Found videos from 1996

Loads of found videos from 1996, featuring cameo appearances from three bright young actors, Stella as a grunge band, double Annie Crummer and Strawpeople, and some political pop.

Continue reading Found videos from 1996

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

Cosa “Still Water”

1994-cosa-still-waterCosa (formerly Cosa Nostra) was a project by producer Trevor Reekie of Pagan Records. “Still Water” is an atmospheric track with a some trip hop and dub styles.

The video was directed by Mark Tierney and has a slight sci-fi flavour to it, a bit like the dream worlds of “Inception”. On a deserted grassy hill, Trevor is beckoned by a curious Asian man who takes him to a relaxing day spa. Though being a slightly weird music video, this ain’t no ordinary relaxing day spa.

Trevor lies down and is pampered by a number of Asian women. Their benevolent stroking seems to take him into a room where some cool people are partying. Is it real? Well, is the relaxing day spa real? Is the Asian man real? It’s all getting pretty Matrix.

Lava lamps blob, parasols spin, bubbles are blown, belly dancers shimmy, fire poi are twirled and the partygoers laze around in a haze. It’s like everyone in the room took too many Neurofen Plus, except for the one guy who’s dancing. Yeah, there’s always the one guy who’s dancing.

But obviously this bliss can’t last. The Asian man appears again, which seems to signal the end of this trip. Trevor wakes up, finding himself next to the reflecting pond at Savage Memorial. It could be considered inappropriate shoot a music video at a mausoleum, but the dreamlike location of the memorial somehow fits with the fantasy/reality theme of the music video. And, well, you wouldn’t get that sort of experience at the Massey Memorial.

Best bit: the partygoer with pixie/Spock ears.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a secret debut.

Strawpeople “Crying”

1994-strawpeople-cryingThe Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision describes this video as “Elaborate split screens video monitors”, which isn’t quite accurate. It’s a collection of eight boxes that play footage. To me it looks more like a digital composite rather than eight actual video monitors (and flat screen technology wasn’t that advance back then).

The video is directed by Mark Tierney and Paul Casserly, and it was a style that both would later use in videos they directed for other artists – Casserly for Greg Johnson’s “If I Swagger” and Tierney for Jan Hellriegel’s “Pure Pleasure”. And Matt Palmer used a similar style in his 1994 video for Maree Sheehan’s “Kia Tu Mahua”.

But the “Crying” video throws in an extra element. One of the boxes features Fiona McDonald singing the song straight to the camera and it’s almost totally unedited. Just a few flash cuts along the way.

The other boxes show scenes of urban Auckland. The tank farm features, back in the days when the tanks had utilitarian numbers painted on them, rather than poetic murals. Numbers feature a lot, with mysterious dates flickering across the screen and appearing on a television set in an empty room. There’s also a young women who walks around taking photos, and generally looks cool with her matt lipstick.

I like this video. I like that it’s a bit mysterious and doesn’t try to explain everything. A bit like that song.

Best bit: the giant camera the woman uses.

Directors: Mark Tierney, Paul Casserly
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a loving walk.

Greg Johnson Set “Sun Beat Down”

The more Greg Johnson videos I see, the more appreciation I have for his video oeuvre. There are are some rippers in there and “Sun Beat Down” is one of them.

Directed by Mark Tierney and Paul Casserly, it has a slick, ’90s western feel to it, probably influenced by the work of Robert Rodriguez.

Shot with a hazy orange filter, the video is set in a dusty yard between a warehouse and a railway track and a big ol’ Cadillac pulls up. So cinematic is the setting that I was even wondering if it was shot in New Zealand, but the car’s number plate and registration sticker reveal its Aotearoan origins.

Greg gets out of the car and he is a troubled man. As he swelters under the hot noon sun, he experiences flashbacks (shot in black and white) of himself getting up to no good with an attractive young woman and another man.

Back to the orange present and we discover the woman’s body in the boot of the car. Greg grabs a spade and wanders off, presumedly to bury her. So how did she die? Well, through flashback we see Greg and the woman in bed, having a good old pash. Then he’s on top of her, thrusting away and suddenly she’s dead, making him a certified dud root. (Before I saw this video I originally predicted he’d do a sex-face in the video. I didn’t realise how accurate that would be.)

It’s a stylish world full of sharp suits and big cars. There aren’t many bands that can get away with such a bold video, but the directors ensure everything in the film looks good. And it helps that Greg Johnson plays a perfect oily crim. Just don’t end up in bed with him.

Update: Director Paul Casserly tweeted some behind-the-scenes details of the shoot. The exterior was shot at “the old AFFCO works out the back of Onehunga” and the interior was shot at Hotel DeBrett (a popular video location due to its photogenic men’s toilets that feature in other videos). Paul’s nieces play the two dancing children and the playwright Linda Chanwai-Earle is the lady in the “weird devil costume”. Richard Long was the DOP.

Best bit: the little girl doing and Irish jig by the side of the train tracks. Fiddly-dee-dee, Riverdance!

Directors: Mark Tierney, Paul Casserly
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… an attempt at excitement.

Strawpeople “Under the Milky Way”

1994-strawpeople-under-the-milkywayWikipedia lists 20 artists who’ve covered “Under the Milky Way”. But you know who got their first? Strawpeople, that’s who. Go, New Zealand!

Their version take away the ’80s post-punk sound of the original and gives it some smooth ’90s dance sounds. The video sticks with this vibe, making a sophisticated experience.

Stephanie Tauevihi is the star of the video, in an elegant black suit, big hair and bold make-up. When we see the other Strawpeople – Mark Tierney and Paul Casserly – they’re both playing guitars. This doesn’t normally happen in Strawpeople vids – they tend to lurk in the background, looking all mysterious. Here it’s like, oh, they’re just musicians. How disappointing.

But there’s plenty of oddness to make up for it. We see scenes of a nerdy woman hunched over a typewriter (like what I am doing *right now*, only with a laptop), a reprise of those fabulous Ioasa cheekbones, and a small boy with a globe of the world.

A lot of the footage is out of focus, as if we’re not quite allowed to see everything that’s going on. The rapidly panning camera isn’t going to show us everything. It feels like being a casual observer, with only a connection to Stephanie. Everything else that’s happening doesn’t quite concern us.

Strawpeople videos intrigue me. They simultaneously manage to seem very superficial and shallow, and yet also genuinely deep and meaningful. And I reckon that’s a perfect match for their music.

Best bit: the astronaut hugs nerd girl. Baby, he’ll take u 2 the milky way.



Directors: Mark Tierney and Paul Casserly
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the finest lady.

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.

Instead…

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

Maree Sheehan “You Can’t Hide Love”

1995-maree-sheehan-you-cant-hide-loveOh, there are some kitschy delights in this video. Maree gets four different looks in this video, not unlike a pop version of Teremoana’s very serious “Four Women” video. There’s a ’60s chick with a heavy fringe and a mini dress, a long-haired hippy chick from the ’70s, a staunch ’90s chick with hair in Bjork minibuns, and a fabulous poolside diva.

The song has echoes of Cheryl Lynn’s disco classic “Got to be Real”, so the video wisely plays to that fun dance side. But I’m not sure if it’s entirely sucessful. Maree has a soft, sultry voice that doesn’t quite work with the bold diva ideals of the song. The video just underscores this, making it seem like a slowed-down version of a disco classic.

The poolside scenes are the best, with Maree lounges fabulously while various young men hang out in speedos. These scenes work well because the lazier pace matches the song better than the faster studio bits, and it looks like a fun place to be.

Best bit: the pool cleaner, wandering back and forth, doing his job.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Matty J Ruys “Cruisin'”

1995-matty-j-ruys-cruisingSome New Zealand music videos will cleverly make an ordinary bit of downtown Auckland look like Paris, London, New York or Apia. But sometimes clever camera angles aren’t just enough and a proper location shoot is needed. This time Matty J went to Miami.

Again directed by Mark Tierney, Matty J takes his cover of the smooth Smokey Robinson track to sunny Florida. Matty J hangs out in the back of a convertible, cruising with the top down. As he drives around the streets of Miami, we catch glimpses of the street life, lots of ordinary people going about their business, including girls in short shorts. This is, after all, a music video.

The video is high contast and has a strong orange filter, like a really bad Instagram filter. I assume this is meant to create a golden, sunny feeling, but it’s more like a strange post-apocalyptic sci-fi world. It would not be out of place for the tri-bosomed hooker from “Total Recall” to suddenly show up.

I remember at the time this video was released there were mutterings about the Miami location. But despite the exotic locale, it’s obvious that the video shoot itself was not expensive. It literally looks like they just drove around one afternoon and shot some stuff from the car. A video shoot in Miami? Why not.

Best bit: all the rollerbladers, cruising along.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Matty J Ruys “Mine”

1995-matty-j-ruys-mineCatch-up time: this was missing from one of the NZOA databases that I used, but fortunately I found it in another.

Matty J is a determined man. “The girl will be mine,” he asserts. But which girl? This video has a United Nations of hotties for him to pick.

Directed by Mark Tierney, the video is simple but cool and urban. Wearing a shirt with an extremely pointy collar, Matty J is caught in a spotlight as he stands in front of a wall made from non-step steel, just in case he wanted to try out his Spider-Man movies.

Also standing by the non-slip wall is a number of women, each dancing to the song’s cool grooves, each giving the camera seductive looks. It’s almost like they’re auditioning to be “the girl”, except all the women have a bit of a don’t-give-a-dam look.

Just in case things were getting a little claustrophobic, Matty J ventures outside, hanging out in front of the old Central Post Office, where only the pigeons understand his angst. He also celebrates being outdoors by doing a seduction rap.

I like that this video has taken a low budget and made something quite styley out of it, including magically tranforming Queen Street into a much cooler urban area.

Best bit: Matty J’s dramatic grabs at the camera.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision