Southside of Bombay “What’s The Time Mr Wolf?”

“What’s The Time Mr Wolf?” is another important milestone with NZ On Air funding. It’s the first reggae song, an important musical genre in this country.

Southside of Bombay’s political wake-up call features plenty of footage of news headlines and protest scenes of the Springbok Tour, anti-nuclear and Waitangi protests and other infamous moments in New Zealand’s history.

There’s also tribute made to Bob Marley, with a handwritten list of events 10 years prior, in 1981 – Springbok Tour, Bastion Point, Bob Marley. Fortunately 2001 and 2011 turned out to be really great years, right, guys?

There’s also a series of newspaper headline of significant political events in late 20th century New Zealand history. One NZ Herald headline proclaims “TRUXTUN HERE. Unhindered passage into port.” I had to google it – the USS Truxtun was one of the US nuclear-powered ships that visited New Zealand in 1984, eventually leading to the nuclear-free policy. It’s funny to think that the Truxtun was once famous enough to be named without context as the lead story in the biggest newspaper in New Zealand.

But despite all the political bits, at its heart, it’s a simple studio performance video. The band perform the song under golden lights, with the final shot revealing Mr Wolf watching the band. Ooh.

Best bit: An ominous still of a giant spider on the side of Parliament.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… A lesson in power dressing, sweetie-darling.

0 thoughts on “Southside of Bombay “What’s The Time Mr Wolf?””

  1. Not specifically about the video, but kinda relevant in relation to the performance part of it ….
    Have been listening to the Ian Morris (RIP) Musical Chairs RNZ interview from 2001, he was on the same roster on them for a gig and was so impressed with the song and lead singer Ruia’s performance on stage that he made noises about getting their song recorded. When i watch the video now, I do see what an assured performer he is.
    (For anyone interested it’s and the specific segment starts at 17:00.)

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