Bic Runga “Get Some Sleep”

There’s the old maxim “write what you know”, which comes with a caution in the world of pop. As soon as an artist becomes successful, their ordinary life becomes that of a constantly travelling entertainer and soon bands start writing epic songs about “the road”.

With the first single off her second album, Bic Runga had also reached that point, with this ode to the tiring routine of a promo tour. Thankfully the video avoids the temptation of showing Bic having Groundhog Day moments in record shops around America. Instead the video sees her driving around New Zealand in a mobile radio station van. And radio is so much more romantic than sleep deprivation.

As she travels through picturesque New Zealand towns, picturesque young people listen to her broadcast. It makes everyone happy. It inspires people to dance. Life is sweet.

The mobile studio’s technology is interesting. Bic plays a CD, but there’s also an LP spinning (that van must have serious shock absorbers). And occasionally we see a tiny grainy, digital shot of Bic broadcasting, which I’m guessing is a webcam shot, back when webcams were tiny and grainy.

With the chorus wondering if Bic is having fun (she believes she might be), the video gives a more definitive answer. Yes, she is. She’s hooning around the country with a dog and a dude, playing records, meeting fans and enjoying herself. And the final shot of Bic finally taking the wheel of the van makes it clear that she’s in charge.

Best bit: the appearance of dudes with stretched earlobes.

Note: There’s an alternate version of the video, which I assume was made for international audiences. It takes a more literal and more glamorous angle, with Bic rolling around on a hotel bed, before running off into a limousine. It was directed by UK director Alexander Hemming, who around the same time had directed the slick-as “Just a Little” video for UK Popstars rejects Liberty X.

Directors: Ann Kim, Graham Sinclair
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… caught on camera.

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