Eye TV “Down with a D”

1995-eye-tv-down-with-a-dAnother track from Eye TV’s acoustic album. This time the video star is a little girl whose costume seems to be inspired by Blind Melon’s Bee Girl. But instead of a bee, she’s a Ronald Regan with fairy wings. Watch out, Johhny Utah!

The band are also joined by an TV-watching elderly couple and a young woman who may represent Regan Girl as a grown-up.

The video seems like it’s trying to evoke the glum theme of the lyrics, but the world it’s set in isn’t all that depressing. You could watch some telly with the old couple, play games with Regan Girl or hang out with the older woman. They all seem like they’d have stories to tell.

Or maybe Eye TV are in such a permanent state of malaise that everything seems awful, all the time. Aw, cheer up, guys!

Best bit: the young woman subverting stereotypes by wearing a pig nose.

Director: Sharron Ward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Eye TV “Basement Static”

1994-eye-tv-basement-staticEye TV had a few changes. Their gear was stolen, forcing the band to record a more acoustic album, forging a gentler, newer sound with a new drummer.

The “Basement Static” video sees old gothy Shaun curled up in shadowy places, a man on the verge of a nervous spaz-out. The song has shades of Radiohead, but still manages to keep that slightly uneasy, slightly off sound that was Eye TV’s trademark. But when the chorus kicks in, we’re treated to glimpses of the band decked out in garish showbiz sequinned suits. Woo!

This seems to symbolise the crossroads where the band were – caught between their older gothic roots and the allure of a more poppy future. Which path were they to take?

Best bit: the old lady glitter disco fairy.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… something really amazing.

Eye TV “Eye TV”

1994-eye-tv-eye-tvThe song and the band have the same name because the band used to be called the Nixons and took their new name from their album (and song) called Eye TV. I don’t remember the band from this stage. They had quite a different vibe from their later work.

For a start, Sean the lead singer had long black hair (goth!), and the drummer was Mark, who I used to work with at dirty old Ihug back in the ’90s. In fact, the whole song has a much gothier tone than their later stuff.

The video takes place in a slightly unusual house, where the band hangs out. A box is opened, emitting a mysterious bright light. The video also introduces the ubiquitous mid-’90s colour palate of forest green, deep red, mustard yellow and sky blue. (I had a duvet with these colours.)

The band end up posing as thugs, before dragging the lead singer away. They then assemble for one final rock-out in the colourful room. Then – lol – the lead singer eats a flower.

Best bit: the smashed house of cards. Yeah, take that.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a smooth boyband.