For a band that had such a strong live reputation, it’s curious that the Black Seeds started off by making music videos that didn’t show the band playing. The video for the chilled-out “Coming Back Home” starts with time-lapse footage of the band setting upon stage, but that’s the last we see of them. The rest of the video is animated. Perhaps they were too busy gigging to appear in a video.
The animation is based on simple line drawing, mainly white lines on a black background, with the occasional bit of colour for emphasis. Going with the theme of the song, the video shows different situations involving a journey home. There’s a prisoner counting off the days till his release, a homeless man and his dog and an ant on an epic adventure, among others. And trains, planes, boats, cars and shopping trolleys all feature as modes of transport.
Wellington features in the video, with a skydiver falling down onto the familiar outline of the inner city coast, and a scene of cars streaming along the motorway, towards the city of hills, the spiritual home of barbecue reggae.
The animation has a nice rhythm to it, but the video itself is really low-key. It feels like neither the song nor the video really want to stand out. It seems like a video that’s content to play in the background while other things are happening. But for a listener who’s feeling a bit homesick, maybe that’s the best way to portray a New Zealand homecoming – a chilled-out place with a freshly grilled veggie sausage just waiting for you.
Best bit: the Cook Strait ferry’s feet.
Next… vacation, meant to be spent alone.