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

Supergroove “If I Had My Way”

1996-supergroove-if-i-had-my-waySupergroove had creative differences. The lively pop-rock-funk group of teens had turned into a rock band of serious young men, average age 22. The band was downsized (sending Che Fu out into the world on his own, where he did just fine) and adopted a new sound, less funk and more rock.

At the time, I came across a Supergroove fan site, kept by an enthusiastic Australian fan who was really excited about their new album. But her excitement turned to disappointment when the album was released. Who were these miserable bastards and what had they done with Supergroove?

“If I Had My Way” was the first single of “Backspacer”, a showcase of the band’s new sound. The song has some really fine moments (the opening hook is sweet), but its weaknesses are apparent. Karl’s singing voice isn’t strong enough to carry the song, the group’s vocal harmonies sound like a new trick they want to show off, and the song is about a minute too long. But what about the video?

Directed by bass player Joe Lonie, the video is based around a faux TV show. Clad in their trademark black, the ‘Groove assemble infomercial exercise machines and then ride them in crazy sped-up footage, while the lyrics repeatedly ask “Who would you kill?”

The band also leave the confines of the studio and play in a pigsty (with real pigs and real mud), an ice skating rink (while ice hockey players hoon around them) and the dramatic finale – playing on a desolate beach with a flaming piano as the tide comes in.

There doesn’t seem to be any logic behind these locations, other than they look interesting. It almost feels like the band didn’t have enough confidence in their new sound and so were trying to distract viewers with a crazy music video.

This video won Best Video at the 1997 New Zealand Music Awards, beating the videos for Shihad’s “La La Land” and Dam Native’s “Behold My Kool Style”. It was the third win in a row for Joe Lonie, and the second for Siggi Spath, but I’d say those other two videos are more beloved and have held up better over time.

I feel a bit sorry for “Backspacer” era Supergroove now. From all accounts, they weren’t in a good place at this stage and they broke up soon after. But despite all the misery, “If I Had My Way” still has a hint of the playfulness and energy that infused their first album. Karl wearing lipstick and singing with pigs? Go on, lads!

Best bit: the pigs, happily nomzing on scraps, oblivious to the band playing in their shed.

Directors: Joe Lonie, Sigi Spath
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Supergroove “Here Comes the Supergroove”

Let’s kick off New Zealand Music Month with this newly uploaded cultural taonga, thanks to NZ On Air – Supergroove’s very first music video from 1992. As the title suggests, the song is an introduction to the group and the video also acts as a simple primer for this young and energetic group.

The video starts with a sophisticated lady putting a Supergroove CD in her modern compact disc player. So intense is the CD, the player blows up. The lady doesn’t look too concerned.

The smoke clears and we meet the band wearing colourful ’90s clothes. This is how they dressed in their very early days, before their manager took them aside and gave them a bunch of styley monochrome threads. It’s crazy, colourful ’90s garb, and hilariously this sort of stuff is very slowly coming back into fashion. As is the monochrome. Another hallmark of the ’90s is the appearance of a full-screen graphics emphasising select words from the song. FUNK. BEAT. RETREAT. BURNED. HEAT.

The video alternates between this colourful footage of the band in a white studio and grainy footage of the band playing live. It’s like the two natural states of Supergroove – making cool music video and bringing the house down at a gig.

There are fewer of the video tricks that became the hallmark of later Supergroove videos. But there is some back and forth between Karl and Che, shot as black silhouettes against a white background. It’s reminiscent of a similar later bit in the “Can’t Get Enough” video, and – Generation X alert – it was surely inspired by the Electric Company’s silhouette word song.

It takes guts and/or naivety for a bunch of 18-year-olds to burst into the world of music and declare, “We bring the funk”. But Supergroove didn’t do a bad job of following through.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… heavenly creatures.

Supergroove “Can’t Get Enough”

1994-supergroove-cant-get-enoughThis is pretty much the ultimate Supergroove video. Like a lot of their vids, it feels like every single effect in the video editing software has been used. Why have all seven band members in shot when you can have a border of 20 Supergroove heads around the shot? And shall we throw in some flames for good measure? Yeah, why not!

And then there’s the issue of the harsh lighting on Che Fu making his nose cast a shadow like a Hitler moustache. And remember, kids, this was before hipsters made bad moustaches cool.

The video was directed by Supergroove bassist Joe Lonie (then going by the name Jo Fisher) and Matt Noonan and was impressively awarded Best Video at the 1995 New Zealand Music Awards.

But at the heart of the video is Supergroove, doing a tight, twitchy performance. Even the band members who aren’t always performing still keep the energy going.

And let’s not forget that the song is called “Can’t Get Enough”. That attitude has been also applied to the video, with every shot filled up with layer upon layer of effects. If there was ever a quiet moment, ever a feeling of stillness, the entire Supergroove universe would have collapse upon itself. The band (average age 19) were young, hugely successful and were teeming with energy and ideas. If the video had been more subtle or calmer in any way, it wouldn’t have been enough.

Best bit: the awkward kneeling dance steps near the end.



Director: Joe Lonie, Matt Noonan
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. 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

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

Supergroove “You Freak Me”

1994-supergroove-you-freak-me994 was Supergroove’s golden year. Average age 19 (still), they had a run of top ten hits and toured New Zealand in their stain-disguising black dress code.

“You Freak Me”, the sixth release from their debut album, is a tense eruption of young male energy. See, there’s a girl and, well, she freaks them. It’s four minutes of pent up sexual tension, with the band playing the song in a starkly lit, smoke filled environment.

The smoke seems to be fulfilling a symbolic purpose – it’s the only thing that gets any release around these parts, billowing quite clouds in quantities that seem excessive in a normal rock situation.

The band also smoke cigarettes, which again seems totally outrageous to see in a music video. Nearly the apex of a musical climax, Che Fu lights a cigarette which – if we’re going to get Freudian on it – manages to both represent a penis and a nipple.

Karl’s refined his image with a black suit jacket, showing signs of the John Waters look that he would grow in to. Supergroove feel like they’re slowly figuring out their own personal identities, the individuality beneath the dress code.

Best bit: the bad-ass Che Fu attitude explosion.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a depressive contemplation of an urban landscape.

Supergroove “Sitting Inside My Head”

1994-supergroove-sitting-inside-my-headSupergroove, average age 19, get soulful. “I walk around this town. There’s buildings closed, the windows are boarded,” Che Fu murmurs, while the band struts around a very lively looking Queen Street. Irony?

Che is given a pebbly beach to walk along, and also joins the band on a quarry, as a digger digs. The quarry scenes are filmed by a swooping helicopter. Yeah, why not? All this is cut with shots of a long-haired girl washing her hair and legs in a bowl. Doesn’t she have a bathtub? Is Che’s girlfriend a Depression-era street urchin?

Wait – the city street, the beach, the quarry, the waif – “Sitting Inside My Head” is like a drinking game of music video cliches. And yet, again, Supergroove pull it off because they totally believe in it. They are young and all they know is how to absolutely throw themselves into their work.

Best bit: the faceless hairwashing girl, like a hipster Cousin Itt.



Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… getting in touch with one’s metal roots.

Supergroove “Scorpio Girls”

When an 18-year-old dude sings about “Scorpio Girls”, those “bad bitchin’ babes [who] get my guitar strumming”, you know it’s not realistically based on a reality of a man tormented by a never-ending influx of devilwomen messing up his life. It’s more likely about being an 18-year-old who wants to have sex but all the girls say no.

This “Scorpio Girls” video takes place in three locations – a live concert, a dark spooky room (via the Northhead tunnels), and the chamber of Scorpio Girls. The chamber is a white room where girls in black jeans and sweatshirts shove the band. It looks exactly like a bunch of girls who’ve been instructed to shove a band around for a music video, and most of them are obviously really enjoying themselves, looking more like “Whee-hee! I’m in a Supergroove music video!” than “Grrr! I’m a Scorpio Girl! Hide ur penis!”

This all goes to prove that the Scorpio Girls concept is a purely fictional construct. There are no Scorpio Girls, just fans who dig Supergroove. But it is good the song exists, because it has the great chant-along “Oooooh! Ah-ha!” bit.

Best bit: DIY lighting effects – waving torches while running through the dark tunnels.




Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… region rock whippersnappers.

Supergroove “You Gotta Know”

Finally, here come the Supergroove. Average age 18, they look so young in this video. Led by a fresh-faced Che and a mono-fringed Karl, the band lark about, channeling their pop forefathers The Beatles in “A Hard Day’s Night”. There’s a great energy coming from the video. It’s like they’re not trying to be crazy; they’re 18-year-old guys so they just are crazy.

The song is jam-packed full of everything. When Che is singing, Karl is yelling bits in the gaps, and vice versa. When one instrument quietens down, another blasts in the gap. The video is like this too. Non-stop goofball.

Contrast this with the second version of the “You Gotta Know” video, which I think was made for a later Australian release. It relies on one of Joe Lonie’s comedy video concepts – walking backwards, taking off their clothes – and it feels like they’re relying on a gimmick to make up for their natural energy.

In the funny mixed-up chronology of NZ On Air funding applications, “You Gotta Know” was the third Supergroove single. The second was “Scorpio Girls”, but that’s not coming up till later in ’93. The video also won Best Video at the 1996 New Zealand Music Awards – the second win in a row for co-director Joe Lonie!

Best bit: the hammer smash shot. Rock!



Director: Sigi Spath, Joe Lonie

Next… Uncle Ray gets smoochy.