Missing videos from 1996

February 1996

Dei Hamo “International Whirl Rocker”

After making his mark doing the guest rap on Nathan Haines’ “Lady J”, Dei Hamo went solo with International Whirl Rocker (or “Rocca”, as it is listed in the NZOA database. The song was due to be released on Papa Pacific Records, but the label folded before this could happen, with Phil Fuemana eventually including the track on the groundbreaking Pioneers of a Pacifikian Frontier album. Here’s Dei Hamo performing the song live on Mai Time.

Teina Benioni “Gone Fishing”

Teina was nicknamed “the bard of Otara”. He played all the instruments and sang all the vocals on his song “Gone Fishing”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1996

Eye TV “Immaculate”

Another track from Eye TV. “Immaculate” was a return to a more electric sound for the group. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “Eye TV perform “Immaculate” in white room under flashing lights.”

Director: Sharron Ward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Moana and the Moahunters “Prophecies”

“Prophecies” was a track on Moana and the Moahunter’s second album, Tahi. It’s a gentle soul ballad, and Moana’s website says it touches “on more spiritual matters”. This looks like a case where the video was never made.

Splitter “What You Know”

Splitter had “What You Know”, described by the Herald as “XTC-meets-powerpop”. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The Splitter singer sings “What You Know” strapped to a chair in an interrogation room.”

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1996

Bike “Old & Blue”

Bike’s first single, “Save My Life”, is afforded digital immortality due to its inclusion on the Flying Nun “Very Short Films” compilation, but second single “Old and Blue” isn’t so lucky.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dam Native “Top Notch Vocalist”

The only mention of the Dam Native song “Top Notch Vocalist” is in the NZOA funding list. It seems like the sort of funding that might have ended up going to a different song.

Future Stupid “Greed”

Christchurch band Future Stupid were causing a ruckus with “Greed”. While the music video isn’t online, you can take your pick of 1997 live performances at the Summer Series, the Big Day Out or a DIY music video.

Lodger “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me”

Another song from Lodger, aka Damon from Dead Flowers’ side project. I assume that “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me” is a cover of the Small Faces song.

Second Child “Prove You Wrong”

“Prove You Wrong” is the sixth funded video from Second Child.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “Tremolo Panned”

Splitter was an Andrew Thorne project and “Tremolo Panned” was a nice piece of mid-’90s rock. But best of all, the Kiwi Hit List noted that the song features “Graham Brazier on electrified harmonica”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exponents “Do You Feel In Love”

The Exponents said farewell to Warner Music with a final single, “Do You Feel In Love”. Nga Taonga’s description suggests the video is a classic style Greg Page animation: “A claymation Exponents perform “Do You Feel In Love”.”

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1996

Breathe “Smiley Hands”

Breathe debuted with “Smiley Hands”, giving just an inkling of the major label excitement they stirred only a few years later. The olden internet has revealed this short but amazing article about the Smiley Hands EP. Taken from a December 1996 issue of RipItUp, it’s the kind of music writing that’s so scarce in this digital age.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Igelese “Emotions”

“Emotions” was Igelese’s second funded video. There’s no sign of it ever having been made, which might be tied to the end of Igelese’s record label, Papa Pacific. But he went on to compose music for Lord of the Rings and Moana, so it turned out well.

Lole “Feel Like Making Love”

Lole covers “Feel Like Making Love”, that’s the safe Roberta Flack song, not Bad Company’s rock classic.

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Peaches “Go”

OMG, Peaches?! Wait, it’s not the Canadian performance artist, but a Debbie Harwood project. She got her musician mates to cover classic New Zealand pop. “Go” is project’s one original track, penned by Rikki Morris.

Seven a Side “Running Back to You”

Also from the Rockquest is Seven a Side, winner of the Tangata Pasifica Beats category. A funded video for “Running Back To You” was part of the prize package. The track also featured on Tangata Records’ compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Supergroove “5th Wheel”

“5th Wheel” is an attempt at a sweet pop song, complete with flute, strings, and ah-ah-ahs. I believe vocals are by Joe Lonie, and the video involved him sitting on the back of a ute.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The 3Ds “Vector 27”

“Vector 27” was from The 3Ds final album, Strange News from the Angels. It was also the final 3Ds video to be funded. Nga Taonga enticingly describes the video as, “The 3Ds go for a drive in the countryside and encounter flying saucers and aliens.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1996

Ardijah “Oh Baby”

After returning from five years in Australia, “Oh Baby” was Ardijah’s new single. The video isn’t online, but here’s a short clip of a live performance from the era. Nga Taonga describe the video as “Ardijah perform “Oh Baby” in cabaret setting.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bobby Owen “Falling”

The Kiwi Hit Disc described 18-year-old Bobby Owen’s single “Falling” as a “moody soulful ballad” that was recorded at Fuemana Studios.

Dam Native “Extremities”

Another cool track from Dam Native. “Extremities” was produced by Zane Lowe.

Greg Johnson “Softly On Me”

“Softly On Me” featured Boh Runga and was produced by Dave Dobbyn. Jonathan King directed the video, filmed at a Tongan church in Auckland.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mary “Golden Halo”

Mary was an all-girl band, and they were a very all-girl band. Check out this profile in the Herald – about half the article is about aspects of their all-girl-bandliness. Their sweet, girly song “Golden Halo” was the first of many funded videos. I’ve heard from a performer in the video who says she wore a halo, naturally enough.

Stellar “Real”

It’s cool seeing signs of Stellar’s early work, putting in the hard yards before they were snapped up by Sony and became pop icons. “Real” was another early single.

December 1996

Ardijah “Bad Buzz”

More Polyfonk from Ardijah, this time with “Bad Buzz”, a Bob Marley tribute. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Ardijah sing “Bad Buzz” walking through sideshows / amusement park.”

Director: Neil Cervin
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Brothers & Sisters “Parihaka”

Like both Tim Finn and Jacqui Keelan Davey, the young Maori band Brothers & Sisters pay tribute to the pacifist Te Whiti with their song “Parihaka”. The track featured on the Tangata Records compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

DLT “Black Panthers”

The instrumental “Black Panthers” was the second single off DLT’s album “The True School”.

Fat Mannequin “That Matters”

Fat Mannequin deliver “That Matters”, a very ’90s rock ballad.

In The Whare “Sister Dread”

According to NZOA, In The Whare’s music was a mix of reggae, hip hop, funk and metal. Their song “Sister Dread” also featured on Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bike “Save My Life”

Ok, first a disclosure: I really don’t like this song, I generally don’t like the music of Bike, and I was not a fan of Andrew Brough’s songwriting in the Straitjacket Fits. But I know many people who love his songs, including “Save My Life”, so I’m willing to put my personal feelings aside. This is very generous of me.

Directed by Mark Tierney, the video is based around the band playing the song in a simple studio. They’re all dressed in black, all wearing dark glasses, and the black-and-white footage is tinted orange. The video is slowed down, which gives it a dreamy feeling and works with the tone of the song.

The band’s sunglasses are a little reminiscent of the diabolical Boss Godfrey in “Cool Hand Luke”, and we frequently see fiery flames reflected in Andrew’s glasses. So when he sings “I’m already dead”, we can assume this means he’s in hell. Oh crap.

Occasionally we catch a glimpse of the outside world – a wave crashes on a beach, a photograph flutters in the wind in a city street. These images are shot in untinted black and white. Is this heaven?

As the video progresses, the orange-filtered footage of the band alternates with straight black and white. Even though they are “already dead”, perhaps it is still possible for their souls to be saved. Whoa.

Best bit: the flames, the fiery flames of hell.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… open up the bar.

