Dead Flowers “Watch Her Play”

Hey, you want some early ’90s digital video effects? Well, this video has them. There’s so much going on that it’s a little overwhelming in the beginning. Animation! Green screen! Pixillation! Solarisation! Things calm down a little once the verses get started, but it still feels like overkill.

Most of the video is based around the band performing in front of a green-screen backdrop. The background images involve swirly rainbow waves, giant flaming flames, and something I will describe as microwave pizza vomit. There’s a lot going on.

We see the crazy girl of the lyrics burning a Barbie doll in a fireplace. Actually, she’s not so much burning it as just holding it near the roaring fire. Maybe Barbie is cold and needs to be warmed. Maybe the girl is conscious of hazardous fumes that might come from burning plastic.

But, ok, it’s 1993. This was new technology and there was a kind of 1960s psychedelia revival happening, though it also feels like the extravagant visuals were trying to disguise a lacklustre song. But while “Watch Her Play” isn’t as strong as the Dead Flowers’ later work, it’s still not terrible – especially considering it was the first single from their second album. I think that while the video likes the song, it likes itself more.

Best bit: Bryan furiously flips through a 1994 wall calendar of scenic New Zealand.

Director: Jonathan Coates
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Missing videos from 1998

February 1998

Bike “Take In The Sun”

Bike have the rather Fits-esque sounding “Take In The Sun”. The video was shot on Super 8 film in Mexico.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Coelacanth “Never”

Coelacanth return with “Never”. The Kiwi Hit Disc likened this song to Bailter Space and quoted Tearaway magazine enthusing, “Their music is to die for. We like them very much.”

Lole “Take You Higher”

Another track from Lole. This time she has “Take You Higher”.

Salmonella Dub “Loletta”

Back before Salmonella Dub were the kings of barbecue reggae, they had “Loletta”, an askew jazzy number. From memory, the video was a studio-based black and white job. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The band perform in monochrome while the subject of song is in colour in backstreets”.

Director: David Reid
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1998

Bailter Space “Argonaut”

“Argonaut” is an epic instrumental from Bailter Space.

Director: Alistair Parker
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Barry Saunders “Colour Me Blue (Song For Jas)”

The Kiwi Hit Disc noted that “Colour Me Blue” was a “heartfelt ode” to Barry’s “globetrotting son”. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Barry walking on rural road as cyclist passes. Cyclist seen in various rural locations interspersed with Barry singing in one room then another.”

Director: James Cowley
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Breathe “Started Something”

“Started Something” is another video from the early days of Breathe. The track has an epic film montage sound to it. The Film Archive describes the video as, “Band perform in leaking warehouse/ garage.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead Flowers “Outer Space”

“Outer Space” is an upbeat pop-track, produced by Eddie Rayner. The Split Enz connection continues, with Bryan Bell saying that the song was “‘Loving The Alien‘ meets ‘Poor Boy‘”.

Michelle Rounds “Culture Cross”

Singer Michelle Rounds had the song “Culture Cross”.

Muckhole “Lie”

Auckland punks Muckhole had “Lie” from their “Fresh Muck” EP. That video ain’t nowhere to be seen. But instead here’s “Cool Guy” from 1997. It reached No.48 in the singles chart. The video was made without NZ On Air funding for a mere $2000.

Southside of Bombay “Say”

“Say” was produced by Ian Morris (who had previously produced “What the Time Mr Wolf”). The Kiwi Hit Disc quoted band member Kevin Hodges saying that the love song, “just felt like a good summer single”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1998

Dave Dobbyn “Hanging in the Wire”

“Hanging in the Wire” was a track from Dave Dobbyn’s album “The Islander”.

Freaker “All Alone”

“All Alone” was the second of Freaker’s two funded videos. An album was planned but it didn’t get released due to the closure of record label Deepgrooves, so it’s likely this meant the “All Alone” video wasn’t made either.

New Loungehead “Ike Just Do It”

New Loungehead subvert a corporate slogan with “Ike Just Do It”, from their album “Came a Weird Way”. New Loungehead were another signed to Deepgrooves.

Pause “Jana”

Pause’s second funded song is “Jana”. Dub Dot Dash has more about Pause and their never-released album. Pause were also signed to Deepgrooves.

August 1998

Ma-V-Elle “Love Is”

Vocal trio Ma-V-Elle were back with “Love Is”, the soulful closing track from their debut album.

Mary “Bigger”

Girl band Mary have the track “Bigger”. Nga Taonga offers this rather comprehensive description of the video: “A woman sits at night in a green corner diner/coffee bar with large windows (which recalls the Edward Hopper painting “Nighthawks at the Diner”). A car approaches with the guitarist in the back seat. Mary perform “Bigger” on a TV screen in the diner. The car stops for the singer/ guitarist.”

Director: Peter Bannan
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

NV “Don’t Make Me Wait”

Wellington trio NV have “Don’t Make Me Wait”, described by the Herald has having a “bitter brand of bubblegum”. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Woman sings on roadside with warehouse, pedestrians and traffic – and later rioters – behind her.”

Directors: Wayne Conway, Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist “Superkool”

Named after the last Dutch governor of New York and/or an international cigarette brand, the Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist were known for their entertaining loungey grooves. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Four office workers in a pub sing karaoke to the Peter Stuyvesant Hit List’s “Superkool”. The Peter Stuyvesant Hit List are seen performing on the karaoke screen.” Ah, the old “music video as karaoke track” treatment.

Director: Carla Rotondo
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Sina “Boy”

Another solo track from Sina. “Boy” was from the soundtrack of “Once Were Warriors” sequel “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”, but was never actually released as a single.

Stereo Bus “Hey Thank You”

The Stereo Bus have the rather cheerful “Hey Thank You”, sounding like The Cure on a happy day.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1998

Ardijah “Silly Love Songs”

Ardijah bring a Pacific flavour (i.e. ukulele) to the Wings tune “Silly Love Songs”. The song went to No.1 in January 1999. Here’s Ardijah performing the song at a Polynesian music festival in Hawaii. In 2015, Ardijah offspring Beau Monga covered “Silly Love Songs” on The X Factor, which he later went on to win.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bailter Space “Big Cat”

“Big Cat” was the penultimate video that Bailter Space had funded in the ’90s, before returning with “World We Share” in 2012.

Leza Corban “Comfort & Joy”

Debbie Harwood put her coordination skills to good use with the album “Angels”, featuring New Zealand singers (Hammond Gamble, Rikki Morris, Mika) and TV personalities (Willy de Witt, Leanne Malcolm and Nick-bloody-Eynon) covering classic Christmas songs. Leza Corban, who had previously sung with Strawpeople, had the first single “Comfort & Joy”.

December 1998

Brett Sawyer “She Came Along”

The video for Brett Sawyer’s song “She Came Along” was filmed at St Leo’s school hall in Devonport.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Eye TV “Doo Song”

Eye TV have the comedically named “The Doo Song”. The Kiwihits entry notes it was rerecorded and released in 2000, and the database note that the funding was changed to the “Doo Song” from their song “Ditch Witch”.

NV “Unlikely”

“Classy come-down band” NV have the single “Unlikely”, which was a nominee for Best Video in the 1999 New Zealand Music Awards. Nga Taonga describes the videos as, “Singer in Queensland lakes setting and on jetty”, by which I think they mean Queenstown.

Directors: Wayne Conway, Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Paua Fritters “Her Story”

Paua Fritters are (were? I think they’re still together) an acoustic folk-pop group with busking roots. “Her Story” was a finalist in the 1998 APRA Silver Scroll awards.

Pause “Kronos”

“Kronos” is another track from Deepgrooves artist Pause.


In the world of non-NZOA-funded videos, 1998 saw Neil Finn contending with a 50-foot woman in the video for “She Will Have Her Way”. Neil is expertly integrated with footage from films “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” and “The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock”, making him the beau of the towering heroine, a height pairing reminiscent of the golden days of Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead Flowers “I Don’t See Anyone At All”

1997-dead-flowers-i-dont-see-anyoneSo far, most music videos have been filmed in New Zealand, but occasionally a video will manage to have an exotic international location. Hong Kong! New York! Miami! And now the Dead Flowers have their music video OE moment in London, filmed when they were on tour with Greg Johnson, the Exponents and Mental as Anything.

But rather than the slick look of other videos in overseas locations, this one looks like it’s been shot on a home video camera. The screen is split into three, usually with the left and right panels mirroring each other.

We meet the band being proper tourists on the top of an open-top double-decker bus. The bus tours around London, passing by familiar attractions – Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Abbey Road Studios, Oxford Circus and the Underground. It’s an odd fit with the lyrics. The song is about being a poetic drunkard, so it’s hard to link that to a group of young New Zealanders enjoying a guided tour of London.

The really disappointing thing is that this is a really good pop song. The poor quality video (both technically and artistically) really detracts from what could have been a brilliant single. It didn’t need to be shot in London.

The band’s third album had a slicker, more poppy sound, and seemed to have some serious backing by their record company. But yet that support didn’t stretch to the production values of the music video.

Best bit: the video’s double use as a quickie tour guide to London.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… going for a drive up the hill.

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


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

Dead Flowers “You Drink The Water, I’ll Drink The Wine”

1995-dead-flowers-you-drink-the-waterDead Flowers get all “November Rain” with this epic-ish metal ballad. Shot in high-contrast black and white, the video takes place in rural New Zealand, where a tragedy has occurred.

Someone has died, which causes mothers and children to cry in close up. The young male suspect stands trial and appears to be found guilty, sentenced to hang. Yes, this is the part of New Zealand where hanging still happens. Probably somewhere in Southland.

But then the narrative gets a bit fuzzy. Suddenly we see Bryan Dead Flowers in the police cell. What’s he doing there? He is actually the murderer? He has switched places?

The previously strong narrative dissolves into a series of dramatic shots, as if someone gave up trying to give the video a conclusion and instead just strung together some prior footage.

Despite all that, this is a pretty decent looking video. But it’s let down by one really big thing: the cops have really bad fake moustaches. I don’t quite understand it. There’s obviously been a lot of effort put into the video, making it look really good, but yet the policemen have really bad $2 shop Moustache Party stick-on mo’s. And even worse – one of these cops is shown in close-up. Even the Beastie Boys had better looking fake moustaches in the deliberately cheesy “Sabotage” video.

Best bit: the serious judge with his serious pointing finger.

Director: Chris Mauger
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… revenge of the Supervixens.

Dead Flowers “Same Same”

1995-dead-flowers-same-sameWorst gig ever. In a dive bar near a demolition derby track, Dead Flowers play to an audience who seem to actually hate them. The lead singer finds himself in an argument with two men, and children laugh at the band.

The rest of the crowd at the gig seem equally munted. They either sit around looking bored out of their minds or they engage in flamboyant arguments with each other. But then things get worse with the appearance of both a neo-Nazi fellow and a “Brown Power” gang member. And, yeah, they’re both really really angry so another fight ensues.

What sort of gig is this? What kind of small town has a) a large population of really angry people and b) only one pub where all the angry people go? And why did the Dead Flowers end up playing here?

The second half of a video moves away from Angry Town and we see the Dead Flowers performing at a proper gig, in front of a real and huge audience of fans who really enjoy their music. See, in reality, the angry pub doesn’t exist and everyone loves the Dead Flowers.

Best bit: the children laughing at the band. What are they doing in a pub, anyway?

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a glam awakening on the back stairs.

