Missing videos from 2005

February 2005

Strawpeople featuring Jordan Reyne “Wire”

“Wire” is the last of the the 17 videos the Strawpeople had funded. That’s a lot of videos – they’re outnumbered only by Salmonella Dub, Katchafire, Greg Johnson, The Feelers and Shihad.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

April 2005

Alphrisk “Guess Who’s Here”

“Guess Who’s Here” asks Alphrisk. The answer is Alphrisk. He’s joined by fellow Deceptikon Savage, and notes that the “Deceptikonz are going places”. There’s a live performance of the song on the short-lived New Zealand version of Top of the Pops.

Bennett “Stop Holding Us Back”

Bennett’s second and final funded video is the assertive “Stop Holding Us Back”.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Blindspott “Trevor Sue Me”

The weirdest entry in the old NZ On Air database was funding for a Blindspott song called “Trevor Sue Me”. No song (or video) with this name exists, so I assume it’s a placeholder title. That raises the question: who was Trevor and how did he earn the ire of Blindspott?

Michael Murphy “How Good Does It Feel”

I’m not sure if a video was made for NZ Idol runner-up Michael Murphy’s second single “How Good Does It Feel”, but it’s on the list. If so, it was his one and only funded video. This seems like such a luxury – a reality show contestant being allowed to release an album full of original songs. Murph’s post-Idol solo career didn’t have a future, but he will later show up with his band 5star Fallout. (Bonus: long-term readers of my online oeuvre may wish to think back to #sodamncontroversial and laugh and laugh and laugh.)

Sommerset “Magdalene”

Sommerset has the dramatically titled “Magdalene (Love Like a Holocaust)”, which sounds like the aftermath of a bad break-up. It was the final of Sommerset’s five funded videos.

Director: Andrew Morton
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The New Trends “Five Minutes With You”

The New Trends were a high school duo from Taradale. They were finalists in the 2004 Rockquest, the same year Incursa won and Kimbra was the runner-up. But they had their most success with the song “Five Minutes with You”, which placed second at the Play It Strange songwriting awards in 2004, including a performance of the song by Michael Murphy.

Director: Paul Taylor
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision


The consolation video for this month is a charity single. “Anchor Me”, the Mutton Birds’ nautical love song, was recorded by an all-star line-up to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the sole act of international terrorism in New Zealand.

Director: Tim Groenendaal
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Sommerset “In Between”

2004-sommerset-in-betweenI don’t think this video actually ended up having NZ On Air funding, but still going to include it. “In Between” was filmed by Andy Morton at a gig in Berlin, the same German show that also features in the band’s “Faded” video.

“In Between” is a really basic live video, filmed with one camera down the front of the stage. It’s one continuous shot, but it’s a masterclass in when to move a camera. Andy Morton is obviously really familiar with the song, so the camera is always pointing at the right place and captures all the action.

The potential monotony is broken up by a using a few filters on the footage. It seems to capture Sommerset at their peak and is a lot more compelling than the band’s earlier, more complicated videos. This is how you make a cheap-as music video that doesn’t suck.

Best bit: the on-stage beer fridge.

Director: Andrew Morton

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the case of the missing idol.

Sommerset “Faded”

2004-sommerset-fadedThe “Faded” video follows Sommerset on tour in Germany in 2004. It immediately reminded me of the video for Steriogram’s song “Road Trip”, and then I realised that both videos were directed by Andrew Morton.

That’s not to say this video is a clone of “Road Trip”. Steriogram’s video was more focused on both the good and bad aspects life on the road, while “Faded” has more of an emphasis on the live shows.

“Faded” is a strong anthemic song so the best parts of the video are the live performance scenes. The backstage and travel footage seems unnecessary, but I guess if you’ve travelled to the other side of the world, you want viewers to know you’re not just playing down at the King’s Arms.

Best bit: a case with “The Donnas” stencilled on it, specifically dating it to 2 October 2004, when Sommerset supported The Donnas in Dortmund.

Director: Andrew Morton
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… life on a different kind of road.

Sommerset “Say What You Want”

2004-sommerset-say-what-you-wantSommerset’s third video was for “Say What You Want” a lively punk-pop number with vocals from guitarist Milon. The video is basically the band on bicycles, hooning around the Tank Farm area. From memory, the band put out a call for extras on bikes via C4. And I’m pretty sure C4 host Phil can be seen on a bike – at least it looks like him through the chunky pixels of his lowres version.

The Tank Farm is a cool location for a music video – long, straight, flat streets; the intriguing towering tanks on either side of the road (in this case, Hamer Street); the hint of nautical activity; and the harbour at the end of the street. This is the really solid, functional part of the Tank Farm that even now hasn’t been gentrified. It seems the perfect setting for a pack of dude wearing matching jackets to come riding along with their message of self expression.

The video is really nicely shot, with the bikers gliding along smoothly, seeming both like a powerful gang and also a very styley collection of people. Oh, and it should be noted that no one is wearing a helmet, which a very pleasing flouting of the law.

The day ends with Sommerset performing in front of a few tanks, joined by all their bike posse. Maybe I’m just feeling all nostalgic for the golden days of C4, but I like this video. It’s simple but it captures the attitude of those punk-arses. This video won Best Rock Video at the 2004 Juice TV Awards.

Best bit: the cameo from Back of the Y stuntman Randy Campbell, whose jump doesn’t go well.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… angry! rooom! smash!

Sommerset “Inside”

2003-sommerset-insideAuckland punk-arse punks Sommerset return with “Inside”, a rage against the claustrophobic lifestyle. The adventure begins with a loved-up young couple on a couch. This leads to footage of sperm swimming, and the next thing there’s a baby on the scene.

The mother lays the baby to sleep in his bedroom, and from there we see him grow up, never leaving the room. “I get so sick of being inside!” shouts lead singer Ryan. It suggests this kid is never actually allowed to leave his room, like his parents are some weird extreme home-schoolers. Well, at least they give him a sweet guitar for his birthday.

The kid grows up watching his favourite hair metal band on TV. They bear a suspicious resemblance to Sommerset, hanging out in the back of a limo, pouting to the camera. We also see the band rocking out in a studio, complete with some truly outrageous guitar licking.

Now, I think the idea is that the kid grows up to be Ryan from Sommerset. The next thing we see is Ryan driving in a car. Is he on the road to freedom? No, he’s off to play with his band, in a basement.

The implication seems to be that life is all about being stuck inside, with no option of being outdoors. It’s a curious idea, especially considering how many New Zealand music videos are set in the great outdoors. Is this the first video that’s honestly acknowledging the life of a musician – spending hours inside, rehearsing, creating, gigging?

Best bit: the glam metal limo party zone.

Director: Andrew Morton
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… bad medicine.

Sommerset “Streets Don’t Close”

2001-sommerset-streets-dont-closeOh, this song. Juice TV thrashed it, and loved Sommerset so much it awarded them “Special Lifetime Achievement Award for services to R.O.C.K” (whatever that signifies) at the Juice TV Awards in 2005.

Juice TV played this song so much that during my period of watching Juice too much, I started to find deep resonance in the lyrics. One empty evening in Hamilton I spied Ryan from Sommerset in Victoria Street and I told him how “Streets Don’t Close” was an awesome song, with its message of escaping a “boring town”. Well, yeah.

The video is set at the AUT gym, with Sommerset and friends playing a tense game of basketball. Ryan isn’t playing so well, with his coach yelling at him and furiously gesturing towards a play diagram.

Just when things seem to be improving on the court, along comes trouble in the form of MC OJ and Rythmn Slave (there is not a music video out there that can’t be enhanced by an Otis and Slave cameo). These tattooed badboys are there to battle the tattooed goodboys of Sommerset.

Things ramp up, and Ryan throws the ball at the goal. As the opposition pounce on him, he ball sails through the air and lands a perfect basket. Victory! I guess this means it’s MC OJ’s shout.

Despite all this action, the video feels a little bit empty. Sommerset were great live, but there’s sign of that here. And all the extras make it hard to figure out who’s in the band and who’s not. But, you know, at one point in 2002 none of that mattered to me.

Best bit: MC OJ getting so aggro towards the emo ref that Slave has to pull him off.

Next… a roadhouse pitstop.