video but it absolutely works. The band have shown up to work wearing their best clothes and they’ve just gone about their business in making a good video that highlights the song.

2 thoughts on “Able Tasmans “Hold Me 1” (1990)”

    1. You know, I never saw them live, but I once ripped an Able Tasmans poster off a wall outside the Riverina, which then lived on my bedroom wall for a few months.

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