April 2008: Rhombus, Scribe, Shihad, Simple Day, Solstate, Stu Strawbridge

Blackboard scribbles, a modern Pacific city, shockingly inoffensive, helping out with the lambs, the location that swallowed the band, and the most boring farm ever.
Continue reading April 2008: Rhombus, Scribe, Shihad, Simple Day, Solstate, Stu Strawbridge

June 2005: Rhombus, Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine, Rubicon, Savage, The Boxcar Guitars, The Fat Monks, The Pits, Vickie Evans

Communist propaganda, suburban escapism, tropical home movies, Auckland cool, lamps and a jazz legend.
Continue reading June 2005: Rhombus, Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine, Rubicon, Savage, The Boxcar Guitars, The Fat Monks, The Pits, Vickie Evans

Found videos from the 2000s

Tropical crime fighting, police brutality, high street thugs, an interrogation and love (not war).
Continue reading Found videos from the 2000s

Rhombus “Mile High”

2005-rhombus-mile-high“Mile High” is an aeronautically inspired ode to good times in flight, and Rhombus have fun with the music video. Rather than showing people shagging in aeroplane toilets, the video goes sci-fi in a passenger spaceship, a mix of CGI and real sets.

The video is at its best when it’s being a bit silly – tropical beach girls sashaying in space, a dude on a motorbike floating outside the vessel. But the video also spends a lot of time lingering on shots of passengers looking out of windows. This just feels lazy, like there weren’t enough crazy space antics to fill up the video. There’s even a 30-second scene of a man looking out a window and (eventually) seeing a giant chicken.

The end of the video seems to be where most of the effort has gone, with the spaceship flying through space. The animation is adequate, but it just has no spark. Bring back the cocktails in coconuts!

Best bit: the spaceship’s rear end is a thong-wearing booty.

Director: Scott Harens
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… being recognised down at the shops.

Rhombus “Clav Dub”

2002-rhombus-clav-dubThe “Clav Dub” video plays tribute to the legendary New Zealand film “Goodbye Pork Pie”. With the group filing out of a local WINZ office, they spy a familiar yellow Mini that the original Blondini (Kelly Johnson) has left while he pops in to a dairy. Enticed by a big-arse speaker in the back, the trio take off in it. Blondini seems a but miffed, but, well, he’s experienced worse.

Rhombus are rather excited with their new wheels, and go for a good hoon around downtown Wellington. (And they even go past my old Wellington flat, which is the fifth video to feature a former abode of mine.) As they drive around, they drop off flyers to an event. Blondini finds one of these. He’s on their trail.

It’s a very Wellington video. As well having as cameos from Fat Freddys Drop and Trinity Roots, the video takes in scenes from central Wellington, including Courtenay Place, Cambridge and Kent Terraces and a bit of Wakefield Street. There’s no attempt to dress it up as New York or a random cool city. This is Wellington.

The group end up at the Centennial lookout atop Mt Victoria, ready to have their big party. Everyone shows up, even a few comedy policemen (and this is exactly the sort of adventure that has dancing cops). Blondini also shows up and take back what is rightfully his – the Mini; laughing in to the night.

This was Rhombus’ debut and the song made it to number 16 in the charts, with the video winning Best Music Video at the 2003 bNet awards. The video takes the cheeky humour of the original and plays off it, creating their own original adventure in Wellington. It’s a bold introduction to a group that would become a popular live band around New Zealand.

Best bit: the legendary Embassy cinema advertises a screening of Star Wars.

Director: Chris Graham
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… primary colours all over the place.

Missing videos from 2002

February 2002

Tadpole “Now Today Forever”

The lone missing video for the February funding round is “Now Today Forever”, the second single from Tadpole’s second album, and a rather driving rock number.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

April 2002

Che Fu “Top Floor”

There’s also only one video missing from April, Che Fu’s uplifting number “Top Floor”. As it happens, I wrote a summary of this video in 2002. It sounds amazing:

Che Fu and his posse are hanging out on the front porch of a large wooden lodge. A young lady hands out pieces of chocolate cake and MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave pass out cups of instant coffee. With a very laid-back vibe, Che Fu spends most of the video sitting in a rocking chair, knitting. But just in case you think he’s turning into an old gran, in the middle of a song he turns into a robot and does a rap. But then it’s back to the porch. At the end of the song he’s finished knitting. He admires the, er, long red thing he’s made, tosses the ball of wool up in the air and it magically transforms into a snow ball and then Che’s snowboarding off into the sunset.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 2002

Fast Crew “Mr Radio”

Along came the Fast Crew, which included Kid Deft who later reverted to his maiden name, Dane Rumble. “Mr Radio” was their debut single, a rant about the difficulty of getting play-listed – something that would soon cease to be a problem for the Crew. The single reached #15 on the Independent NZ chart.

Director: Greg Riwai
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Fuce “Restless”

Christchurch band Fuce have their final NZOA-funded video “Restless”. The group had plans to relocate to Auckland in 2003, but I don’t know what (if anything) happened next.

In 2002 I wrote this about the “Restless” video: This video uses two visual clichés, one old, one getting old. The first is where the camera jerks about as if it’s trying to find something to focus on. The second is when the camera moves as if the power of the music is making the camera shake. Yeah, it’s a low-budget NzonAir video, but it’s looking ok. It just could have looked better if it had just shown the band playing the song, instead of all the dumb camera tricks.

Director: Aaron Hogg
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “You’re Right To Rock”

Splitter got in on the rock ‘n’ roll revival with “You’re Right To Rock” an ode to you-know-what. Sample lyrics: “Power chords are ringing like a bell!”. Aw yeah.

Subware “Into”

Subware’s final funded video was the lush “Into”, with vocals from Sandy Mills.

Theo Va’a “Little Angel”

Theo Va’a was an 10-year-old singer (dancer, entertainer, songwriter and professional model) from Palmerston North who later wowed the 2003 Christmas in the Park crowd. “Little Angel” featured Atilla Va’a, who I assume grew up to be the 130kg rugby prop asserting himself here.

August 2002

Mace & The Woodcut Crew “Shake ‘m”

“Shake ‘m” is a collaboration between rapper Mace and Auckland producers the Woodcut Crew producers. I’m going to assume it’s an instructional song about making protein shakes.

Pluto “Perfectly Evil”

Pluto have the dark and synthy “Perfectly Evil”. It’s been entertainingly used as the soundtrack for an almost wordless short film made by some year 13 students for their media studies assignment.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 2002

Lavina Williams featuring Emily Williams “Higher Lovin'”

Ex-Ma-V-Elle singer Lavina Williams teams up with her younger sister (and future Australian Idol star) Emily for the soul jam “Higher Lovin'”. Their sisterly harmonies sound fabulous.

December 2002

Crystal Fitisemanu “Sunny Summer’s Day”

I’m not sure if the video for Crystal Fitisemanu’s song “Sunny Summer’s Day” was made. There’s no mention of it online, but there is a brief mention of a $3000 grant in 2001 from Creative New Zealand for Crystal to record five songs.

P-Money featuring 4 Corners “The Xpedition”

“The Xpedition” is another track from P-Money’s debut album, this time featuring 4 Corners on vocals.

Rhombus “Tour Of Outer Space”

Well, Rhombus go on a “Tour of Outer Space”.

Director: Wade Shotter
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Tadpole “Always Be Mine”

“Always Be Mine” was the penultimate single released off Tadpole’s second album.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision


This month’s consolation video is “Verbally Decapitating” by DJ Logikal. It was the winner of a competition that TVNZ’s after-hours music show M2 held, with the prize being a $10,000 fancy music video made for the winning track. This is a throw-back to how things were in the days before NZOA, where TVNZ (and its predecessors) made music videos for bands. Though in this case, it was a heavily promoted contest with an alcohol sponsor. The video – which is a really is a proper fancy video – sees DJ Logikal infecting downtown Auckland with his scratched-up beats, and it features pre-development Britomart for some gritty urban decay. It visually name-checks P-Money, and incorporates the song’s samples by having people on the street lip-syncing the words. The video rightly won Best Editor for James Anderson at the 2003 Kodak Music Clip Awards.

Director: James Anderson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision