Dave Dobbyn & The Stone People “Don’t Hold Your Breath”

So here’s the concept: Dave Dobbyn, with bleached blonde hair and wearing red and white striped pyjamas, wanders around the army training area at Waiouru with a tank in the background. Pretty awesome, right? And it’s Dave Dobbyn’s first NZ On Air-funded video.

“Don’t Hold Your Breath” is a stark song, mostly just Dave’s voice and guitar, with the occasional burst of drum thrown in. The lyrics are political, imagining an end to many of the world’s troubles, then adding “don’t hold your breath”. It’s not an obvious choice for a single, but it seems like no attempt was made to sweeten things up. The video is as stark as the song.

As well as Dobbyn’s military manoeuvres, the video quickly cuts in clips of important world events (the same sort of stuff Billy Joel sang about in “We Didn’t Start the Fire”). But all that is less interesting than Dave in the desert. He even has a knife that he occasionally stabs into the ground just because that’s the kind of thing he does.

I’m most intrigued by the utility belt that Dave’s wearing with his pyjamas. It’s like something woke him up in the middle of the night, leaving him to flee the house in his PJs with his prized possessions – guitar, stabby knife and utility belt. Well, that’s all you need for the apocalypse.

The video also has pretty quick editing, giving it a feeling of urgency. This isn’t just a lone man wandering around a barren landscape – he has a message for everyone.

Best bit: Dave’s funky strut along the top of a ridge.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a satellite transmission.

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