The Stereo Bus “Touchdown”

The “Touchdown” video is based on a continuous pan from left to right. Against a plain white background, various band members pop in and out of frame, along with a dog, a bottle, a chair, and other domestic items. It reminds me of a suburban version of the first 15 seconds of INXS’s “I Need You Tonight” video.

The video has a very minimal feel to it, so it’s the moments of liveliness that really stand out. Lead singer Dave Yetton gets most of the close-ups, having pretty much perfected the art of singing close-up camera-face emotion from his previous videos with the JPS Experience and the Stereo Bus.

The song feels melancholic and that combined with the minimalist video threatens to produce a cure for insomnia. Fortunately guitarist Jason Faafoi – who at the time was also Jason From What Now – has a mesmerising star quality that the other members don’t. Even when he’s doing something as ordinary as sitting at a table, he’s much more interesting than the other band members who happily play their part in the background.

Every time Jase comes on screen I’m like “Yay! It’s Jason!” Even though he’s still being a blank-faced Stereo Bus dude, he’s smizing, bringing some secret joy to the video.

After a six-year period dominated by the digital orgies of Supergroove and the twisted rock worlds of Shihad, the simple effects of “Touchdown” won Best Video at the 2001 New Zealand Music Awards.

Best bit: when Jason’s bottle misses the rubbish bin.

Directors: Michael Lunsdale, Alex Sutherland
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

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