Found videos from the 2000s

Tropical crime fighting, police brutality, high street thugs, an interrogation and love (not war).

February 2001

Marystaple “Labourer”

Marystaple were a Wellington trio. They won the Rockquest in 1996, but for while in the early ’00s they just seemed like the coolest young band in New Zealand. Their first funded video was “The Labourer” and the uploaded version is super pixelly and jittery (the video was “downloaded off the net when it was in its infancy” says the uploader). But it still gives a good idea of Marystaple’s pop style that got them some pretty sweet support gigs in the early 2000s.

Director: Aaron Dustin
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

August 2001

Che Fu “Random”

“Random” is about the importance of sticking by your mates in tough times, which the video illustrates with a complicated story involving MC OJ, Rhythm Slave, Bruce Hopkins and a CD-ROM. The video also takes inspiration from the lyric “Cruising the high street late one Friday evening” by setting the scene in High Street, Auckland – not Auckland’s actual high street, Queen Street.

October 2001

Garageland “Life Is So Sweet”

There was a rumour that the location of this video was chosen to ensure the shoot could double as a tropical vacation. But you know what? Compared to some of the videos made up of random holiday footage from New York or Tokyo, there’s obviously been serious thought put into “Life is so Sweet”. It’s based around an episode of a cop show (Pacific Heat, starring Jean Paul Paul Jean Jean Paul as Det. Jack Heat), in search of a mysterious silver case and Mr Splinky the monkey. There’s a lot of fun here – and good portrayal of the sweet life.

Director: Mitchell Hawkes
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Marystaple “New Dog”

Like the previous video for “The Labourer”, “Newdog” is based on the band performing the song, but it’s darker and the band are obscured with tight or shadowy shots. It’s not like those annoying videos that are obsessed with showing close-ups of a bass player hitting his strings. Instead the video lets the song dominate, but adding enough band action to show Marystaple as more than just another early ’00s guitar band.

Director: Aaron McMinn
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

June 2002

Dubious Bros “Rage”

It’s bro versus bro, with some dramatic interrogation room action, cut with a few shots of an outdoor chase. The climax of the vid involves the duo arguing over a pile of polaroid photos on the table, oddly reminiscent of the part of Got Talent shows where the judges decide who will progress to the semi-finals.

Director: Grant Lahood
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Hilt “274 Whitney”

“274 Whitney” is a punk-pop anti-police anthem, but the opening verse is raging against the “noise police”, i.e. not the actual police. The video is set at the “Whitney Street Police Academy” and sees the lead singer being put through basic training, both as a participant and as a victim. It takes its place in the rich history of New Zealand bands raging against the police.

October 2002

Annie Crummer “Love Not War”

“Love Not War” is a reminiscent of a chilled-out take on Nikka Costa’s 2001 single “Like a Feather”. The video puts Annie Crummer in a plain white t-shirt and black suit jacket, cut with clips of various people wearing “Love not war” t-shirts, surely inspired by Katharine Hamnett’s statement t-shirt from the mid ’80s. This was Annie Crummer’s final NZ On Air funded video.

Director: Rachael Churchward
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Rhombus “Step It Up”

The video for Rhombus’ previous video “Clav Dub” was subtitled Goodbye, Dub Pie, and “Step It Up” is the sequel, Pie in the Sky. The video continues with the madcap Goodbye, Pork Pie tribute, and again Wellington is the star location. This time it’s set in the hilly neighbourhoods, with guest vocalist Tiki Taana appearing as a dashboard hologram.

Director: James Barr
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

December 2002

Michelle Rounds “How Deep Is My Love”

The video goes from a glamorous Aotearoa setting to the friendly island style of Fiji. It shows a different side of Fiji from the resort-based experience of Garageland’s “Life Can Be So Sweet”, instead focusing on the people, as well as the enticing beach scenes.

February 2003

Salmonella Dub “Dancehall Girl”

This is Salmonella Dub in their imperial phase. The video also captures that peak Dub – the coolness and the energy. It reminds me a little of the “Donde esta la Pollo” video, in that it doesn’t feel like a group of strangers thrust together to make a music video – this could easily be a group of friends having a party.

Director: John Chrisstoffels
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

April 2005

Tadpole “Yesterday”

“Yesterday” was the penultimate funded video from Tadpole. It was the second video from their final, self-titled album, that went for a harder, rockier sound than previous work. The video has the premise of a guy going through his morning routine, only with members of Tadpole around his house who he’s unable to see. This only bothers lead singer Renee – the band’s guitarist isn’t fussed about the naked man getting in the shower with him.

The Feelers “Stand Up”

The Feelers’ rousing “Stand Up” has found life as both the National party’s 2011 campaign theme tune, and covered by Stan Walker as the All White’s theme tune for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. But back in its original form, it’s just the three Feelers in an old building. The video is shot in black and white, and sometimes eerie shadows move across the image – probably highly symbolic. Is this the spirits of the ancestors, urging us to stand up?

Director: Tim Groenendaal

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