Missing videos from 1997

February 1997

AKA Brown “Tonight Is Yours”

AKA Brown was Sam Feo of the Semi MCs teamed with the mighty Chong-Nee. “Tonight is Yours” is an ultra smooth R&B jam that sounds about five years ahead of its time.

Annie Crummer “I Come Alive”

Annie Crummer has “I Come Alive”, another single off her “Seventh Wave” album.

Future Stupid “Rock Star”

My theory is any band who writes a song called “Rock Star” is deeply conflicted by their role in the entertainment industry. Future Stupid evidently have this concern. Here’s a live video.

Moana and the Moahunters “You Haven’t Done Nothing”

The Kiwi Hit Disc reckoned that Moana and the Moahunters cover of Stevie Wonder’s funky protest song — originally titled “U Haven’t Done Nuthin” — would appear on their second album, Rua, but it didn’t make it. It did, however, later show up as the opening track on the compilation album Southside Funk ‘N’ Soul (1985-1996), a collection of previously unreleased tracks.

Russell Harrison “The Best”

There’s no sign of the video from long-time Lotto presenter Russell Harrison, but there’s a non-NZOA-funded clip of this smooth R&B jam “Why You Wanna”. Russell plays three guys auditioning for a role by doing an improv seduction scene in a bar. The video starts at 0:20, but it’s worth watching the introduction, where he seems a bit annoyed by the video.

Thorazine Shuffle “Secret You Hide”

Thorazine Shuffle is listed as having received funding for their song “Secret You Hide”, but as far as I can tell this wasn’t released as a single and didn’t have a video made.

April 1997

Breathe “Waterslide”

“Waterslide” was a track on Breathe’s Smiley Hands EP. Weirdly enough, the lyrics can be found on a few spammy lyrics websites. Well, someone out there cares.

Buckle “Swoon”

Buckle appears to have been a “jazzy, trip-hop” group. “Swoon” was their one and only funded video.

Cicada “Backstab”

“Backstab” was Cicada’s fourth and final funded video, but it doesn’t look like a video was made. But there are plenty of other Cicada videos online. Frequent Cicada video director Marc Swadel made a demo reel of five music videos for the five tracks off Cicada’s Oscillator EP: “Alpha Jerk”, “Sway”“Good”, “Spine” and “Winter” (which had a proper funded video made).

Eye TV “Snakes & Ladders”

“Snakes & Ladders” was the opening track from Eye TV’s third album, “Birdy-O”. The Nga Taonga has this intriguing description: “Band members run, push man in shopping trolley, and ride bicycles. They perform as a rival band with Christian placards on Auckland waterfront.”

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Inchworm “It Means a Lot To Me”

Inchworm’s second funded video was “It Means a Lot to Me”, again directed by Greg Page. Nga Taonga describe it as “Inchworm eat at a family dinner and sit around glumly afterwards (The television in the lounge shows the NZ On Air logo.) They are then seen performing “Means a Lot To Me” in (otherwise deserted) school grounds.” Here’s the band performing the song live at a 2016 reunion gig.

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Lava Lava “Feel The Heat”

Dance band Lava Lava had “Feel The Heat” and a video which included “fire dancing on the top of Mt Eden, live footage from the TRU SCHOOL 97 tour and a Cadillac with licence plate SPADE!” If anything puts this video firmly in 1997 it’s “spade”.

Shihad “Ghost From The Past”

Shihad’s “Ghost From the Past” video seems somewhat elusive. There was even a Shihad fan discussion from 2008 regarding the missing video with a few vowing to track down a copy. Director Julian Boshier describes it as “a live video that was shot at the Powerstation in Auckland, sometime around 1996 – Fish album era”. Here’s a live version from an Australian gig in 1997, featuring a newly short-haired Jon.

Director: Julian Boshier
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Southside of Bombay “Running”

Southside of Bombay had the single “Running”.

June 1997

Ardijah “Love So Right”

Ardijah give a South Pacific update to the Bee Gees song “Love So Right”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Coelacanth “Choke”

Coelacanth were a four-piece alternative rock band. A bio of the band notes that they produced “four completed music videos, three of which never made it to air.” Is “Choke” one of those unaired videos?

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead Flowers “I Wanna Know”

The Dead Flowers get really really pop with “I Wanna Know”. They must have been promoting the crap out of it because there are two live performances from TV shows – a delightfully degraded VHS copy of an appearance on Ground Zero, and this one from Ice TV. Nga Taonga describe the video as “The band play in a passenger waiting room.”

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Peaches “Down In Splendour”

Another track from Debbie Harwood’s Peaches project, matching her favourite female singers with classic New Zealand songs. This time vocalist Leza Corban covers the Straitjacket Fits tune “Down In Splendour”.

Propeller “Repeat The Question”

Propeller have “Repeat The Question”, another track from their final album and their penultimate NZOA funded video. Here’s a live-ish recording.

Southern Tribe “Closer”

Southern Tribe was a solo project by Hamilton musician Andrew Newth (formerly of Love and Violence). Described by the Htown Wiki as an ‘elaborate looping’ video, the laid-back, instrumental “Closer” was directed by Greg Page. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Man lying prone on ground rises and follows a figure (who looks him) into building and observes other versions of himself. He throws himself from balcony, then rises .”

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1997

Mary “I’ll Be Seeing You”

Mary have their second video “I’ll Be Seeing You”. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The band perform against a white backdrop interspersed with brief shots of them in outdoor setting (city street, beach).”

Director: Sigi Spath
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Muckhole “Kooza”

“The past three years have left me bruised and broken,” Muckhole wail. Sadly the “Kooza” video isn’t online, depriving us of the visual depiction of this emotion.

Propeller “Refrain”

“Refrain” is the final video from Propeller. Farewell, Propeller.

October 1997

5 Go Mad “Too Bad”

5 Go Mad had two videos funded. “Too Bad” was the first track. According to Stephen from the band, the video was shot “in the back of an old monastery on Richmond Road”, and featured Jan Hellriegel.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bike “Anybody Know”

Just as I start liking the music of Bike, the videos start disappearing. “Anybody Know” is a an upbeat guitar pop track with gloriously noisy guitars.

Dead Flowers “Free”

Dead Flowers have the song “Free”, produced by Eddie Rayner. There are few traces of it online.

New Loungehead “Johnny 14”

New Loungehead were purveyors of very cool jazz. “Johnny 14” was the opening track off their album “Came a Weird Way”. Peter at DubDotDash takes a look back.

Director: Marc Swadel

December 1997

5 Go Mad “Above My Head”

5 Go Mad were a pop trio who won funding from the Recording Artist Development Scheme (RADS) run by RIANZ and Creative New Zealand “to promote emerging artists”. Rumour has it that the video for “Above My Head” was all but complete, but never made it off the edit suite (save for one VHS preview copy) due to reasons.

Director: Marc Swadel

B “So Long”

I talk about songs and bands that are hard to google, but this has to be the ultimate example: the band is called B and the song is called “So Long”. Do you know how many artists have a song called “So Long”? There are 12 songs with that name at Amplifier. But I finally managed to discover that B was Brendan Gregg of the Holy Toledos, and B also won RADS funding.

Director: David Reid
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Charlotte Yates “Console”

Charlotte Yates, probably best known for her work with When The Cat’s Been Spayed”, has the song “Console”. The Leeanne Culy-directed video was previously on Charlotte’s website, but in ye olde Real Video format which didn’t play. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “Singer playing guitar under wharf by sea and in other locations.”

Director: Leeanne Culy
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dave Dobbyn “Waiting”

Dave Dobbyn has the upbeat pop track “Waiting”, with a hearty meandering melody. Here’s a live version.

Freaker “Mutilator”

Freaker were signed to Deepgrooves and “Mutilator” was an edgy instrumental track.

Lole “Comfort Me”

Samoan songstress Lole has “Comfort Me”. Instead here’s her song “Tu I Luga” which was used a David Tua’s entrance song in his big fight with Shane Cameron in 2007.

Pause “Only”

Pause was an early project by future Elemeno P guitarist Justyn Pilbrow, along with vocalists Jo Currie and Anna Copley. “Only” was their debut single, which Kiwi Hits described as having “eclectic rhythms and acoustic melody”. Deepgrooves describes the video as having been shot in black and white around Auckland, including breaking into the recently closed Auckland train station.

Director: Marc Swadel

Instead…

Now let’s take a look at a video that didn’t have NZ On Air funding but that managed to make a huge impact despite its $250 budget. It’s “Jesus I Was Evil”, an ode to badassness by the late, great Darcy Clay.

Directed by David Gunson who filmed it with an assortment of cheap cameras, it sees Darcy performing at the Summer Series in Albert Park and being generally evil around town, which includes hoovering up a fat line of cocaine, played expertly by custard powder. The video ends with Darcy’s email address, back when email was still new. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision also hosts the video, with some good behind-the-scenes stories from the director.

Director: David Gunson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

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.

Cicada “Future Folds”

1996-cicada-future-foldsThere are some very strange goings-on happening in some public toilets. Shot at the very photogenic loos at Hotel DeBrett, a man at the urinal turns to face the camera. He starts singing but his mouth appears to be a superimposed other mouth. It’s a bit like that weird Eskimo cartoon in Pulp Fiction with the real mouth on a cartoon, only in this video it’s all human.

If there’s another Tarantino influence it’s in the toilet setting. Like in “Reservoir Dogs”, a woman puts her hands under a hand dryer and dries them in a very slow, deliberate way.

Again directed by Paul Swadel, the video is mostly black and white, with dramatic lighting. The video is a lot more sedate than the more upbeat song, with lots of long, still shots. But the video captures the song’s tension. In this strange world inside a public toilet, with all the lingering glances, something is going to kick off.

Best bit: the old man who puts on a party wig.

Director: Paul Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… something spooky.

Cicada “Winter”

1995-cicada-winter“Winter” feels cold. It’s a minimalist song dominated by repetitive bursts of a clear, gangly guitar. The video, directed by Paul Swadel, picks up on that and creates a scratchy, moody world.

The band play the song in a dark space. This footage is mixed with scratchy scribblings, which look like they were influenced by the ground-breaking opening titles of 1995 film “Seven”. We also see flashes of binary code, like a low-fi precursor of “The Matrix”.

I’m trying to figure out this video. It doesn’t quite feel like a traditional music video, made to sell, sell, sell the song. It’s seems more like an artistic work that aims to equal the song.

I don’t feel like I can properly enjoy this video on my laptop. It just seems a little underwhelming on YouTube. It should be projected onto a big screen in a dark room, with a bunch of people who don’t need to google “post rock”.

Best bit: the lead singer’s megaphone microphone.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a bleak dystopian future.