Found videos from 1996

Loads of found videos from 1996, featuring cameo appearances from three bright young actors, Stella as a grunge band, double Annie Crummer and Strawpeople, and some political pop.

Continue reading Found videos from 1996

The Mutton Birds “Come Around”

1996-the-mutton-birds-come-aroundThis video comes from the Mutton Birds attempt to take over the world. They were based in the UK and their record company was putting some effort behind them.

The band play the song sitting around in a circle, which is what serious musicians do. Joining them in the circle of seriousness is some sort of director man – as signified by his black skivvie, glasses on a chain and floppy fringe – and a woman with a Juliette Binoche look happening.

Both the director and the woman have what appears to be a script, and they kept refering to it. What sort of script would be required for the Mutton Birds to play a song while sitting in a circle?

DON MCGLASHAN bends forward slightly, furrows his brow and looks into the mid-distance. He sings with a look of sincerity and devotion.

Well, whatever it is, they’re not doing it right, as the director has to keep giving Don notes. The woman mainly chews on her pen.

THE OTHER GUITARIST gently rocks back and forth in his chair. His shaggy fringe is in his face. He looks really bored.

Eventually the director seems less bothered by what the band are doing. Perhaps the implication is that he has come around to their way of performing. Or perhaps the Mutton Birds have learned their part and come around to the scripted way of the director.

Best bit: the director’s serious paper shuffling. He’s a professional.

Director: Bjorn Lindgren
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… miserable mannequin.

Shihad “A Day Away”

1996-shihad-a-day-away“A Day Away” was another single from Shihad’s self-titled 1996 album. It’s such a beloved album, and I can’t help feel that it represents Shihad at their absolute peak.

“A Day Away” begins with Jon sitting on the steps of a rickety old house in the city. Now it seems that Shihad videos are not at all afraid of putting frontman Jon out there. There’s a little run-in outside Deluxe Cafe – which has not changed at all in 15 years – which necessitates leaving town in a cherry red Ford. It’s time to get out of Wellington and hit the road.

We see Shihad at a train station, by a caravan, at a Ratana church, on the road, and bothering a herd of cows. From the south of the North Island, they’ve headed north on an epic road trip, ending up at Cape Reinga. The lads sit at the top of New Zealand and contemplate the majestic scenary and life in general. It’s a lot better than all that Wellington drama.

There’s been so much New Zealand pride in videos from 1996. Again, it’s refreshing to see a video that isn’t afraid to clearly set itself in New Zealand.

Best bit: through this video I learned that there are Ratana churches in Northland.

Director: Kevin Spring
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a big reveal.

Ma-V-Elle “Show Me Heaven”

1996-ma-v-elle-show-me-heavenThe copy of this video that’s been uploaded to YouTube is an old VHS rip, with wobbly tracking lines and crackly sounds. But some how that adds to the atmosphere of the video.

“Show Me Heaven” is a sweet R&B groove, but the video is much more ambitious. Arriving at Vulcan Lane in a chauffeur-driven vintage car, Marina, Lavina and Maybelle step out to an adoring crowd, while tickertape rains down around them. With a couple of security guys keeping an eye on things, Ma-V-Elle totally own the scene, like Destiny’s Child, Bananarama and the Supremes all rolled into one.

The song is a kiss-off to an unfaithful lover, with the staunch declaration that they will find someone else to “show me heaven”. Could it be that the “someone else” is their loyal, adoring fans, a more reliable choice than a false-hearted lover?

Or is this a literal representation of Heaven? The video has a strong golden brown tint, which gives it a dreamlike feeling. Ma-V-Elle were just an up-and-coming girl group and this song only made it to 36 in the charts. But the video is a perfect example of “fake it till you make it”. I’m happy to live in a heavenly world where Ma-V-Elle are pop mega stars.

Best bit: the massive deluge of tickertape confetti.

Director: Philip Peacocke
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… so cheesy it needs crackers.

Loves Ugly Children “Sixpack”

1996-loves-ugly-children-six-packHey everyone, Loves Ugly Children are having a party. Starting the party prep nice and early, Simon jumps out of bed and has barely made it out of the bathroom before the suasage rolls are thrown in the oven. It’s going to be epic.

He gets on the phone and invites all his friends along. Kids, this is what people did in the days before Facebook. He even invites a person in a horse costume. Totally off the hook. (How off the hook was it? Director Andrew Moore says “This shoot was mental. Ended in an epic party scene that resulted in them having to dye their living room carpet another, darker colour.”)

Party prep continues, but I can’t help feel there haven’t been enough invites. Fortunately a young Mormon comes door-knocking. Simon drags him inside, yells at him for a bit and soon enough the young Mormon is helping out with the party prep.

The balloons are out and the party people have arrived. Things are cooking. Everyone’s having a good time – the Mormon, the horse, a kung fu guy, a girl in a cheongsam dress, a sheik, a devil – everything your momma warned you about.

The song is a fun punky love song and director Andrew Moore captures the manic energy of the song. It’s a crazy party as a metaphor for love. And that’s just fine with me.

Best bit: NZ On Screen have also noticed this – the pineapple hedgehog is brilliant.

Director: Andrew Moore
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… it’s NZ Music month!

Head Like A Hole “A Crying Shame”

Instantly identifiable by its trumpet intro, “A Crying Shame” kicks off and enters the world of a circus freak show. Taking inspiration from the strongman on the cover of their album “Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health, & Lengthen Your Life”, the video alternates between colour footage of the band playing the song and black and white footage of sinister carnival goings-on.

A young couple wander into a tent and discover a huckster (played by Booga Beazley) touting a potion, no doubt one that can double their strength, improve their health and lengthen their life.

The young woman can’t resist the promise of the potion. She necks it. What effect will it have on her? Why, it will turn her into a circus freak. As the curtains are drawn back for the eager crowd, the young man gasps in horror as he realises what has happened to his beloved. Oh my. You’d never get that sort of thing with the Mac and Jack Wonder Potion.

Best bit: “Wormy the Human Torso”. I’ve always wondered what a human torso looks like.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… party time, guys!

Greg Johnson “Liberty”

1996-greg-johnson-libertyliSo, there’s a young woman. Let’s call her Liberty, because that’s what Greg sings in the lyrics. She’s wearing a bad wig. It looks like one of those old lady op shop wigs, made of ratty white nylon. If a character in a music video is wearing a bad wig, there has to be a point where she dramatically pulls it off.

Liberty meets up with Greg and he hands her a black satchel. What is in it? Greg drives Liberty to a fancy apartment, where she meets Greg. Wait, what? Is it his evil twin? Or a Tyler Durden-esque representation of the self? Liberty goes to the bathroom, leaving Greg II alone with the satchel. Looking at herself in the mirror, she reaches up and – whoa, it’s a wig!

Back in the lounge, Greg II is dead on the floor, apparently killed by the satchel of doom. Liberty leaves, meeting Greg I in the car. But wait, wouldn’t it be better to leave the wig on until she had left the building? She runs the risk of being identified leaving the apartment of a dead man.

Seriously, if you need a quality assassinette, you’re better off going with Celia from King Loser.

Best bit: the wig reveal, of course. It’s a wiiiiiig!

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… don’t drink the potion.

Bressa Creeting Cake “Palm Singing”

1996-bressa-creeting-cake-palm-singingActor and comedian Jonathan Brugh stands in for Messers Bressa, Creeting and Cake, hamming it up every second of the video, which led to some people actually thinking he was in the band (along with his triplets?).

For a song with a sunny tropical feel, the video starts off in Little Shoal Bay, admid mangrove swamps, pleasure yachts and with the harbour bridge glistening in the background.

Jonathan then jumps on his bike and heads to the countryside, chaining his bike to a lone phoenix palm in the middle of a field. And when I say chain, it’s a thick old rusty chain, probably stolen off a haunted pirate ship.

Some shadowy black-cloaked figures seem to be up to no good. The hero ends up atop an Auckland high rise, again playing the song, then drives down a palm-lined street, and finally joins the black-cloaked figures for a game of Connect Four. All this is completely normal in the world of Bressa Creeting Cake.

Best bit: Jonathan’s lol face just before he joins in with the Connect Four.

Directors: Ed Cake, Michael Keating
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… following the script.

Missing videos from 1996

February 1996

Dei Hamo “International Whirl Rocker”

After making his mark doing the guest rap on Nathan Haines’ “Lady J”, Dei Hamo went solo with International Whirl Rocker (or “Rocca”, as it is listed in the NZOA database. The song was due to be released on Papa Pacific Records, but the label folded before this could happen, with Phil Fuemana eventually including the track on the groundbreaking Pioneers of a Pacifikian Frontier album. Here’s Dei Hamo performing the song live on Mai Time.

Teina Benioni “Gone Fishing”

Teina was nicknamed “the bard of Otara”. He played all the instruments and sang all the vocals on his song “Gone Fishing”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1996

Eye TV “Immaculate”

Another track from Eye TV. “Immaculate” was a return to a more electric sound for the group. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “Eye TV perform “Immaculate” in white room under flashing lights.”

Director: Sharron Ward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Moana and the Moahunters “Prophecies”

“Prophecies” was a track on Moana and the Moahunter’s second album, Tahi. It’s a gentle soul ballad, and Moana’s website says it touches “on more spiritual matters”. This looks like a case where the video was never made.

Splitter “What You Know”

Splitter had “What You Know”, described by the Herald as “XTC-meets-powerpop”. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The Splitter singer sings “What You Know” strapped to a chair in an interrogation room.”

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1996

Bike “Old & Blue”

Bike’s first single, “Save My Life”, is afforded digital immortality due to its inclusion on the Flying Nun “Very Short Films” compilation, but second single “Old and Blue” isn’t so lucky.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dam Native “Top Notch Vocalist”

The only mention of the Dam Native song “Top Notch Vocalist” is in the NZOA funding list. It seems like the sort of funding that might have ended up going to a different song.

Future Stupid “Greed”

Christchurch band Future Stupid were causing a ruckus with “Greed”. While the music video isn’t online, you can take your pick of 1997 live performances at the Summer Series, the Big Day Out or a DIY music video.

Lodger “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me”

Another song from Lodger, aka Damon from Dead Flowers’ side project. I assume that “Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me” is a cover of the Small Faces song.

Second Child “Prove You Wrong”

“Prove You Wrong” is the sixth funded video from Second Child.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Splitter “Tremolo Panned”

Splitter was an Andrew Thorne project and “Tremolo Panned” was a nice piece of mid-’90s rock. But best of all, the Kiwi Hit List noted that the song features “Graham Brazier on electrified harmonica”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Exponents “Do You Feel In Love”

The Exponents said farewell to Warner Music with a final single, “Do You Feel In Love”. Nga Taonga’s description suggests the video is a classic style Greg Page animation: “A claymation Exponents perform “Do You Feel In Love”.”

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1996

Breathe “Smiley Hands”

Breathe debuted with “Smiley Hands”, giving just an inkling of the major label excitement they stirred only a few years later. The olden internet has revealed this short but amazing article about the Smiley Hands EP. Taken from a December 1996 issue of RipItUp, it’s the kind of music writing that’s so scarce in this digital age.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Igelese “Emotions”

“Emotions” was Igelese’s second funded video. There’s no sign of it ever having been made, which might be tied to the end of Igelese’s record label, Papa Pacific. But he went on to compose music for Lord of the Rings and Moana, so it turned out well.

Lole “Feel Like Making Love”

Lole covers “Feel Like Making Love”, that’s the safe Roberta Flack song, not Bad Company’s rock classic.

Director: Marc Swadel
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Peaches “Go”

OMG, Peaches?! Wait, it’s not the Canadian performance artist, but a Debbie Harwood project. She got her musician mates to cover classic New Zealand pop. “Go” is project’s one original track, penned by Rikki Morris.

Seven a Side “Running Back to You”

Also from the Rockquest is Seven a Side, winner of the Tangata Pasifica Beats category. A funded video for “Running Back To You” was part of the prize package. The track also featured on Tangata Records’ compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Supergroove “5th Wheel”

“5th Wheel” is an attempt at a sweet pop song, complete with flute, strings, and ah-ah-ahs. I believe vocals are by Joe Lonie, and the video involved him sitting on the back of a ute.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The 3Ds “Vector 27”

“Vector 27” was from The 3Ds final album, Strange News from the Angels. It was also the final 3Ds video to be funded. Nga Taonga enticingly describes the video as, “The 3Ds go for a drive in the countryside and encounter flying saucers and aliens.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1996

Ardijah “Oh Baby”

After returning from five years in Australia, “Oh Baby” was Ardijah’s new single. The video isn’t online, but here’s a short clip of a live performance from the era. Nga Taonga describe the video as “Ardijah perform “Oh Baby” in cabaret setting.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bobby Owen “Falling”

The Kiwi Hit Disc described 18-year-old Bobby Owen’s single “Falling” as a “moody soulful ballad” that was recorded at Fuemana Studios.

Dam Native “Extremities”

Another cool track from Dam Native. “Extremities” was produced by Zane Lowe.

Greg Johnson “Softly On Me”

“Softly On Me” featured Boh Runga and was produced by Dave Dobbyn. Jonathan King directed the video, filmed at a Tongan church in Auckland.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Mary “Golden Halo”

Mary was an all-girl band, and they were a very all-girl band. Check out this profile in the Herald – about half the article is about aspects of their all-girl-bandliness. Their sweet, girly song “Golden Halo” was the first of many funded videos. I’ve heard from a performer in the video who says she wore a halo, naturally enough.

Stellar “Real”

It’s cool seeing signs of Stellar’s early work, putting in the hard yards before they were snapped up by Sony and became pop icons. “Real” was another early single.

December 1996

Ardijah “Bad Buzz”

More Polyfonk from Ardijah, this time with “Bad Buzz”, a Bob Marley tribute. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Ardijah sing “Bad Buzz” walking through sideshows / amusement park.”

Director: Neil Cervin
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Brothers & Sisters “Parihaka”

Like both Tim Finn and Jacqui Keelan Davey, the young Maori band Brothers & Sisters pay tribute to the pacifist Te Whiti with their song “Parihaka”. The track featured on the Tangata Records compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

DLT “Black Panthers”

The instrumental “Black Panthers” was the second single off DLT’s album “The True School”.

Fat Mannequin “That Matters”

Fat Mannequin deliver “That Matters”, a very ’90s rock ballad.

In The Whare “Sister Dread”

According to NZOA, In The Whare’s music was a mix of reggae, hip hop, funk and metal. Their song “Sister Dread” also featured on Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision