“Isn’t it exciting,” Andrew Fagan asks, kicking off two and a half minutes of psychedelic glam pop. We find Fagan playing with his band Swirly World (a name that more famously also belongs to the small yacht he uses for his solo voyages). It’s revealed that bars separate the band from the camera, but who are the bars for? Is the band kept locked up because they’re just so exciting?
As well as this performance footage, we also get quick flashes of random things. The cover of Fagan’s current album “Blisters” pops up a few times, as do gig posters. There are also glimpses of the band on the road, various photos and objet d’art. There’s a even a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it naked lady boob. Series of words pop up, spelling sentences. “It’s… completely… subjective” announces one message. Hey cool! So’s this blog.
While Fagan has plenty of rock star swagger, his Swirly World band just looks like a fairly ordinary bunch of musos, getting down to business in jeans and t-shirts. Isn’t it exciting? Er, no, not really. But maybe that’s what the shots of the random interesting thing are. Throw in a nipple or three (Mr Fagan’s are also on display) to add some excitement.
Best bit: the background whiteboard with some sort of mathematical workings written on it.
Moana teams up with Andrew Fagan for “I’ll be the One”, a big, fast soul-infused rock number (or is that a rock-infused soul number?). Moana’s bold voice dominates the song, perhaps better suited to the genre than Fagan’s punky drawl. Nonetheless, they’re both in the video together.
It’s a high energy song and the video builds on that with an almost manic pace. Moana and Fagan are joined by an array of colourful characters. There’s a cute little girl, drag artistes, b-boys, an old lady, kapa haka perfomers, modern dancers, rock dudes, and of course the Moahunters. Everyone is happy as they dance around in front of different coloured bright background. A few people seem to be reacting to a “do something crazy” direction, but mainly it’s people dancing and having fun.
Meanwhile, Moana and Fagan are wearing black skivvies (she’s accessorised with a red hat, he with fingerless gloves) and there’s a choice chemistry between them. Moana even gets to pull Fagan on a leash, which manages to be more comedy than kinky.
The video is directed by Fagan’s missus Karyn Hay and the colour and energy reminds me of other videos she’s done – like “Hey Judith” and “Arm and a Leg”. It looks like a low budget video but the simple concept is executed well and it matches the tone of the song.
Best bit: “DISPARITY” chalked on a wall, possibly a first for a New Zealand pop song.
More business from Christchurch grunge unit Pumpkinhead. With a song called “Third Eye”, I would be extremely disappointed if the video didn’t include low-tech animated third eyes. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Pumpkinhead perform “Third Eye” in a yellow lunar setting and in a pub.”
Spurred on by popularity from the “Once Were Warriors” soundtrack, Southside of Bombay make a house record, with the highly danceable “Umbadada”. But Southside haven’t lost track of their reggae roots – the song has a message of unity and living forever.
In 1995 the Feelers won the prestigious South Island Battle of the Bands competition. Part of the prize included a single and music video released through Wildside. That song in question was “The Leaving”, with the music video directed by James and Matthew of the Feelers and camera by future Feelers music video director David Reid. The song obviously didn’t have the impact of later single “Pressure Man”, but it was included as a track on the band’s debut album.
Wonderkind have “Destiny Change”, an upbeat dance song about a teen prostitute. There was a lot of that in the ’90s – upbeat dance music about really depressing social issues. Here’s a very 1997 remix of the song.
Another track from Hamilton songstress Jacqui Keelan Davey, this time with “Watching Me Drown”.
Maree Sheehan “Might As Well Shout”
The Kiwi Hit Disc described “Might As Well Shout” as a “fast-paced, catchy dancefloor number”. It features backing vocals from expats Mark Williams and Australian Idol vocal coach Erana Clark.
Papa “For What It’s Worth”
This is pretty much impossible to Google (it’s not a unique song title). I don’t know who Papa was, but it might be related to the record label, Papa Pacific.
Meanwhile in the world of non-NZOA-funded videos we find “Manic (Is a State of Mind)”, the first music single from Jan Hellriegel’s second album. Filmed in Sydney, it takes place in a gloriously garishly painted art deco house (not a visual effect, the YouTube description notes!), and features a very sinister looking cafe fridge.
Rather than set-dressing a New Zealand beach to resemble Israel, Andrew Fagan and his director/wife Karyn Hay went all the way to Israel and filmed the video out in the Middle-Eastern heat.
Sensibly dressed in the heat-reflective colours of white and rock-star silver, he wanders about playing his guitar and basking in the golden Middle East sun. It’s all very rock, as if the sweeping landscape exists for the sole purpose of highlighting how brilliant Andrew Fagan looks against it.
A video effect is used, where two images are overlaid with one flickering like a flag. I think this was done by using the clear blue sky as a natural blue screen. Otherwise, it’s a really simple, good-looking video.
While the video received funding in the February 1993 round, the video wasn’t shot until October 1993, and wasn’t released until 1994. That’s a lot of planning.