Found videos from 1997

A fluffy bra, nightclub, a prison, a derelict swimming pool, three lifts and an escalator.
Continue reading Found videos from 1997

The Exponents “One In A Lifetime”

1997-the-exponents-one-in-a-lifetimeJordan Luck takes to the mean streets of downtown Auckland for a solo promo. Starting from a stark inner-city apartment, he heads down to the vacinity of Albert Street, including a brief visit to the remains of dirty old Finance Plaza.

The Andrew Moore-directed video takes Jordan down to Queen Street, outside the picturesque facade of the old BNZ building, back to Albert Street for the lit-up trees outside the Stamford Plaza, down to the wharves for some pretty reflections, then finally up to K Road to be amongst the punks and Christians.

I appreciate this video more on a personal level. It was shot in the very first year I moved up to Auckland, when I spent a lot of time mooching around these very streets. I like that it exists as a record of Auckland in 1997, just one man and the city streets.

Best bit: the reminder that in the ’90s, sometimes downtown Auckland was really quiet and empty at night.

Director: Andrew Moore
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… fear of the carnies.

Missing videos from 1997

February 1997

AKA Brown “Tonight Is Yours”

AKA Brown was Sam Feo of the Semi MCs teamed with the mighty Chong-Nee.

Annie Crummer “I Come Alive”

Annie Crummer has “I Come Alive”, another single off her Seventh Wave album. It’s a sweet, uplifting track.

Future Stupid “Rock Star”

My theory is any band who writes a song called “Rock Star” is deeply conflicted by their role in the entertainment industry. Future Stupid evidently have this concern. Here’s a live video.

Moana and the Moahunters “You Haven’t Done Nothing”

The Kiwi Hit Disc reckoned that Moana and the Moahunters cover of Stevie Wonder’s funky protest song — originally titled “U Haven’t Done Nuthin” — would appear on their second album, Rua, but it didn’t make it. It did, however, later show up as the opening track on the compilation album Southside Funk ‘N’ Soul (1985-1996), a collection of previously unreleased tracks.

Russell Harrison “The Best”

There’s no sign of the video from long-time Lotto presenter Russell Harrison, but there’s a non-NZOA-funded clip of this smooth R&B jam “Why You Wanna”. Russell plays three guys auditioning for a role by doing an improv seduction scene in a bar. The video starts at 0:20, but it’s worth watching the introduction, where he seems a bit annoyed by the video.

Thorazine Shuffle “Secret You Hide”

Thorazine Shuffle is listed as having received funding for their song “Secret You Hide”, but as far as I can tell this wasn’t released as a single and didn’t have a video made. Here’s a video of a 2018 live performance.

April 1997

Buckle “Swoon”

Buckle appears to have been a “jazzy, trip-hop” group. “Swoon” was their one and only funded video.

Cicada “Backstab”

“Backstab” was Cicada’s fourth and final funded video, but it doesn’t look like a video was made. But there are plenty of other Cicada videos online. Frequent Cicada video director Marc Swadel made a demo reel of five music videos for the five tracks off Cicada’s Oscillator EP: “Alpha Jerk”, “Sway”“Good”, “Spine” and “Winter” (which had a proper funded video made).

Eye TV “Snakes & Ladders”

“Snakes & Ladders” was the opening track from Eye TV’s third album, “Birdy-O”. The Nga Taonga has this intriguing description: “Band members run, push man in shopping trolley, and ride bicycles. They perform as a rival band with Christian placards on Auckland waterfront.”

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Lava Lava “Feel The Heat”

Dance band Lava Lava had “Feel The Heat” and a video which included “fire dancing on the top of Mt Eden, live footage from the TRU SCHOOL 97 tour and a Cadillac with licence plate SPADE!” If anything puts this video firmly in 1997 it’s “spade”.

Southside of Bombay “Running”

Southside of Bombay had the single “Running”.

June 1997

Ardijah “Love So Right”

Ardijah give a South Pacific update to the Bee Gees song “Love So Right”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Coelacanth “Choke”

Coelacanth were a four-piece alternative rock band. A bio of the band notes that they produced “four completed music videos, three of which never made it to air.” Is “Choke” one of those unaired videos?

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead Flowers “I Wanna Know”

The Dead Flowers get really really pop with “I Wanna Know”. They must have been promoting the crap out of it because there are two live performances from TV shows – a delightfully degraded VHS copy of an appearance on Ground Zero, and this one from Ice TV. Nga Taonga describe the video as “The band play in a passenger waiting room.”

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Peaches “Down In Splendour”

Another track from Debbie Harwood’s Peaches project, matching her favourite female singers with classic New Zealand songs. This time vocalist Leza Corban covers the Straitjacket Fits tune “Down In Splendour”.

Propeller “Repeat The Question”

Propeller have “Repeat The Question”, another track from their final album and their penultimate NZOA funded video. Here’s a live-ish recording.

Southern Tribe “Closer”

Southern Tribe was a solo project by Hamilton musician Andrew Newth (formerly of Love and Violence). Described by the Htown Wiki as an ‘elaborate looping’ video, the laid-back, instrumental “Closer” was directed by Greg Page. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Man lying prone on ground rises and follows a figure (who looks him) into building and observes other versions of himself. He throws himself from balcony, then rises .”

Director: Greg Page
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

August 1997

Mary “I’ll Be Seeing You”

Mary have their second video “I’ll Be Seeing You”. Nga Taonga describe the video as, “The band perform against a white backdrop interspersed with brief shots of them in outdoor setting (city street, beach).”

Director: Sigi Spath
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Muckhole “Kooza”

“The past three years have left me bruised and broken,” Muckhole wail. Sadly the “Kooza” video isn’t online, depriving us of the visual depiction of this emotion.

Propeller “Refrain”

“Refrain” is the final video from Propeller. Farewell, Propeller.

October 1997

5 Go Mad “Too Bad”

5 Go Mad had two videos funded. “Too Bad” was the first track. According to Stephen from the band, the video was shot “in the back of an old monastery on Richmond Road”, and featured Jan Hellriegel.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Bike “Anybody Know”

Just as I start liking the music of Bike, the videos start disappearing. “Anybody Know” is a an upbeat guitar pop track with gloriously noisy guitars.

Dead Flowers “Free”

Dead Flowers have the song “Free”, produced by Eddie Rayner. There are few traces of it online.

New Loungehead “Johnny 14”

New Loungehead were purveyors of very cool jazz. “Johnny 14” was the opening track off their album “Came a Weird Way”. Peter at DubDotDash takes a look back.

Director: Marc Swadel

December 1997

5 Go Mad “Above My Head”

5 Go Mad were a pop trio who won funding from the Recording Artist Development Scheme (RADS) run by RIANZ and Creative New Zealand “to promote emerging artists”. Rumour has it that the video for “Above My Head” was all but complete, but never made it off the edit suite (save for one VHS preview copy) due to reasons.

Director: Marc Swadel

B “So Long”

I talk about songs and bands that are hard to google, but this has to be the ultimate example: the band is called B and the song is called “So Long”. Do you know how many artists have a song called “So Long”? There are 12 songs with that name at Amplifier. But I finally managed to discover that B was Brendan Gregg of the Holy Toledos, and B also won RADS funding.

Director: David Reid
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Charlotte Yates “Console”

Charlotte Yates, probably best known for her work with When The Cat’s Been Spayed”, has the song “Console”. The Leeanne Culy-directed video was previously on Charlotte’s website, but in ye olde Real Video format. Nga Taonga describes the video as, “Singer playing guitar under wharf by sea and in other locations.”

Director: Leeanne Culy
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dave Dobbyn “Waiting”

Dave Dobbyn has the upbeat pop track “Waiting”, with a hearty meandering melody. Here’s a live version.

Freaker “Mutilator”

Freaker were signed to Deepgrooves and “Mutilator” was an edgy instrumental track.

Lole “Comfort Me”

Samoan songstress Lole has “Comfort Me”. Instead here’s her song “Tu I Luga” which was used a David Tua’s entrance song in his big fight with Shane Cameron in 2007.

Pause “Only”

Pause was an early project by future Elemeno P guitarist Justyn Pilbrow, along with vocalists Jo Currie and Anna Copley. “Only” was their debut single, which Kiwi Hits described as having “eclectic rhythms and acoustic melody”. Deepgrooves describes the video as having been shot in black and white around Auckland, including breaking into the recently closed Auckland train station.

Director: Marc Swadel


Now let’s take a look at a video that didn’t have NZ On Air funding but that managed to make a huge impact despite its $250 budget. It’s “Jesus I Was Evil”, an ode to badassness by the late, great Darcy Clay.

Directed by David Gunson who filmed it with an assortment of cheap cameras, it sees Darcy performing at the Summer Series in Albert Park and being generally evil around town, which includes hoovering up a fat line of cocaine, played expertly by custard powder. The video ends with Darcy’s email address, back when email was still new. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision also hosts the video, with some good behind-the-scenes stories from the director.

Director: David Gunson
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Shihad “Home Again”

1997-shihad-home-againAh, good old “Home Again”. It’s possibly the song most beloved of Shihad fans, and the video captures its feelgood spirit. It’s shot in one continuous take with a static camera. So it’s up to the band to do enough for three and a half minutes to keep viewers entertained.

The video has also been shot at a slower speed and sped up, giving it a manic energy. This condensing of time allows several Polaroid photos to be taken and develop in front of our eyes.

Most of the action takes place on or around a blue couch. There are also a number of different backdrops hung in the background, a wheeled-in TV for a glimpse of off-set action and a drum kit which various band members have turns on.

The image is slightly altered by different fliters and frames being clipped to the camera, but really the star of the video is the fish tank. For about 40 seconds, some goldfish are wheeled in, where they happily swim around, oblivious to the rock dudes running and jumping around them.

In a way, what happens (or doesn’t happen) in the video doesn’t even matter. It’s such a good song that the video is almost like a screensaver, just some images to watch while you listen to a great song.

Director Mark Hartley was awarded Best Video at the 1998 New Zealand Music Awards, breaking the three-year winning streak of nominee Joe Lonie.

Best bit: the goldfish, just chillin’.

Director: Mark Hartley
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Russell’s seduction techniques.

Pash “Undercover Antics After Dark”

1997-pash-undercover-antics-after-darkThere’s something about this song and video that doesn’t quite work. It’s a well written song, it’s a bit saucy, but it seems a too long. It’s over four minutes long and about halfway through it feels like it’s stuck in repetitive loops.

The video sees the band playing in front of an audience of freaky friends. Again, this has the potential for something really visually exciting, but comes across a little dull.

But I’m wondering if this is just the effect of age. In the late ’90s, this sort of kitschy ’60s and ’70s style was cool. But now the video doesn’t have the buoyancy of fashion to hold it all together, it ends up looking like a really boring fancy dress party. Oh look, you’ve dyed your hair green and your friend is wearing a pink wig. Outrageous!

I’ve seen this idea done so much better in other videos of the same era, both with the freaky friends idea and the outrageous party idea. It seems like everyone had fun making it, but there’s not much of that spirit has come through to the video.

Best bit: the guy in the green head-to-toe bodysuit. Outrageous.

Next… four guys and a fish.

OMC “On The Run”

“On the Run” was OMC’s third single and last NZOA-funded video. It was the lowest charting OMC single in New Zealand (#30), but it charted in the UK (#56) and the Netherlands (#98). It’s a far cry from the glory days of “How Bizarre”, but it’s certainly not bad going.

The song is a moody track with a disco funk bass and some fab 1960s guitar tremolo, while Pauly raps and sings about being on the run, a simultaneous blend of pop star and badass.

After an introduction with a Betty Draper-ish, we meet Pauly, hiding out in a dark motel room, his face cast with shadows from venetian blinds. We also see him in a colourful room, sometimes playing his guitar, wearing a silver jacket at a press conference, and wearing a 1960s leisure suit as he is spun around on a rotating wall.

Betty also makes an appearance in these locations, but never at the same time as Pauly. She’s in the company of a sinister-looking man who seems to be keeping her prisoner. If she knows anything about Pauly’s whereabouts, she’s not snitching.

There’s no conclusion, no hint that this drama will be resolved. The video ends with a pause on Pauly and then a fade to black.

In his book How Bizarre, Simon Grigg notes that the video shoot was masterminded by the Australian record company. He describes the video as, “excessively glitzy, and devoid of anything resembling personality – Pauly’s or anyone else’s. It completely missed what it was that made Pauly stand out from the international mire.”

Best bit: Pauly banging out some instro guitar – a perfect way to pass the time when laying low.

Director: Mark Hartley
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

It would be nice if the OMC videography ended here, but there was also “I Love LA”, an irony-free cover of the heavily ironic Randy Newman song, recorded for the “Mr Bean” movie soundtrack. Simon Grigg notes: “The embarrassing video, in a Hollywood pool, cost more than every video and recording made by Pauly to date, combined. An almighty flop, a terrible record, and a career killer. Its on my label but I disowned it before release.” View with caution.

Next… outrageous sexy ’90s party.

Muckhole “Pop Out Punk”

1997-muckhole-pop-up-punkIt’s a quiet afternoon at the Skateland roller rink. A concession stand girl and the emcee both look bored. Ok, it’s time to shake this up a little. Send in the punks!

On cue, a big old convertible rolls into the Skateland car park, and out jumps the band in fancy dress. There’s a ’70s Afro man, a priest, an Elvis and a bee. They enter the building, the emcee cheers and the band launches into their furious 90-second song.

Muckhole are set up in the middle of the rink and while they play, roller hockey kids skate around them.

Some of the video seems to have been shot with a crane, but given that the YouTube description notes the video was made for $4000, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it was a guy dangling in the rafters.

The song ends the band suddenly vanishes. Serenity returns to Skateland, while the waitress forlornly skates around, with no customers to receive her tray of milkshakes.

It’s a simple video with a cute concept at its core. It looks as low budget as it is, but that fits right in with the song’s angry lyrics.

Best bit: the Elvis lead singer, taking full advantage of his costume’s mana.

Director: Marek Sumich

Next… the coolest way to lay low.

Jan Hellriegel “Sentimental Fool”

1997-jan-hellriegel-sentimental-foolIn the past, Jan has come across as a cool rock chick, but with this song, she’s quite happy to embrace her loved-up dork side. “Sentimental Fool” is a song about falling in love, about how love can just make everything feel amazing.

The video has a similar light, happy feeling as the song. Directed by Mark Tierney, the video starts with sepia tone footage, with a faux border looking like an Instagram filter. Jan lounges about her actual house, playing the guitar, looking content. But who is the fellow that’s causing all this joy? Why, it’s only a man in a bear costume.

Bungle – I have decided to call him that because he looks like Bungle off “Rainbow” – hangs out the washing and lies around in bed with Jan. A picture of perfect domestic bliss.

We also see Jan happily lying in a grassy meadow, enjoying some sunshine and is later joined by Bungle. How cool is he? Jan sings, “He says, ‘Don’t you worry about a thing, girl. You don’t have to face the world alone.'” Aww….

But just in case there was any confusion about Bungle, at the very end of the video he pulls off the bear head revealing a cute guy with a goatee. Because it would be a bit weird if Jan was actually going out with a bear.

Best bit: the very first shot of – OMG – Jan in bed with the bear.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… an Elvis, a bee, priest and a ’70s dude walk into a skating rink.

Headless Chickens “Magnet”

“Magnet” was the first single from the post-Fiona Chooks. It’s a ghostly love song with an unseen singer (Rachel Wallis) providing Fiona-esque backing vocals.

The video takes place at night in a wasteland, complete with an upturned car. Back when this was made it probably seemed like a cool dystopian fantasy, but now there are parts of Christchurch that literally look like this. Chris also spends some time inside a munted car, and the band performs in the ruins of an old warehouse that looks like Detroit decay porn. The video is like a premonition of 21st-century disasters.

There’s a lot of tiredness in this video. The song feels tired, the band looks tired and the environment seems to be on the verge of just collapsing, with the facade of civilisation being just too much effort.

It’s not a bad song – I should make that clear. In fact, it’s easily one of the Headless Chickens better songs. It’s just that the video seems to reveal more about the band than the song.

Best bit: the ruins of an old motherboard, kissing goodbye to computers.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Jan’s furry friend.

Bic Runga “Sway”

1997-bic-runga-swayThe better known “Sway” video is the American version aka “Love Theme From American Pie”. It’s the black and white vid where Bic mooches over a shaggy-haired hipster called Jones who works in an Italian deli. As well as using a punchier mix of the song, that video largely focuses on Bic, introducing her to the international pop world. (Director Karen Lamond, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

But before that, there was the locally made “Sway” video, directed by Joe Lonie. Shot in vivid colour, the video focuses on Bic playing with her band, both in a cool inner-city apartment and on stage at a bar. We also catch a glimpse of Bic frolicking on a west coast beach, shot like a home video.

Somehow Bic seems a lot older in this video than the American version. I think it’s down to her heavy makeup, bulky clothing and her older bandmates. In the other version, she’s a gamine pixie girl.

In the bar scenes, Bic and band play to a small crowd of slow-dancing couples. It feels like the end of an evening where everyone is a bit wasted and has fallen in the arms of whoever’s nearest.

In Bic Runga’s New Zealand pop career this was her third single, so it makes sense that the video would try something different from the “here’s Bic” of the previous two. But this video feels cluttered, like there are too many bit players filling up the screen. She’s still the star but is treated like one of many items of interest.

Best bit: Bic’s giant op shop jacket, the uniform of a good ’90s girl.

Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the ruins of modern civilisation.