Missing videos from 2002

February 2002

Tadpole “Now Today Forever”

The lone missing video for the February funding round is “Now Today Forever”, the second single from Tadpole’s second album, and a rather driving rock number.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

April 2002

Che Fu “Top Floor”

There’s also only one video missing from April, Che Fu’s uplifting number “Top Floor”. As it happens, I wrote a summary of this video in 2002. It sounds amazing:

Che Fu and his posse are hanging out on the front porch of a large wooden lodge. A young lady hands out pieces of chocolate cake and MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave pass out cups of instant coffee. With a very laid-back vibe, Che Fu spends most of the video sitting in a rocking chair, knitting. But just in case you think he’s turning into an old gran, in the middle of a song he turns into a robot and does a rap. But then it’s back to the porch. At the end of the song he’s finished knitting. He admires the, er, long red thing he’s made, tosses the ball of wool up in the air and it magically transforms into a snow ball and then Che’s snowboarding off into the sunset.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 2002

Fast Crew “Mr Radio”

Along came the Fast Crew, which included Kid Deft who later reverted to his maiden name, Dane Rumble. “Mr Radio” was their debut single, a rant about the difficulty of getting play-listed – something that would soon cease to be a problem for the Crew. The single reached #15 on the Independent NZ chart.

Director: Greg Riwai
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Fuce “Restless”

Christchurch band Fuce have their final NZOA-funded video “Restless”. The group had plans to relocate to Auckland in 2003, but I don’t know what (if anything) happened next.

In 2002 I wrote this about the “Restless” video: This video uses two visual clichés, one old, one getting old. The first is where the camera jerks about as if it’s trying to find something to focus on. The second is when the camera moves as if the power of the music is making the camera shake. Yeah, it’s a low-budget NzonAir video, but it’s looking ok. It just could have looked better if it had just shown the band playing the song, instead of all the dumb camera tricks.

Director: Aaron Hogg
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “You’re Right To Rock”

Splitter got in on the rock ‘n’ roll revival with “You’re Right To Rock” an ode to you-know-what. Sample lyrics: “Power chords are ringing like a bell!”. Aw yeah.

Subware “Into”

Subware’s final funded video was the lush “Into”, with vocals from Sandy Mills.

Theo Va’a “Little Angel”

Theo Va’a was an 10-year-old singer (dancer, entertainer, songwriter and professional model) from Palmerston North who later wowed the 2003 Christmas in the Park crowd. “Little Angel” featured Atilla Va’a, who I assume grew up to be the 130kg rugby prop asserting himself here.

August 2002

Mace & The Woodcut Crew “Shake ‘m”

“Shake ‘m” is a collaboration between rapper Mace and Auckland producers the Woodcut Crew producers. I’m going to assume it’s an instructional song about making protein shakes.

Pluto “Perfectly Evil”

Pluto have the dark and synthy “Perfectly Evil”. It’s been entertainingly used as the soundtrack for an almost wordless short film made by some year 13 students for their media studies assignment.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 2002

Lavina Williams featuring Emily Williams “Higher Lovin'”

Ex-Ma-V-Elle singer Lavina Williams teams up with her younger sister (and future Australian Idol star) Emily for the soul jam “Higher Lovin'”. Their sisterly harmonies sound fabulous.

December 2002

Crystal Fitisemanu “Sunny Summer’s Day”

I’m not sure if the video for Crystal Fitisemanu’s song “Sunny Summer’s Day” was made. There’s no mention of it online, but there is a brief mention of a $3000 grant in 2001 from Creative New Zealand for Crystal to record five songs.

P-Money featuring 4 Corners “The Xpedition”

“The Xpedition” is another track from P-Money’s debut album, this time featuring 4 Corners on vocals.

Rhombus “Tour Of Outer Space”

Well, Rhombus go on a “Tour of Outer Space”.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Tadpole “Always Be Mine”

“Always Be Mine” was the penultimate single released off Tadpole’s second album.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision


This month’s consolation video is “Verbally Decapitating” by DJ Logikal. It was the winner of a competition that TVNZ’s after-hours music show M2 held, with the prize being a $10,000 fancy music video made for the winning track. This is a throw-back to how things were in the days before NZOA, where TVNZ (and its predecessors) made music videos for bands. Though in this case, it was a heavily promoted contest with an alcohol sponsor. The video – which is a really is a proper fancy video – sees DJ Logikal infecting downtown Auckland with his scratched-up beats, and it features pre-development Britomart for some gritty urban decay. It visually name-checks P-Money, and incorporates the song’s samples by having people on the street lip-syncing the words. The video rightly won Best Editor for James Anderson at the 2003 Kodak Music Clip Awards.

Director: James Anderson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Che Fu “Misty Frequencies”

2001-che-fu-misty-frequenciesIn the beginning there was Che Fu’s head. It pops up in a black void, before it’s suddenly revealed that Che and the nine members of his band are standing atop a strange brown platform. They discover that, oddly enough, they all have cables trailing from their backs and they can make musical sounds from their mouths. No one seems alarmed by this situation, and they excitedly plug their biocables into jacks.

Plugged in, the song starts with the sound graphing itself on the wall below the platform. Such is the power of the song that even unplugging it keeps the visual tricks going, with frequency graphics bouncing around the posse’s shirts.

The location is slowly revealing itself to be like a real-life video game, though with no apparent challenges, enemy to fight or princess to save. The gang throw Tetris blocks off the wall, then the wall turns into a Mario-inspired universe, with mushrooms and coins flying around. A flower pot appears and – obviously – Che plugs a cable into it. This transports the group to a real-life outdoor scene, some proper New Zealand bush.

The guys groove on, and are visited by one of the giant mushrooms from the earlier location. There’s no sign of Princess Peach. The video ends with the bush scene falling away in Tetris-like pieces, suggesting it’s no more real than the video game location.

The video feels like Che Fu, at the top of his game, making the music video he wants to make – and it was nominated for Best Video at the 2003 New Zealand Music Awards. It’s him and his mates reliving an ultimate childhood fantasy of exploring a video game for real. And maybe that’s the videos weakness – it feels a bit too much of “Hey, check out this cool shizz!” with little more to it. Unless I’ve overlooked a metaphorical commentary on the nature of the music industry.

Best bit: the pounamu piece smashing the Tetris blocks.

Director: Che Fu
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… it’s great when you’re straight.

Che Fu “Fade Away”

2001-che-fu-fade-awayBack in 2001, “Fade Away” was #2 in the charts, kept off the top spot by – get this – Hear’Say’s song “Pure and Simple”. But 12 years later, it’s Che Fu’s song and not the UK reality TV popstars’ one-hit wonder that’s an enduring pop favourite around these parts.

The first single off Che Fu’s second album is about being there for someone. The lyrics most obviously are about staying close to friends who bugger off overseas for their OE, but the video goes for a different sort of overseas experience, focusing on the camaraderie of soldiers during the Second World War.

Che Fu and his band the Krates are dressed as New Zealand soliders (Maori battalion, no less) and a few Allied soldiers. The video is set in the New Zealand Warbirds Association hangar out at Ardmore airport, complete with vintage aircraft casually chilling in the background. The dudes decide to have a jam, finding authentic WWII-era turntables and synths in crates. By throwing in some obvious 21st century technology, the video relieves itself of the burden of having to be historically accurate. The vibe and the energy are right and that’s all that matters.

By the way, there’s a line of te reo that is subtitled as “He thinks your a bit of a ‘Bing Crosby’.” Bloody hell. I used to make subtitles professionally and I would never ever have let a your/you’re slip through. That’s appalling.

The action isn’t confined to the hangar. We see Che out in the battlefield, marching over scenic landscape and hanging out with his battalion mates. He also has a moment where he reflects on his pounamu pendant, a reminder of home.

“Fade Away” is a really nice video. It serves as a good way of introducing Che Fu’s new band (it’s not just about him as a solo artist) and a fine way of referencing part of New Zealand’s history. For decades young New Zealanders have been going overseas, but it’s what brings them back that matters.

Best bit: Che casually writes in his notebook as stuff explodes behind him.

Directors: Matthew Metcalfe, Greg Riwai
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… come at me, bro.

Che Fu “Waka”

1999-che-fu-wakaChe Fu gets romantic. The video starts with Che hanging out with his boys in Freyberg Place, being cool urban dudes. Suddenly a high-powered businesswoman (played by co-singer Teremoana Rapley) comes strutting past. Being a high-powered businesswoman, she’s talking on her cellphone, but the lads are most taken by her swagger and her salmon pink power suit.

Che is especially mesmerised by her and soon the distant sound of palau drumming emerges as Che begins to daydream of an idyllic Pacific Island location (which I’m going to assume is Niue*). He’s alone on an outrigger, clad in potu mats while tapa cloth sails flap behind him.

The video is directed by renowned film director Merata Mita, who brings an artistic eye to things. While sailing the ocean, Che dreams of his wahine, who has a salmon pink flower in her hair. Teremoana is lovely in her salmon pink lavalava, walking through a lush tropical forest. It’s not the cliche tropical paradise setting of sun and sand; it’s more earthy.

Che and Teremoana are not alone in their island paradise. We soon meet a line-up of male and female dancers, all decked out in the same shade of salmon pink, swaying to the tropical breeze.

But while Che has concocted this elaborate fantasy, his mystery girl remains elusive. She’s off in the forest with a friend while Che is out on his waka. Teremoana throws a salmon pink lei into the water, where Che finds it floating on the beach.

Back in the city, the mystery girl again walks past Che. He enjoys a laugh with his boys, seemingly happy to now let his fantasy girl walk on by. “Waka” is a sweet song with a video that paints a sweet picture.

* Actually, scrap all my Niue theorising. I think this video actually might have been filmed in Hawaii. Director Merata Mita was living there, teaching at the University of Hawai’i Manoa, and this video won Music Video of the Year Award at the 1999 Hawaii Music Awards. Aloha!

Best bit: the relatively exotic setting of Freyberg Place.

Director: Merata Mita
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… drums and bass.

Dam Native “The Son”

1997-dam-native-the-sonChe Fu teams up with Dam Native and they all look good in sharp menswear. The song combines Dam Native’s beats and rhymes with Che’s smooth vocals, and the video directed by Steve Morrison picks up on this.

But there’s another aspect to the video – it’s proudly Maori. Che and the longer-haired Dam Native guys have their haired pulled back in a traditional topknot, adorned with feathers.

It’s a more modern version of the similar style used in the group’s earlier video for “Behold My Kool Style”. Both take their inspiration from the cover art of Dam Native’s debut album, “Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted”, which sees the group positng with a tokotoko. Originally a walking stick, the tokotoko is now more commonly used as an oratory prop, and it’s this use that fits perfectly into Dam Native’s world of hip hop.

According to John Pain who worked on the video, “The Son” also takes stylish inspiration from the cover of the 1958 LP “Ramsey Lewis and his Gentlemen of Jazz“.

It’s a really handsome video. Every frame is perfectly framed, with a very photographic feel. The video is lit in rich reds and browns, with works perfectly with the uplifting lyrics of the song – the son will always shine.

Best bit: the breakdancing headspin.

Director: Steve Morrison
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… one man and his pole.

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.

DLT feat Che Fu “Chains”

1996-dlt-chainsIt was 1996. Supergroove had regrouped as a serious rock band, squeezing out Che Fu. DLT had left Upper Hutt Posse and was branching out as a solo DJ and producer, and everyone hated the French because they had resumed testing nuclear weapons in the South Pacific. These three factors combined to create “Chains”, one of the greatest New Zealand songs.

The song alternates between Che Fu’s angry verses spitting at France for dropping bombs, and the clearer chorus with the memorable line “Living in the city ain’t so bad”.

The Kerry Brown-directed video captures both sides of this, with edgy urban scenes mixed with apocalyptic imagry. Scenes of Pacific-flavoured graffiti mix with skulls, gas masks and a cross made out of money. Interestingly, the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision notes there were two videos made, with the other one directed by Gideon Keith and Grant Fell. There’s no sign of it online.

But back to the best known version and there’s a naked lady boob, which I had not previously noticed. But there it is, being all arty. It’s interesting which videos get away with nudity. I guess if you’re not being terribly sexist, no one minds.

But the star of the video is Che Fu. Wearing his ever present backpack, he is full of attitude. Sometimes seen with equally cool DLT, it’s like Che has taken everything he’s learned from his years with Supergroove and put it into the song and the video. He works the camera with such menace that it almost feels like this song could single-handedly put a stop to French nuclear testing in the South Pacific.

Best bit: the rotating hand grenade, like a macabre gameshow prize.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… stretch limo party!!!!