Found videos from 1995

Let it rain 1995! There’s Supergroove on bikes, funk at the Civic, Lionel’s disappearing act, mean streets, tropical lolz, music with a message, wide lapels and an Auckland story.
Continue reading Found videos from 1995

Dave Dobbyn & The Stone People “Don’t Hold Your Breath”

So here’s the concept: Dave Dobbyn, with bleached blonde hair and wearing red and white striped pyjamas, wanders around the army training area at Waiouru with a tank in the background. Pretty awesome, right? And it’s Dave Dobbyn’s first NZ On Air-funded video.

“Don’t Hold Your Breath” is a stark song, mostly just Dave’s voice and guitar, with the occasional burst of drum thrown in. The lyrics are political, imagining an end to many of the world’s troubles, then adding “don’t hold your breath”. It’s not an obvious choice for a single, but it seems like no attempt was made to sweeten things up. The video is as stark as the song.

As well as Dobbyn’s military manoeuvres, the video quickly cuts in clips of important world events (the same sort of stuff Billy Joel sang about in “We Didn’t Start the Fire”). But all that is less interesting than Dave in the desert. He even has a knife that he occasionally stabs into the ground just because that’s the kind of thing he does.

I’m most intrigued by the utility belt that Dave’s wearing with his pyjamas. It’s like something woke him up in the middle of the night, leaving him to flee the house in his PJs with his prized possessions – guitar, stabby knife and utility belt. Well, that’s all you need for the apocalypse.

The video also has pretty quick editing, giving it a feeling of urgency. This isn’t just a lone man wandering around a barren landscape – he has a message for everyone.

Best bit: Dave’s funky strut along the top of a ridge.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a satellite transmission.

Emma Paki “Greenstone”

1994-emma-paki-greenstoneCliff Curtis stars in the follow-up to “System Virtue” (after Bully in “Once Were Warriors, before Pablo Escobar in “Blow”). Cliff plays a trouble young Maori and we first discover him sleeping in his beat-up old car. This is filmed in black and white, but a burst of colour comes in the form of Emma, who gorgeously appears in full colour, decorated in the splendours of nature (ferns and stuff).

Back in the real world, Cliff is at work on a road crew. It’s hot work and he takes a break in the shade of a tree. There, next to a stop/go sign, Emma appears in front of him, which strangely reminds me of Edward appearing before Bella in “Twlight: New Moon”.

Cliff is caught slacking off but dramatically quits and goes into town to hang out with his pals – and consciously rejects a beer. There’s some good footage around the popular music video location of Karangahape Road.

Cliff is caught mackin’ on to someone else’s girl outside the McDonald’s, and after a light scuffle he storms off, eating his feelings at the White Lady food caravan. Mid cheeseburger, Emma appears again, and this time he understands.

Because this is a New Zealand story, nothing good can ever happen in the city, and redemption can only be found in the bush. Cliff makes his way to a waterfall, where Emma appears to him for a third time, turning his black and white world into colour. She presents him with a pounamu pendant, which is just what he needs. Together they are happy.

It’s a lovely video. I also like that it’s a video that isn’t afraid to have a serious plot. Director Kerry Brown has told the story well, but includes plenty of shots of Emma Paki on her own, looking amazing.

Best bit: The brief glimpse of a Playboy cover in the dodgy second-hand bookshop in St Kevin’s Arcade.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the sound of the underground.

Moana and the Moahunters “Peace, Love and Family”

After being part of the original trio of NZ On Air-funded videos, “Peace, Love and Family” was Moana and the Moahunters’ second funded vid, again directed by Kerry Brown. The song mixes up tikanga Maori with contemporary dance music, being probably the only pop song that starts with a staunch “Tihei mauri ora!” before launching into house beats.

The video isn’t trying to be cool (but does it anyway). It’s a joyful celebration of the values in the song – peace, love and family. We meet a large group of the Moahunter whanau. They’re having a good kanikani outside at what looks to be a traditional marae.

The serious verses are delivered with a matching visual tone. Moana earnestly singings the lyrics, overlaid with historic photos of Maori experiencing hard times. Her solution to these troubles? Why, peace love and family, of course. The colourful chorus kicks in and Moana’s joined by the Moahunters – Teremoana and Mina.

Back outside, everyone’s dancing it up, having a great time. This is not a world of the professionally choreographed music video. It’s uncles and aunties doing uncle-and-auntie dancing. And because it’s the early ’90s, everyone has their t-shirts tucked into their jeans.

The song turns into a bit of a free-for-all: Matty J pops up for a one-line cameo (“It’s not my problem, hey!”), Teremoana does a ragga rap, Moana has a sultry chant, and Mina finishes with a karakia

Best bit: the enthusiastic dancing from the lady in the pink powersuit.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… October 1992: having a sickie.

Missing videos from 1999

February 1999

Bailter Space “So Am I”

“So Am I” was Bailter Space’s final NZOA-funded video from the ’90s. They took a break and showed up again in 2012.

Cabbage Bomber “You’re a Sun”

Cabbage Bomber included Mark Petersen who had previously replaced Andrew Brough in Straitjacket Fits. Their first single was “You’re A Sun”, extravagantly described by Kiwihits as “an unashamedly melodic slice of guitar pop, laden with hooks and harmonies.”

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

D-Faction “Take a Little Piece”

After having all their videos online, it’s sad that D-Faction’s final video, “Take a Little Piece” isn’t around. YouTube uploader slydogmania notes the group “disbanded in late 1997 before this final single was ever released”

Head Like a Hole “Hot Sexy Lusty”

Head Like A Hole have “Hot Sexy Lusty”, another single from their sex album, Are You Gonna Kiss It Or Shoot It? Guys, in googling for this video, I saw things I wish I hadn’t seen.

Mika “Angel”

Mika, last seen in Jan Hellriegel’s “Geraldine” video, has his own single “Taniwha Angel”. Here’s a live performance.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1999

Brett Sawyer “When It Happens”

Brett Sawyer has the song “When It Happens”. I’m most interested to discover that he and Pearl Runga sang New Zealand’s official millennium anthem, “I’ll Meet You There”, written by sister Bic and James Hall.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Delta “Slather”

Delta! “Slather”! I saw them play a few times and I happily bought the “Slather” single. It was a fun burst of pop that should at least have enjoyed one-hit wonder success. But anyway, here’s Delta performing the song at a 2010 reunion show. Nice one.

Director: Garth Maxwell
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Angel”

Girl group Ma-V-Elle had lost a member (but weren’t renamed V-Elle). “Angel” was the first single from their new album as a duo. Here’s a Tangata Pasifika profile of the group enjoying their early days of success.

Strong Islanders “Shining On”

Kiwihits notes that Jonah Lomu’s cousin is in “Strong Islanders”. Their song “Shining On” is ok, but their main MC has a somewhat lacklustre delivery.

Director: Joe Lonie
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1999

Ardijah “Do To You”

There’s no shortage of Ardijah videos from the ’80s, but the ’90s are AWOL, including “Do To You”.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Never Say Goodbye”

Ominous foreshadowing! “Never Say Goodbye” was Ma-V-Elle’s penultimate funded video.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Trip To The Moon “Sexual Healing”

The final NZOA-funded video for Trip to the Moon is their cover of “Sexual Healing”, a duet by Bobbylon and the ethereally voiced Rachel Weatherly. NZ Herald reviewer Russell Baillie dramatically described it as having “all the charm of a lavish STD-treatment jingle”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1999

3 The Hard Way “Front Back Side”

Well, I dunno. This song is on the list of videos that were completed, but I can’t find any sign of a 3 The Hard Way single called “Front Back Side”, or indeed any releases from this time. But there might have been some shuffling – there’s a 3 The Hard Way video for their 2004 single “Girls”. It’s set in the same sexy club world as “It’s On (Move to This”), only it’s so much cheesier.

Bike “Gaze”

Bike’s final NZOA-funded single is “Gaze”, which also appeared on the “Scarfies” soundtrack.

Brett Sawyer “Where We Wanna Be”

“Where We Wanna Be” is Brett Sawyer’s ode to his partner for sticking out a decade in Britain with him.

Delta “The Baddest”

Delta’s second single was “The Baddest”. It’s ok, but it’s not “Slather”. Here’s a live performance from their 2010 reunion gig.

Fiona McDonald “Wish I Was a Man”

Fiona McDonald gets dirty and grungy with “Wish I Was A Man”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Moizna “Summer Goodbye”

Moizna’s final NZ On Air-funded video is aptly titled “Summer Goodbye”, a sweet tale of a break-up.

Satellite Spies “Please Never Leave”

Satellite Spies apparently had a song called “Please Never Leave”, but it’s ungooglable.

TrueBliss “Freedom”

TrueBliss’s third single was a cover of the Wham song “Freedom”. I’ve found an 2001 Australian documentary about the “Popstars” phenomena that shows a short clip from “Freedom” at 8:01. It features the group dressed in red, white and blue costumes, performing on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1999

DNE “Be There”

DNE was a “cyber collaboration” between Aly Cook and David Horizon – their name for the now commonplace practice of online collaboration. Their old bio at Amplifier promised a fabulous web experience with “CLUBDNE interactive”, and directed viewers to NZmusic.com to watch their video for “Be There”. Sadly all is but a cyber memory now.

Greg Johnson “Beautiful Storm”

Greg Johnson gets drench in meteorological metaphors with the upbeat “Beautiful Storm”. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Greg Johnson tours an Asian city and sings “Beautiful Storm” to camera as the surroundings move rapidly around him.”

Director: Bernadine Lim
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ma-V-Elle “Don’t Be So Shy”

Ma-V-Elle have “Don’t Be So Shy”, described by the Kiwi Hit Disk as a “cool slice of original, soulful pop”. It’s the final Ma-V-Elle track funded by NZOA. The duo was to eventually disband, with Lavina ending up in the Australian Idol final 12 in 2006, among other achievements.

December 1999

Ardijah “Way Around You”

I’m pretty used to Ardijah videos not being online, and indeed “Way Around You” isn’t available.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Breathe “Sick & Tired”

“Sick & Tired” is another track from Breathe’s second album, the one that seemed really big at the time, but has now faded into history.

Fiona McDonald “Bury Me”

Described in a review I found on a vintage website as a “edgy, emotionally charged” song, “Bury Me” is another single from Fiona McDonald.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Garageland “Good Luck”

Garageland have the blusey “Good Luck”, another track off their second album “Do What You Want”.

The D4 “Come On!”

Another early track from The D4. “Come On!” is an typical piece of energetic rock. Here’s a fan video, setting the song to clips of rally cars sliding around corners.

Director: Alex Johnson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exponents “Big World Out Your Window”

“Big World Out Your Window” was the final Exponents track funded by NZOA. It was a single off their 1999 album “Hello, Love You, Goodbye”, a half-studio, half-live collection. There’s no sign of the “Window” vid, but I do know it was filmed on Mt Eden.

Director: Andrew Moore

Instead…

Here’s a video from the world of non-NZOA funding. Director Marc Swadel made the “Crystal Chain” video for Flying Nun group The Subliminals for “300 bucks and one re-used 100 foot reel of 16mm film”. As a NZ On Screen commenter notes, 100ft of film is only two minutes, 45 seconds. The solution? “A lot of repeats, keying over footage with footage, and other lo fi tricks”. It’s a moody delight.

Director: Marc Swadel
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

OMC “Land Of Plenty”

1996-omc-land-of-plenty“Land of Plenty” was the third OMC single to receive NZOA funding and “Right On” was the fourth, but they were released in the opposite order, making “Land of Plenty” OMC’s final NZOA-funded video to be released.

Pauly Fuemana had enjoyed a global hit with “How Bizarre” and local success with the follow-up single “Right On”. “Land of Plenty” gets personal. It’s very much the work of a New Zealand-born child of Polynesian immigrant parents.

“Land of Plenty” is a valentine to New Zealand. While Pauly’s rapping isn’t as good as it has been (he sounds like he has a cold), it is still a strong song with a killer chorus.

The lyrics list places and features of New Zealand: “Oamaru by Timaru, winding roads, sudden bends, Lake Taupo, Bethells Beach.” Pauly doesn’t forget cities, also mentioning “Mission Bay, Cuba Street, Vulcan Lane”.

There’s a cool story behind the production of the video, as told by Simon Grigg in his rather good book How Bizarre. Director Kerry Brown came up with an ambitious treatment for the video that was budgeted at $60,000 – but all they had was the $5000 NZ On Air grant and $15,000 from the record company.

So they got sponsors. The New Zealand Wool Board chipped in $20,000 on the condition that Pauly would wear a woollen jacket in the video. TVNZ contributed another $20,000 with the understanding that Pauly would take part in a promo for the station (which never happened).

Much of the video is second-unit filming around New Zealand, with Pauly and singer Taisha filmed in the volcanic plateau. Pauly was in a foul mood the day of the shoot, but Brown’s directorial expertise transformed the scowls into looks of thoughtfulness.

The video takes inspiration from the lyrics and the typical “scenic New Zealand” tourism film (check out “This is New Zealand” for a glorious example), so there’s lots of aerial footage of mountains, rivers and oceans. But we also visit small towns and the aforementioned urban hotspots.

Both and song and the video capture the appreciation that a migrant family has for their new home, but it also works as a reminder for those of us who’ve been here a bit longer that New Zealand is a lovely country.

The song was used in a 2001 ad by the BNZ, who effectively remade the video with a bigger budget, more BNZ customers and less scenery.

Best bit: the Wizard standing in front of the ChristChurch Cathedral. cries



Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… mission posse-ble.

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!!!!

Jan Hellriegel “Geraldine”

1995-jan-hellriegel-geraldineJan’s back with the first single off her second album. The title character undergoes a metamorphosis, and this guides the central theme of the video.

Filmed on and around the back steps of St Kevin’s Arcade in Auckland, the video starts with a waiflike Jan singing the song surrounded by instruments, her band absent. In the background, a few random K Road freaky people wander past.

A greasy looking businessman strolls by and enters one of the flats in St Kevin’s, where the Wine Bar now lives. The businessman is played by Mika, which should be a hint of things to come. In his apartment, he shaves and emerges as an extravagant Maori warrior. It’s all on.

The monochrome world has changed into a Geraldine’s lush reality. Jan vamps it up, with her hair transformed into lush Alanis Morrisette curls. The back steps of St Kev’s are alive with feathers, smoke, wigs, fire and sinister extravagance.

It perfectly matches the not-quite-right tone of the lyrics, creating a extravagant messed-up world that might not have literally existed in Auckland in 1995, but it’s nice to think it might have.

Best bit: the extravagant moment of transformation.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a strategically placed smudge of axle grease.

Dave Dobbyn “Language”

1994-dave-dobbyn-languageFinally, Dave Dobbyn. Finally you grace us with your presence. Dave is a man of many appearances, so I feel it is important that these be logged. In “Language”, Dave wears a goatee beard, but it should be noted that in 1994, goatees were very hip. Although, like any youth fashion, that hipness did not necessarily extend to dads.

“Language” takes part in two universes. There is the colour, gloomy world of Dave Dobbyn. He lurks about in the shadows of either a junk shop or maybe the symbolic cluttered home of the tortured subject of the song. The other world is black and white, evenly lit, and with people of all sexual orientations who stare at the camera and look soulful, intense, angry or gloomy. This video must have been a boon for unemployed actors.

I don’t think this video does the song many favours. The video takes the gloomy tone of the lyrics, and ignores the much more upbeat music. And why dress Dave Dobbyn like a bogan dad?

Best bit: the hot guy with jean-clad legs akimbo.



Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… what happens at the pool in winter.

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.