Missing videos from 1995

February 1995

D’bre “Let Me Know”

The band formerly known as Bush Beat return with a second song, “Let Me Know”. The track featured on Tangata Records’ compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead Flowers “Not Ready”

“Not Ready” is the first Dead Flowers video to be missing. The song was a track from their 1994 album Sweetfish.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Greg Johnson Set “You Stay out of Your Life”

From what I can remember of it, the “You Stay out of Your Life” video involved Greg Johnson and Boh Runga zipping around on scooters (probably shot using green screen).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Pumpkinhead “Third Eye”

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.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ruia “Ka Tangi te Tītī, Ka Tangi te Kākā”

Ruia Aperahama, the frontman for Southside of Bombay, had the solo track “Ka Tangi te Tītī, Ka Tangi te Kākā”.

Film Archive

Southside of Bombay “Umbadada”

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.

Director: Regan Jones
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Feelers “The Leaving”

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.

Directors: James Reid, Matthew Thomas
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1995

The Tufnels “Pettibone”

“Pettibone” is the second single from the Tufnels, the greatest pop band in New Zealand that no one’s ever heard of.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1995

Andrew Fagan “Empty”

Andrew Fagan’s last NZ On Air-funded track was “Empty”, before branching out into the power combo of broadcasting and poetry.

Funhouse “I Don’t Mind”

Curiously enough, there’s an Italian punk band from the ’80s called Funhouse who also have a song called “I Don’t Mind”. It’s far removed the namesake “sweet ballad” of the New Zealand Funhouse.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Jordan Reyne “Pandora’s Box”

“Pandora’s Box” was another song of Jordan Reyne’s 1998 album Birds of Prey. I have a suspicion that a video for this song not might not actually have been made.

Nothing At All! “Super Bullet”

Nothing At All! was the old band of Dion from the D4. “Super Bullet” was a tight 2:14 atomic bomb of a song that would have been a massive hit had it been released seven years later.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Sulata “Motion”

The video for “Motion” isn’t online, but there’s another track from Sulata’s debut EP “Never”. It’s “Always”, and the video seems to largely comprise of extra footage of the rap bit from her earlier “Never” video. Intriguingly, the Deepgrooves YouTube account has a video clip for “Motion” but it’s not playable.

The Tufnels “Beautiful Ride”

The Tufnels’ last stab at pop immortality was “Beautiful Ride”. I think it was an extra track added to a revamped version of their “Lurid” album, once they’d signed to a major label. So long, Tufnels.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Urban Disturbance “Figure This Kids”

More coolness from Urban Disturbance. “Figure This Kids” has echoes of what was to become the more laid-back sound of Zane Lowe’s next music project, Breaks Co-op.

August 1995

3 The Hard Way “B All Right”

For their second album, 3 The Hard Way were going for a more mellow sound. “B All Right” has a bit of the Death Row Sound, and continues the 3 The Hard Way theme of mythologising their childhoods.

Barry Saunders “Little Times”

The Warratahs frontman has a solo song called “Little Times”, a bluesy ode to the opposite of the big time.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ermehn “Nuttin’ Personal”

Another of Ermehn’s early tracks is “Nuttin Personal”, which is strangely ungooglable. It could be a case where the song or song title was changed at some point.

Grace “Heart Of Stone”

“Heart of Stone” is a souly pop track. Instead of the video, here’s the brothers Ioasa talking about the inspiration behind their music from a 1995 episode of Frenzy.

Jacqui Keelan Davey “Nobody”

Hamilton songstress Jacqui Keelan Davey delivers a miserable but bangin’ dance number, “Nobody”.

Jordan Reyne “Millstones”

Jordan Reyne delivers a sweet guitar track with “Millstones”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Sulata “Find Yourself”

“Find Yourself” is a great song that shows off Sulata’s rich voice. I think this might be a video that wasn’t actually made, with the funding possibly transferred to another song.

Upper Hutt Posse “Can’t Get Away”

Upper Hutt Posse have “Can’t Get Away”. Here’s the group performing the song live on What Now.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Wonderkind “Destiny Change”

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.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1995

Bailter Space “Retro”

The “Retro” video was briefly available to purchase on the iTunes store, but it’s since been removed. Like a lot of Bailter Space videos, I suspect this video is being kept offline by an overprotective algorithm. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Bailterspace perform “Retro” in arid rural location. They are observed from an alien spaceship – which lands and an astronaut emerges. (The animated astronaut is as pictured on records covers of their earlier incarnation, The Gordons.)”

In 2002 I wrote this about the “Retro” video:

It’s Bailterspace in space! Well, they’re doing the Star Trek trick of picking a desert location, banging a coloured filter on the camera and entrusting the rest to the audience’s imaginations. Meanwhile, some old-school computer animated aliens are flying their old-school computer animated spacecraft around and spying on Bailterspace. It’s has great potential to be cheesy, but somehow Bailterspace’s seriousness manage to overcome that. It works, but only just.

Directors: Rongotai Lomas, Tracey Tawhaio
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead Flowers “So Low”

“So Low” was a track off Dead Flowers’ third album. By this stage they were ruling the school, even opening on Pearl Jam’s NZ tour.

Jacqui Keelan Davey “Too Late”

Hamilton songstress Jacqui Keelan Davey has another single, “Too Late”. “Jacqui Keelan Davey has a voice that gabs you by the scruff of the neck and won’t let go,” enthused the Waikato Times.

Mara “Message At The Bottom”

Mara Finau – best known as co-lead singer of The Holidaymakers – went solo with a cover of Chaka Khan’s “Message At The Bottom”.

Ngaire “The Way I Feel About You”

Ngaire returned to the pop charts with “The Way I Feel About You”, which spent one ever-so-brief week at number 42.

Director: Tim Mauger
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Sulata “Back To Hong Kong”

“Back To Hong Kong” was another track from Sulata’s “Kia Koe” album. And this is another case where the video may not have been made or the funding given to another track.

Ted Brown and the Italians “Battle Inside”

“Battle Inside” was a track from Ted Brown’s album Shaky’s Blessing.

December 1995

CMB Swing “Your Love Is All I Need”

CMB Swing were a five-piece group (four vocalists and one percussionist). And were they named after the Cash Money Brothers from 1991 film “New Jack City”?

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Jacqui Keelan Davey “Watching Me Drown”

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.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead Flowers “Home”

1994-dead-flowers-homeIn their previous music videos, Dead Flowers have disguised their long-haired metal origins with visual trickery (grape-eating gothesses, sinister science labs!). But “Home” is taken from genuine live performance and there’s hair galore.

But that’s good. The band are enjoying themselves, the crowd is too, with the video ending on a slow-motion stage diver. It’s rare to see an actual proper live crowd in a New Zealand music videos. Not that bands aren’t capable of drawing real crowds, but lots of videos are made with fans of the band gathered to move enthusiastically on cue, shot low to disguise the lack of a large audience.

I think by this stage the Dead Flowers had gathered enough of a fan base that they could just release a music video of themselves without mucking around with any art concepts.

Also noteworthy – the video starts and ends with the band’s logo, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ star, but with Maori koru features and a face.

Best bit: the rotating logo, as branding is important.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the early adventures of Don.

Missing videos from 1994

There’s a Rockquest winner, some more bogan rock, a bit of hip hop, and some reggae.
Continue reading Missing videos from 1994

Dead Flowers “Plastic”

I wished for a video with crazy stuff in it and my wish was granted. “I’m in love with myself,” Bryan Bell sings, dressed as a vampire. While the video seems to be going for a sexy vampire theme, it comes across more like a flat of goths having a party. They are seen eating cherries and drinking goblets of red wine (or possible Ribena) but it would be more authentic if they were eating real goth party victules such as corn chips and those pre-mixed dips and drinking cider.

There seems to be a minor plot with Vampire Bry being torn between his vampire bride and some other goth chick. But they might be the same person. Those goths, they all look the same.

“Plastic” is a cheerful song, so it’s strange that it’s been paired with fairly serious, sexy visuals. I guess it’s like a teen goth striving to look cool and be sexy, but looking like a dick with too much makeup.

Best bit: meaningful over-the-shoulder goth glances.

Director: Matt Palmer
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… scenic Rangitoto thrills!