February 2007: Annabel Fay, Brian Platt, Brooke Fraser, Bryan Bell, Cliff Hedley

Nerdy office high jinks, Brooke goes to Rwanda, Bryan’s mystery date, modern furniture, and hitching a ride.

Annabel Fay “Shake It Off”

“Shake It Off” plays to Annabel Fay’s strengths. She doesn’t have a big soul voice, so she delivers the song in a semi-spoken way, shining on the higher notes. She can’t dance (we assume) so the video sticks her in a modern chair. She spends most of the time sitting, meaning that the instrumental parts of the song are illustrated by Fay tapping her fingers to the rhythm, still seated in the modern furniture. Because of this, there is great potential for the video to feel repetitive, but slick editing and some animation keeps things interesting for longer. The song was co-written by Annabel Fay and (among others) Boh Runga and some Swedish songwriters.

Brian Platt “Straight Line”

Brian starts the video by wandering down some train tracks – very rock star. He is then shown on the back of a truck, hooning along unsealed country roads. Nga Taonga says he’s on a train, but unless there’s some sort of train technology that involves trackless travel, nah, he’s on a truck. It’s a fairly uneventful video – sometimes the truck is driving past farmland, other times it passes greenhouses. Yeah, the song’s about despair, but the bleak rural landscape makes it a bit too depressing.

Director: Paul Taylor
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Brooke Fraser “Albertine”

Brooke Fraser’s Silver Scroll-winning song “Albertine” tells the story of a Rwandan orphan Brooke Fraser met while in the country, which sparked her determination to tell Albertine’s story. The video is set in Rwanda and shows both Brooke travelling around the countryside, as well as portraits of Rwandan children. As NZ On Screen nicely says, “Anthony Rose’s elegantly understated video deals not in terrible statistics but in the humanity of everyday people.”

Director: Anthony Rose
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Bryan Bell “Did Someone Get To Her”

I found it very hard to follow what was going on in this video, a combination of the hand-held faux documentary-style camera work and the low-res 2007-era video. It seems to involve Bryan going on a date, which turns into an argument. But then I get lost. There’s some sort of drama in a car, but it’s hard to tell what’s happening. The video ends with a car on fire, which is always good in a music video. This was the final funded video from the ex Dead Flowers frontman.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Cliff Hedley “Indecision”

This video is incredible. Cliff plays a bored office worker who daydreams of playing in a band with his colleagues. He and his band pass for very ordinary IT workers and when they start rocking out still dressed in their businesswear, they look more like an department talent show act than a cool rock band. If the video was just that, it would be pretty dull, but it gets better. There is dancing. The office girls kick it off, pulling off some impressive Busby Berkeley-style wheelie chair moves. Then it’s the blokes turn. This isn’t a cool dude rock video, but to see this much fun and effort go into a low-budget clip is an utter delight.

Director: Bryce Langston

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