August 2005: Amber Claire, Anika Moa, Bic Runga, Breaks Co-Op, Chong Nee, Dave Yetton, Dukes

Naked Samoans go bowling, Bic’s all-star band, a dating disaster, tranquil gardens, net curtain twitching and a walk up a hill.

Amber Claire “Great Escape”

Amber Claire sings a Greg Johnson-written song, delivering it with her smooth clear voice. The video contrasts Amber lounging in glam surroundings, singing in the studio and random footage of the Hamilton Gardens. The best thing is the Amber Claire fans who have left comments on YouTube. Acha144 says, “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Amber Claire at my work Christmas function, and she is a really pleasant person.”

Anika Moa “Wrestled With Your Angels”

“Wrestled with your Angels” is a thoughtful, emotional song, and the video starts off reflecting this emotion with scenes from a quiet bowling alley. Then suddenly in comes two gangs of rival bowlers, led by Naked Samoans members Robbie Magasiva and David Fane. It’s a strange combination – there’s Anita being serious out the back by the automatic pinsetter, while in the alley the boys are hamming it up. As a whole, it never quite works, but there are still many nice individual moments.

Bic Runga “Winning Arrow”

Bic Runga has one of her songs that manages to sound both melancholic and upbeat. She features in the video, but the spotlight is shared with her all-star band, including backing singers Anika Moa, Shayne Carter and Anna Coddington and – oh, look – there’s Neil Finn on piano. Everyone is impeccably dressed and there’s a good vibe in the air, like they’re getting down to business but having a great time doing it.

Director: Darryl Ward
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Breaks Co-Op “A Place For You”

The previous videos of Breaks Co-Op focused on the great outdoors, but this one goes inside, to a mysterious Chinese restaurant. Madeleine Sami plays a young woman who’s meeting a date at the restaurant. There’s no sign of him, but there is a clown, a drag queen, and Andy Lovegrove on his guitar. Stakes are raised when we see that her date is dealing with car trouble. Will the two meet? Or are they doomed? Well, when there’s a pleasant Breaks Co-Op song as the soundtrack, odds are favourable.

Chong Nee featuring Niki Ahu “Scenarios”

“Scenarios” is a R&B groove urging someone in a broken relationship to get out. It’s set in suburbia, with a guy returning home after apparently spending the night with another woman. Chong Nee and Niki Ahu are the neighbours across the street, with plenty of SMH-ing at the drama across the road. The cheating neighbour surprises his put-upon girlfriend with flowers and… that’s supposed to make everything ok? SMH.

Director: Martha Jeffries
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Dave Yetton “Honey Don’t Go”

It’s 1953 and a man is trying to write a letter to his sweetie. Only he can’t find the right words to say and frequently screws up the very modern sheet of lined refill he’s been writing on. The crumpled paper becomes mountain ranges, a background for a couple and their young daughter to fly a kite. Dave Yetton is absent. A lot of music videos go for very literal interpretations of the song, so it’s a nice change to find one that’s going a bit poetic.

Dukes “Rather Be With You”

The low-quality uploaded version of video obscures the location, but this video is set on the Port Hills, overlooking the sprawling city of Christchurch on the planes below. And of course now with that comes a bittersweet feeling. But back in 2005 it was fun video showing a group of people joyfully running up a hill. It’s done in a single shot, but without a feeling of being gimmicky – even with the comedy ending.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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