Found videos from the 1990s

Windswept beachiness, urban Balkan, Christchurch in the before time, racial unity, straight down, a ’90s fashion parade, tattoos, Auckland cool, velvet painting, getting seductive, and a bad lip sync.
Continue reading Found videos from the 1990s

Found videos from 1997

A fluffy bra, nightclub, a prison, a derelict swimming pool, three lifts and an escalator.
Continue reading Found videos from 1997

The Narcs “Leap of Faith”

1997-the-narcs-leap-of-faithWell, the “Leap of Faith” video is ok, but it’s no “Diamonds on China”. In 1997, the Narcs – possibly put into cold storage after the 1987 stock market crash – emerged from hibernation with a new album, recorded in Hamilton.

“Leap of Faith” is subdued. It’s a mild rock song based around the band performing the song in a field, along with an evening performance and footage from downtown Auckland, including the newly opened Sky Tower. All this is overlaid with graphics of the song lyrics. They’ve been handwritten in a decorative style that is all very ’90s. The graphics gently float over the video, never quite legible enough to serve as karaoke lyrics.

While “Diamonds on China” has a glorious manic mid-’80s vibe to it, “Leap of Faith” has a more relaxed, reflective feeling. It’s the ’90s and these guys are well grown up.

Best bit: the hilltop triple fist-punch. Yeah!

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… ghosts from the past.

The Mutton Birds “April”

1997-mutton-birds-aprilAnother video from the Mutton Birds’ London years. Don is dressed like a 1960s sex therapist (probably ready to treat “Come Around” era Don after all the love-triangle trauma going on there) and he and the band perform the song in front of a giant rotating flower. It’s all a bit Austin Powers.

And here’s the curious thing – “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” was released in the UK in September 1997, and “April” was scheduled for release the same month but was cancelled. It makes me wonder if the film’s release suddenly threw an unintentionally groovy new perspective on the video, prompting its last-minute ditching.

Whatever the reason, it’s a pity because “April” is a good song. It’s a classic Mutton Birds song, all storytelling and wicked melody.

As well as the band’s psychedelic performance, we also get black and white glimpses of April, wandering about in an eveningwear. But she feels like a footnote in the video. More focus is put on the wheel of Don, spinning like an omnipresent, multitentacled god of pop.

Best bit: Don’s turtleneck jumper, which occasionally makes his head look like it’s floating.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Best… the old gang together again.

Head Like A Hole “Keith”

1997-hlah-keithHLAH get sleazy for this video, dangerously foreshadowing their 1998 sexually themed album “Are You Gonna Kiss It or Shoot It?”. The video starts with the band playing the song in two locations – a small crimson painted room and another room filled with random objects including an electric sign reading “Stench in progress”. There are also glimpses of bondage gear, just to stick it to society.

Booga plays Keith, a muttonchopped, drunk, sweaty Elvis wannabe. He staggers about in a bar, ignored by other patrons, but seeming quite certain of his awesomeness.

Keith also has a day job at a local sex shop, selling dildos to sleazy customers. Actually, sex shop Keith might actually be Keith’s gay alterego.

The video includes a few nighttime scenes around Wellington, including some choice scenes of dudes on skateboards being pulled along Cuba Mall by dogs, while various people decent upon the notorious Hole In The Wall bar, just around the corner on Vivian Street.

HLAH reemerge in a grungy old warehouse, all wearing bondage gear. PVC is an merciless fabric, making the HLAH lads look less like sexy porn stars and more like suburban BDSM enthusiasts. I’m sure Keith would approve.

Best bit: the dogs pulling skateboards. Mush mush!

Director: Ian McCarroll
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… spin the wheel of Don.

Greg Johnson “My Ship Is Sitting Low”

1997-greg-johnson-my-ship-is-sitting-lowThis video has plenty of humour, crazy and cameos from the bFM cool kids. Greg Johnson described it as one of his favourite videos because it was so much fun. The Paul Casserly-directed adventure starts with Greg in the back of a cab, getting grilled by the taxi driver on his music style.”Oh, just songs, you know.”

Greg is dropped off at a bold turquoise-painted house, where he sings his song of friendship and drinking to a cat on the doorstep. Nearby three young women (including Jodie Rimmer) read wrestling mags, while a paperboy (Marcus Lush) tries to cram the thick ’90s paper into the tiny ’50s paper tube on the letterbox.

Meanwhile a stressed-out businessman (Graeme Hill) suffers a car breakdown outside Greg’s house, while the paperboy is bothered by a pesky kid and her waterpistol.

Jodie Rimmer, meanwhile, has truly alarming hair – short, bleached, spiked. Total ’90s raver kid. Is this the part of the ’90s we’ll remember?

The song is all about the fun of getting a bit munted, but judging from all the action in this neighbourhood, these people should stay away from the booze.

Best bit: the cat – chilling on the front steps in a world of crazy.

Director: Paul Casserly
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a muttonchopped, drunk, sweaty Elvis wannabe.

Bike “Circus Kids”

1997-bike-circus-kidsIt’s another excursion into the slow-motion world of Bike. Shot in gloomy black and white, the band perform the song in front of a backdrop painted with a circus mural.

Andrew Brough is back wearing his giant round sunglasses. As he is a bespectacled man, I suspect his frequent sunglasses wearing is done for the same reason that Kirk Pengally of INXS often wore sunnies – because they’re more rock than clear glasses.

Cut with the band, we also see actual circus kids. A girl walks a tightrope and a guy slowly rides a bike along the tightrope (oh, a bike – clever).

We also see a boy in 1940s clothing wander about the circus, and he is terrified by a sinister clown who gives him a sinister clown look. The kid flees, but ends up being lured into a trunk by the tightrope girl. “Hooray! The circus has come to town!” sings Andrew Brough. This, guys, is irony.

Best bit: the magnificently flared nostrils of the scary clown man.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Marcus the paperboy.