The Narcs “Hopeless Friends”

1997-the-narcs-hopeless-friendsThe Narcs, now looking like a bunch of dads, have an enjoyable road trip. Starting off in Raglan, the two main Narcs jump in a vintage car and head north. Heading past the Meremere power station (back when it was a power station), they stop off for some petrol, taking the opportunity lark about on the forecourt. This seems appropriate behaviour for middle-aged men on a road trip.

But it’s not all recreation. As musicians, they have professional responsibilities. Passing a yellow mini (hello, pork pie!), the pair make it to Auckland where they meet the rest of the band for a gig down by the Viaduct. There’s a big Volvo logo behind the stage, which dates this to the 1997/98 Whitbred Around the World Race, newly sponsored by Volvo. Further evidence of extreme dadness.

There’s a quick stop at a radio station, then it’s time for some recreation. Everyone heads to the beach and enjoys a dip in the ocean. There’s a bit of messing about on the beach, including some ukulele playing, back when ukuleles were a tropical comedy instrument.

“Hopeless Friends” is a laidback, country tinged song, and it feels like the Narcs are just being themselves in this video. There’s no attempt to dress up their lives like they’re super cool rock stars. They’re just some guys in a band, playing gigs, doing promo and hanging out with their mates at the beach.

Best bit: the beach-appropriate shirtlessness, quite refreshing after all the urban shirtlessness of videos in the mid ’90s.

Director: Chris Mathews
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… what I really want.

The Narcs “Leap of Faith”

1997-the-narcs-leap-of-faithWell, the “Leap of Faith” video is ok, but it’s no “Diamonds on China”. In 1997, the Narcs – possibly put into cold storage after the 1987 stock market crash – emerged from hibernation with a new album, recorded in Hamilton.

“Leap of Faith” is subdued. It’s a mild rock song based around the band performing the song in a field, along with an evening performance and footage from downtown Auckland, including the newly opened Sky Tower. All this is overlaid with graphics of the song lyrics. They’ve been handwritten in a decorative style that is all very ’90s. The graphics gently float over the video, never quite legible enough to serve as karaoke lyrics.

While “Diamonds on China” has a glorious manic mid-’80s vibe to it, “Leap of Faith” has a more relaxed, reflective feeling. It’s the ’90s and these guys are well grown up.

Best bit: the hilltop triple fist-punch. Yeah!

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… ghosts from the past.