Martin Phillipps and the Chills “Come Home”

1995-the-chills-come-homeMiami Sound Machine became Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, by the mid ’90s the Chills had rebranded as Martin Phillipps and the Chills. The cheerful “Home Come” was the first single off new album “Sun Burnt”, and it served as a clarion call to young expat New Zealanders.

The video introduces us to two such expats. In New York, a glamorous young woman wearing a giant winter hat drops a handful of coins in the cup of an elderly beggarman. She furrows her brow, as if she has realised deep down that it is not right for an elderly man who be out begging in the middle of winter. Come home! New Zealand does not have many beggars and the winters are mild, anyway!

Meanwhile in London, a young man wearing surfer gear works behind bar. His short hair is roughly braided. While he goes about his job, he is momentarily distracted, as if he is remembering the golden summers he spent surfing in Gisborne. He doesn’t see much sun in this dingy bar. Come home! You can work in a bar by the beach, and you don’t even have to bother with mixing drinks as it is the ’90s and RTDs are new on the scene!

Back in New Zealand, a group of children play hide and seek in a park. Sure, it’s not as exciting as London or New York, but, like, it’s green and there are trees. And children.

Throughout all this the Chills play on an isolated beach, complete with highly symbolic megaphones. I’m sure this video would have persuaded a few homesick Kiwis to return back to Aotearoa, but it’s only really going to be successful if you hate cities and love isolated outdoor areas.

Best bit: where the camera appears to chase a boy, who turns and runs in fear.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… running, jumping, helicoptering.

Jan Hellriegel “Pure Pleasure”

1995-jan-hellriegel-pure-pleasureIn this Mark Tierney-directed video, Jan plays a catsuit-clad femme fatale, the star of a fake show called “Supervixens!”, which appears to have no relation to the legendary Russ Meyer film.

Jan and her supervixen posse – Buffy and St Marie (oh, I did what they did there) – receive a call to action: a secret formula has been stolen! The girls very stylishly hit the road, and meanwhile evil people do evil things with the secret formula.

The evil mastermind is played by Zane Lowe. At the time he was one of Urban Disturbance, whereas now he is all properly famous. Jan and los vixens make it to the criminal HQ and procede to fight the evil criminals, with Jan giving Zane a pash of death.

It’s a fun, playful video. It’s very much a work of the mid-’90s, packed full of strong ’70s pop culture references. It’s another video that was obviously inspired by the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”, and there’s also a bit of Tarantino cool lurking around.

Best bit: the surprise cat ending.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Martin’s public service announcement.

The Exponents “La La Lulu”

The influence of Quentin Tarantino slowly works its way into the mid-’90s. The last time we saw Jordan and the lads they were relaxing on a beach. This time around, they’re all Reservoir Dogged up in fancy suits.

The action initially takes place in a small steel room. The walls are made of non-slip steel plates but the floor is smooth. It’s a health and safety disaster just waiting to happen.

Occasionally the image freezes in black and white, and a tabloid-style headline flashes up – “criminal sex appeal”, “online erotic” and the titular Lulu. Is this an attempt to brainwash an entire generation who will forever associate “online erotic” with an image of Jordan Luck, and thereby ruining internet porn forever?

Next the action moves to an old quarry with the lads going for a hoon in an old car. They then get out and graffiti the car, but it’s very awkward graffiti. Here’s the thing – the idea of graffiti in a music video seems quite cool, but in the hands of a non-artist, it just ends up looking like the stuff Telecom workers do on the footpath before digging it up.

The car is then smashed up, but it’s good to see the Exponents are wearing protective eyewear as they do it. But because the health and safety compliant graffiting and smashing is a bit lacklustre, the car is finally blown up. Mr Tarantino would have done it better.

Best bit: “Online erotic”, a niche activity in the mid-’90s.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… getting out of bed.

Rikki Morris “World Stand Still”

1995-rikki-morris-world-stand-stillAlmost 10 years after storming the charts with “Nobody Else”, Rikki Morris finally released his solo album. “Word Stand Still” is a brilliant pop song, without a dull moment.

The video is another work by Mark Tierney, and has his signature urban style. The band perform on a building rooftop in Victoria Street West, but not in a “Where the Streets Have No Name” kind of way. Playing on the rooftop takes them up to be amongst the highrise buildings. The street is only glimpsed from a distance.

The video is stylish and urban and cool and really rock, but it can’t be a Mark Tierney video without a slightly dark twist. At near the end of the video, Rikki is suddenly gets his hair shaved off. A person stands behind him and shears his already short hair with an electric shaver. Rikki then runs his hands over his head, examining his new do. It’s strangely… sexual. I don’t know why the shaving happens, but it’s enough to tip the video from quite good pop-rock vid into WTFWTFWTF.

Best bit: The quick cameo of the half-built Sky Tower.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Grace “Cool World”

You know, Grace have a very pleasing oeuvre of videos. “Cool World” is directed by Mark Tierney (otherwise of the Strawpeople) and the video captures the media moodiness of his other band.

Bookended by snippets of a bald-headed person and alarming messages like “They are stealing the time”, the video launches into the group playing to their strengths – dramatic lighting, smouldering stares, cheekbones.

This is interspersed with a troubled young woman taking out her frustrations on a punching bag. However, she also takes the time to look fabulous in giant sunglasses.

I like that Grace kept their music videos consistently stylish, suggesting that someone with an overall vision cracked the whip no matter who directed their videos.

Best bit: the model posing with old white-painted TV sets.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Strawpeople “Sweet Disorder”

1994-strawpeople-sweet-disorderThe vocal collaborator on this track was Leza Corban, who gives the group a rootier, jazzier feeling. I know this song inside out due to a flatmate who played it all the time. Yeah, not quite two minutes into it, a trumpet solo kicks in.

The video is clever. It’s a way of shooting in an exotic location on a low budget. The video starts by establishing that Leza’s in a busy, noisy Asian city – Hong Kong, as it happens. She puts earbuds in her ears and peace settles. This is how they get away with shooting a music video in a busy city without having to play the song out loud for miming.

The result is a holiday video transformed into an ultra cool video for an equally cool song.

Best bit: the low-passing aeroplane, coming in to land.

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

Next… suits, cigarettes, badassness.

The Exponents “Like She Said”

1994-exponents-like-she-saidThe pre-renovation Parnell Baths, empty for winter, are the location for the Exponents. Jordan and the lads play the lament of lost love amid the stagnant fountain and the waterless waterslide.

But they are not alone! Because this is a music video, they are being watched by a mysterious woman with a dalmatian dog. She is wearing a matching dalmation-spot coat, so perhaps she’s a young Cruella de Vil (no wonder Jordan’s heart is broken).

Also lounging by the side of the pool are an elderly couple. The woman has a transistor radio, and the man seems very comfortable with his body as he dances in his shorts, his saggy old-man boobs jiggling with great vigour. The woman seems to enjoy this.

“Like She Said” is very much a music video, but it’s good to see the poolside antics happening in a recognisible Auckland landmark.

Best bit: the old couple’s tussle over the radio.

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

Next… Fiona and the boys go for a hoon.

Strawpeople “Trick with a Knife”

When Fiona wasn’t being Fiona From The Headless Chickens, she was bringing the gift of songcraft to the Strawpeople. “Trick with a Knife” is a dark and moody song, and Fiona lets her voice get really high.

The video is a crazy noir, where a smoking man in a chair awaits the arrival of a woman who transforms her boyish looks with the help of a sequinned catsuit and a boofy blonde wig. There are many meaningful glances between them, including an incredible slow zoom into the man’s crotch.

Mark and Paul from the Strawpeople make cameos in flashes of grainy film, and I don’t think Fiona even appears in it, making things even more mysterious.

Best bit: a close up of a 50 cent coin (the old giant chunky one), with which the man nervously plays.

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

Next… exile in videoville