Cicada “Get Up”

1996-cicada-get-upCicada’s third video is again directed by Paul Swadel, and continues with strong visuals and minimal involvement with the band.

A man wakes up. He is covered in tattoos. It’s not moko or like that dude in the Lady Gaga video. Rather it looks like he’s just had a bunch of stuff tattooed over the years.

As he slowly stretches, we catch glimpses of the band sneaking around behind him, crawling up the walls. Tattoo man gets dressed, putting on a business suit and tie. Whoa, he’s a businessman. Have your preconceived notions just been shattered?

We discover the band are lurking on tattoo man’s ceiling. Are they vampires, hiding ready to strike? Or are they his good morning wake-up band, bringing some motivational music? There’s probably an iPhone app that could take the place of a morning ceiling band.

Best bit: the tattoo man’s eyeball acting, with many dramatic sideways glances.

Director: Paul Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… pride goes before the soul.

Che Fu “Scene III”

1996-che-fu-scene-iiiAfter his previous collaboration with DLT, Che Fu is back with his first solo single, far removed from the funk pop of Supergroove. This time it’s a moody love song, with hints of Oriental tones and the odd sea shanty.

It’s late at night. Che is walking along Hobson Street, outside Wah Lee. Except I don’t think it’s meant to be grotty old Hobson Street, but rather an exotic Chinatown location.

Gazing through the window of this most interesting shop, he spies an attractive mixed-race girl. She bids her grandfather good night and heads off with her box of records, for she is a DJ. And so begins Che’s night of unrequited infatuation.

Directed by Alicia Williams, this is a very stylish video. We see Che in two solo locations. In one, he’s stressed like a cool magician, looking like he’s going to take us on a journey into the world of illusions. In the other, he’s wearing a pink Mandarin shirt, busting out some kung fu moves. After sharing the screen with six other dudes in his Supergroove days, it must have been very liberating for Che to have it all to himself.

Che also visits a nightclub, where he gazes across the room at the beautiful exotic DJing. He also is seen singing at a nightclub, while the woman gazes at him. We also catch a glimpse of the grandfather praying out the back, in a stock room surrounded by cartons of Red Bull, back when Red Bull was that weird drink that Asian grocers sold.

After such a strong narrative start, the video seems to end without a conclusion, unless the conclusion is that Che Fu dances and the exotic DJ looks exotic.

Best bit: Che Fu’s “aw shucks” expression after gramps catches him perving at his granddaughter.

Director: Alicia Williams
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… an alternative to a clock radio.

Bressa Creeting Cake “Papa People”

1996-bressa-creeting-cake-papa-peopleBressa Creeting Cake knew how to make good crazy videos. We meet a young woman having a tearful conversation with her lover, a giant weta. Actually, not a giant weta as in the 10cm species of weta; this weta is as big as a man.

Mr Weta has ditched her and she is utterly heartbroken. She thinks back to the good times they spent together. Days at the beach, dining on lobster at a fancy restaurant. Oh, such wonderful times.

She figures the only way she can win back her insectoid lover is to become like him. So she heads off to her local mad scientist and is injected with a strange green liquid, which turns her into a human-weta hybrid. What weta wouldn’t want a piece of that, etc.

Is a happy reunion on the cards? No, it turns out the weta has actually been rooting a pig while a horse watches. What an arsehole. We don’t see the woman discover this, but – in human form – she wanders a strange room where the walls are covered with projections of maggots.

Over on NZ On Screen, Geoff Creeting is quoted as saying, “In the end I don’t think anyone really gets the story.” Well, the ending puzzles me a little, but as a whole, the video is like a surreal chapter from “He’s Just Not Into You”. There’s a valuable lesson in there about being yourself.

Best bit: the mad scientist enjoying a fish and chips meal before he starts on his new assignment.

Director: Steve Morrison
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the mysteries of the Orient.

Missing videos from 1996

February 1996

Dei Hamo “International Whirl Rocker”

After making his mark doing the guest rap on Nathan Haines’ “Lady J”, Dei Hamo went solo with International Whirl Rocker (or “Rocca”, as it is listed in the NZOA database. The song was due to be released on Papa Pacific Records, but the label folded before this could happen, with Phil Fuemana eventually including the track on the groundbreaking Pioneers of a Pacifikian Frontier album. Here’s Dei Hamo performing the song live on Mai Time.

Teina Benioni “Gone Fishing”

Teina was nicknamed “the bard of Otara”. He played all the instruments and sang all the vocals on his song “Gone Fishing”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1996

Eye TV “Immaculate”

Another track from Eye TV. “Immaculate” was a return to a more electric sound for the group. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “Eye TV perform “Immaculate” in white room under flashing lights.”

Director: Sharron Ward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Moana and the Moahunters “Prophecies”

“Prophecies” was a track on Moana and the Moahunter’s second album, Tahi. It’s a gentle soul ballad, and Moana’s website says it touches “on more spiritual matters”. This looks like a case where the video was never made.

Splitter “What You Know”

Splitter had “What You Know”, described by the Herald as “XTC-meets-powerpop”. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The Splitter singer sings “What You Know” strapped to a chair in an interrogation room.”

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1996

Bike “Old & Blue”

Bike’s first single, “Save My Life”, is afforded digital immortality due to its inclusion on the Flying Nun “Very Short Films” compilation, but second single “Old and Blue” isn’t so lucky.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dam Native “Top Notch Vocalist”

The only mention of the Dam Native song “Top Notch Vocalist” is in the NZOA funding list. It seems like the sort of funding that might have ended up going to a different song.

Future Stupid “Greed”

Christchurch band Future Stupid were causing a ruckus with “Greed”. While the music video isn’t online, you can take your pick of 1997 live performances at the Summer Series, the Big Day Out or a DIY music video.

Lodger “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me”

Another song from Lodger, aka Damon from Dead Flowers’ side project. I assume that “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me” is a cover of the Small Faces song.

Second Child “Prove You Wrong”

“Prove You Wrong” is the sixth funded video from Second Child.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “Tremolo Panned”

Splitter was an Andrew Thorne project and “Tremolo Panned” was a nice piece of mid-’90s rock. But best of all, the Kiwi Hit List noted that the song features “Graham Brazier on electrified harmonica”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exponents “Do You Feel In Love”

The Exponents said farewell to Warner Music with a final single, “Do You Feel In Love”. Nga Taonga’s description suggests the video is a classic style Greg Page animation: “A claymation Exponents perform “Do You Feel In Love”.”

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1996

Breathe “Smiley Hands”

Breathe debuted with “Smiley Hands”, giving just an inkling of the major label excitement they stirred only a few years later. The olden internet has revealed this short but amazing article about the Smiley Hands EP. Taken from a December 1996 issue of RipItUp, it’s the kind of music writing that’s so scarce in this digital age.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Igelese “Emotions”

“Emotions” was Igelese’s second funded video. There’s no sign of it ever having been made, which might be tied to the end of Igelese’s record label, Papa Pacific. But he went on to compose music for Lord of the Rings and Moana, so it turned out well.

Lole “Feel Like Making Love”

Lole covers “Feel Like Making Love”, that’s the safe Roberta Flack song, not Bad Company’s rock classic.

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Peaches “Go”

OMG, Peaches?! Wait, it’s not the Canadian performance artist, but a Debbie Harwood project. She got her musician mates to cover classic New Zealand pop. “Go” is project’s one original track, penned by Rikki Morris.

Seven a Side “Running Back to You”

Also from the Rockquest is Seven a Side, winner of the Tangata Pasifica Beats category. A funded video for “Running Back To You” was part of the prize package. The track also featured on Tangata Records’ compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Supergroove “5th Wheel”

“5th Wheel” is an attempt at a sweet pop song, complete with flute, strings, and ah-ah-ahs. I believe vocals are by Joe Lonie, and the video involved him sitting on the back of a ute.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The 3Ds “Vector 27”

“Vector 27” was from The 3Ds final album, Strange News from the Angels. It was also the final 3Ds video to be funded. Nga Taonga enticingly describes the video as, “The 3Ds go for a drive in the countryside and encounter flying saucers and aliens.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1996

Ardijah “Oh Baby”

After returning from five years in Australia, “Oh Baby” was Ardijah’s new single. The video isn’t online, but here’s a short clip of a live performance from the era. Nga Taonga describe the video as “Ardijah perform “Oh Baby” in cabaret setting.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bobby Owen “Falling”

The Kiwi Hit Disc described 18-year-old Bobby Owen’s single “Falling” as a “moody soulful ballad” that was recorded at Fuemana Studios.

Dam Native “Extremities”

Another cool track from Dam Native. “Extremities” was produced by Zane Lowe.

Greg Johnson “Softly On Me”

“Softly On Me” featured Boh Runga and was produced by Dave Dobbyn. Jonathan King directed the video, filmed at a Tongan church in Auckland.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mary “Golden Halo”

Mary was an all-girl band, and they were a very all-girl band. Check out this profile in the Herald – about half the article is about aspects of their all-girl-bandliness. Their sweet, girly song “Golden Halo” was the first of many funded videos. I’ve heard from a performer in the video who says she wore a halo, naturally enough.

Stellar “Real”

It’s cool seeing signs of Stellar’s early work, putting in the hard yards before they were snapped up by Sony and became pop icons. “Real” was another early single.

December 1996

Ardijah “Bad Buzz”

More Polyfonk from Ardijah, this time with “Bad Buzz”, a Bob Marley tribute. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Ardijah sing “Bad Buzz” walking through sideshows / amusement park.”

Director: Neil Cervin
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Brothers & Sisters “Parihaka”

Like both Tim Finn and Jacqui Keelan Davey, the young Maori band Brothers & Sisters pay tribute to the pacifist Te Whiti with their song “Parihaka”. The track featured on the Tangata Records compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

DLT “Black Panthers”

The instrumental “Black Panthers” was the second single off DLT’s album “The True School”.

Fat Mannequin “That Matters”

Fat Mannequin deliver “That Matters”, a very ’90s rock ballad.

In The Whare “Sister Dread”

According to NZOA, In The Whare’s music was a mix of reggae, hip hop, funk and metal. Their song “Sister Dread” also featured on Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision