Mary “Helpless”

2001-mary-helplessSo what happens? I lament the lack of dancing in videos and suddenly it’s everywhere. In the final of Mary’s NZ On Air funded videos they’re going out with some line dancing.

Mary are performing in a line-dancing venue, and are decked on in their finest cowgirl threads, all check shirts, boots and hats. With echoes of “The Blues Brothers” (and predating 3 The Hard Way’s “It’s On” video), there’s a short chicken wire fence in front of the stage, no doubt to protect Mary from any bottles thrown at their legs and feet by angry line dancers. It happens.

For a song about relationship misery, it’s a sweet, lighthearted video. The group even join in the fun, getting down for some boot scootin’ on the dancefloor – though one of the Marys seems to be going for a woman-in-black look, lurking in the shadows behind dark glasses.

Mary had nine music videos funded, which puts them on par with artists such as Supergroove, Annie Crummer and Goldenhorse, but they didn’t come anywhere close to enjoying the same sort of success as those artists. But that’s ok.

I once read an arguement from a guy who reckoned that NZ On Air should only fund songs that would go on to be timeless classics. (And just imagine if there was a person who could magicaly pick which songs would still be around decades later. I suspect they’d be off making millions doing A&R for a major label, rather than slogging away at a government agency.) But I think there’s still a place for songs and artists that belong to a specific time and a specific place. A one-hit wonder isn’t a sign of failure, and neither is a band who has a burst of life then fades away.

I’m sure that NZ On Air were taking a punt on Mary, thinking that this all-girl group with silky pop harmonies might go on to have some hits, but it just didn’t happen that way. Instead we have traces of a fiercely independent band who released some EPs, some singles, made some videos, played a lot of gigs then broke up.

Best bit: the “no bottles” sign – it’s badass.

Note: The video was on Amplifier, but it’s since been removed.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a farmgirl dreams.

Missing videos from 2000

February 2000

Brett Sawyer “Supercool”

Another track from the elusive Brett Sawyer. His single “Supercool” has almost no digital traces, but there is a brief review by Graham Reid in the NZ Herald, where he accurately describes Sawyer’s album When It Happens as being “Not bad, but over the long haul not gripping.”

Fur Patrol “Sorry”

This is interesting. Fur Patrol have funding for a song called “Sorry”, but it wasn’t a track off their 2000 album “Pet”. This might refer to the single “Andrew” (with frequent mentions of “I’m sorry”), but that song had funding in 2001.

Joshna “Anything”

Joshna’s single “Anything” notably was written by New Zealand songwriter Pam Sheyne, best known for co-writing Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle”. Unlike Ms Aguilera’s debut, Joshna’s single didn’t chart.

Mary “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)”

Mary contributed the gentle track “Big Boy (Santa’s In Town)” to Christmas on the Rocks a yuletide compilation of New Zealand indie artists. (It’s actually quite a good CD, by the way.)

Moana and the Tribe “Speak To Me”

Moana, having ditched the Moahunters and rebranded to Moana and the Tribe, has “Speak To Me” the first single off her third album “Rua”. It was, as Graham Reid noted in the Herald, a departure from the hip hop sounds of earlier albums and a move to the world music sound she’s known for today.

Suzanne Neumann “Lose Control”

The Kiwi Hit Disk noted that at the time, Suzanne Neumann was “picking up major airtime”. But there’s no sign of her video for “Lose Control”.

April 2000

Before Friday “Now”

Before Friday were a duo of Dean Chandler and Ben Bell-Booth. They had a few singles – including “Now” – before deciding that it would be better if Dean went solo with Ben as his manager.

Carly Binding “We Kissed”

“We Kissed” was originally intended as the first single off TrueBliss’s second album, and indeed the funding was originally given as a TrueBliss single. But but eventually Carly Binding left the group, taking her pop with her. Carly’s first solo single was “Alright with Me (Taking it Easy)” had its video funded in 2002, leaving the funding for “We Kissed” on the books for later use.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dave Dobbyn “Just Add Water”

“Just Add Water” was the opening track from Dave Dobbyn’s 2000 album “Hopetown”. Here’s a live version with Bic Runga and Tim Finn.

Deep Obsession “I Surrender”

After their run of three number one singles, Deep Obsession weren’t able to keep up the same level of success. “I Surrender” was the final single from their album “Infinity” and it charted at 25.

Fiona McDonald “I Don’t Care”

“I Don’t Care” was the eighth and final track to have a music video funded from Fiona McDonald’s album “A Different Hunger”, leaving only four tracks without a video. I think that’s a record!

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 2000

Breathe “Get Yourself Together”

“Get Yourself Together” was the forth single from Breathe’s major label debut “Don’t Stop the Revolution”.

Brett Sawyer “No Mistake”

“No Mistake” is the fifth Brett Sawyer track to have funding and it’s the fifth where the video can’t be found.

Dave Dobbyn “My Kinda People”

Dave Dobbyn goes back to his sneery, punky roots with “My Kinda People”, the second single from his album “Hopetown”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Pluto “Moscow Snow”

The moody “Moscow Snow” was the first release by Pluto, appearing on an Antenna Records compilation. Here’s a live version recorded at the Helen Young Studio for TV show “Squeeze”

August 2000

Breathe “When The Sun Comes”

Breathe has “When The Sun Comes”, which includes the lyric, “Everybody likes to grow their hair long/Every once in a while/Or something like that”.

Director: Julian Boshier
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Confucius “Rollcall”

Confucius was the work of Christchurch electronica musician Nava Thomas. Director Gaylene Barnes intriguingly describes the “Roll Call” video as “Confucius and MysteriousD become trapped in a drum and bass time warp, in this sepia toned music video which incorporates archive footage.” The video was also a finalist in the 2001 New Zealand Music Video Awards.

Director: Gaylene Barnes
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

House of Downtown “Downtown Groove”

The House Of Downtown track “Downtown Groove” was best known as the closing credits song for the Tarantino-esque 2001 New Zealand film Stickmen.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Leonard “Claire Swire”

Leonard’s second and final funded video was for “The New Claire Swire”. An intriguing song, assumedly about an office worker who wrote a personal email about semen that was forwarded around the world.

Director: James Moore
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mary “Ophelia”

More sweet guitar pop from Mary, with their harmony laden track “Ophelia”, an ode to two kittens.

Shaft “Might As Well Be Dumb”

Last seen in the mid-’90s with “Downhill Racer”, Shaft return with the loping “Might As Well Be Dumb”.

Sola Monday “All For A Dance”

Sola Monday’s second and final funded video was “All For A Dance”, a sweet folky, jazzy number.

Splitter “Supermarket Girl”

August 2000 is proving to be not a particularly fruitful month for finding music videos online. Joining the missing persons line-up is Splitter with “Supermarket Girl”.

The D4 “Ladies Man”

There were two videos made for The D4’s song “Ladies Man”. The first was directed by Glen Elliott, the second, a year later, by Greg Page. Nga Taonga describes the second video as, “The D4 perform Ladies Man with some members of the band wearing skirts.”

Director: Glen Elliott
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (Elliott)
Director: Greg Page
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (Page)

The Nomad “Life Forms”

There’s no sign of The Nomad’s second video, “Life Forms”.

October 2000

DNE “The Cause”

DNE’s second and final video is for the upbeat dance-pop number “The Cause”. “We are bound to see this group do great things,” says the equally positive bio at Amplifier.

Goldfish Shopping Trolly (GST) “Hey You”

Goldfish Shopping Trolley (or GST for short) was the original name of Opshop. “Hey You” was their first single and has the classic Opshop anthemic sound. At the time, GST were threatening to release the alarmingly titled album “Homo-Electromagneticus”, which promised to capture “the turbulent etheric renderings and solid earthy rhythmic growl of the native New Zealand west coast”.

December 2000

Breathe “She Said”

After a run of 10 videos, Breathe go out with “She Said”. They just seem like a band that – for whatever reason – never quite lived up to their potential.

Loniz “Child Street Blues”

Loniz were a Tauranga-based trio who later became Pacific Realm. “Child Street Blues” was their first single, which the Kiwi Hit Disc says was playlisted on iwi and b.Net radio stations.

Shihad “Just Like Everybody Else”

The list I have of completed videos includes the Shihad track “Just Like Everybody Else”. But when even the very thorough Shihad Wiki doesn’t list it in their exhaustive videography, it’s likely it was never made.

The Subliminals “Uh-Oh”

Oh, this is cruel. There are two older Subliminals videos on NZ On Screen, but no sign of their one NZOA funded video, “Uh-Oh”. Here’s the band playing the song at Flying Nun’s 30th birthday celebrations in Dunedin in 2011.

Instead…

Weta were one of those bands who seemed hovering on the verge of greatness, but for whatever reason, things didn’t happen. (But things are very much happening for Aaron Tokona’s new band, the psychedelic AhoriBuzz). This is Weta at their best, getting series amongst shipping containers.

Mary “Kissing Booth”

1999-mary-kissing-boothWhat’s inside Mary’s kissing booth? Let’s take a look. The video is set at night at a fun fair, with all the romance and intrigue that brings.

The fairground is populated with a number of interesting people. There’s a guy in a cowboy hat, a bearded dude, a fortune teller, an older woman, a candyfloss girl – some of whom are played by members of Mary.

All these people are drawn to the kissing booth. From the outside it looks like a simple tent, but it turns out to have a Tardis-like interior. Inside it’s not just the band playing the song, but a selection of fairground attendees who’ve been drawn to the pash shack.

These people also give spoken testimonies of the kissing booth experience. The older woman gushes, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. It was beautiful – just beautiful.” What? It’s just a tent with some smoochy people in it. The older woman is so taken by her kissing booth experience that she goes on a fairground ride and throws up. I hope the booth has some Listerine.

“Kissing Booth” is another fun guitar pop tune from Mary and the video is a perfect match to the song. By the way, if you think this video makes kissing booths looks appealing, here’s a cautionary tale. A couple of years ago some friends of mine had a kissing booth at a party. Everyone who took part in the kissing came down with a bad cold. Be careful out there, ok?

Best bit: one of Mary flirting with herself dressed as a guy.

Director: Matt Palmer
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… mud, mud, glorious mud.

Mary “Matt”

1999-mary-mattGirl band Mary have “Matt”, an ode to a troubled skater boy. The video feels like it’s had some money put behind it. Shot in both black and white and in colour, the video has lush footage of Auckland after dark, with Matt and his pals skating around an empty car park building. It looks good, but it feels a quite busy, a little too much going on.

We meet Matt (tall, handsome, shaved head, wallet chain; one of those guys) and his lady, a messy blonde skater chick. The video puts the girl on a train which magically manages to seem like a subway carriage, rather than Auckland’s crappy suburban trains of the ’90s. There are a lot of great shots of Auckland streets and urban areas being skated all over.

The girl and Matt seem to have a caring but troubled relationship. “When are you coming out of your hole,” the chorus asks. Matt seems like the kind of dude who’s got a lot going on in his head and while having a girlfriend is nice, other things keep distracting him. There’s a sense that his hoon along K Road isn’t so much skating as fleeing.

But it’s ok. The Mary godmothers are there for him. “Just let us in on your eternal goal,” they implore. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a girl band with sweet harmonies pop up to prod you along in times of trouble?

By the way, the YouTube uploaders wrote this: “we got paid in chocolate for our skating.but hey it was fun!”

Best bit: Matt’s carefree skate along the K Road overbridge.

Director: Matt Palmer
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mary “Someone Else”

1998-mary-someone-elseI’m happy to have found some Mary videos online. Amplifier has four, and while they’re only available in the Windows Media format (sigh) and can’t be embedded, it’s still great that they’re there.

Mary bring their playful sense of humour to the “Someone Else” video. The quartet are hanging out at a bowling alley, enjoying milkshakes, when in walks a super cocky bowling champ.

He struts around surrounded by his adoring fans and shows off his precision bowling skills. He offers to show the Mary girls how to bowl, and starts with one of the Marys who’s wearing a skirt over trousers (yay, 1998!). After the first three Marys prove to be hopeless girly girls who can’t do anything with the balls, the champ tries his luck with the final Mary, making a bet with crumpled Rutherford.

To his astonishment, Mary 4 shoots the ball along the lane with lightning speed, knocking down all 10 pins. What the hell is going on here? The girls turn and walk away, $100 richer, the back of their shirts revealing themselves to be the New Zealand Women’s Bowling Champions.

As cheesy as the video is, it’s a perfect accompaniment to the sweet pop of “Someone Else”. As much as Mary played up to their “girly pop” sound, it was something they did well.

Best bit: the four milkshakes served in Longest Drink In Town cups.

The video was hosted at Amplifier, but it’s since been taken down, along with two other Mary vids. A genuine loss.

Director: Ian McLean
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… out of the darkness.

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

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

Instead…

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

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

Dancing Azians “Elevator”

As if the awful band name wasn’t a giveaway, the Dancing Azians were a Rockquest band – the 1995 winners, in fact. “Elevator” was their first single, described by Pagan Records boss Trevor Reekie as “a genuinely funny song”.

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.

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

Ngaire “The Look Of Love”

Having previously covered “Son of a Preacher Man”, Ngaire tackles another Dusty Springfield number, “The Look of Love”.

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

Instead…

Here’s another music video from Fat Mannequin, “Room and Spine”, also from 1996. It’s noteworthy because the guitarist is wearing a Vision Streetwear t-shirt (just like the guy in EMF!) and because the lead singer, with his curly long hair and quirky performance mannerisms, looks like a parallel universe version of Lorde as a boy. The best bit, though, is the menacing old lady.

Director: Jeff Hurrell
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision