In what has to be one of the most exotic locations for a New Zealand music video, “Neil of Diamonds” is set in Havana, looking like a home movie crossed with the Buena Vista Social Club.
It’s all very scenic. Lively kids hangs out on the streets, the iconic pre-1960 American cars lumber past and the band go fishing. At one point one Spa is seen lying back with a puny cigarette between his lips. Pft. Whatever.
Being a group of young dudes in Cuba, they can’t resist a visit to Real Fabrica de Tabacos Partagás, a cigar factory museum. There the band sample the wares, leading one to mouth to the camera “motherfudger” (or similar).
This leads to a big montage of the band enjoying the town’s nightlife and smoking cigars, including a 16-second shot of one of them slowly walking down a street with a cigarette in his mouth, gazing at the camera, probably wondering if this was actually the high point of his life.
But that’s what the song is about – “when I go out tonight I am the Neil of diamonds”, the chorus proclaims. It’s about going out and feeling like a cool dude, and not worrying about life back in New Zealand, Cuba’s human-rights issues or even morning-after cigar-breath.
Best bit: the old lady smoking the mammoth cigar.
Director: Andy Welch
Next… late to the party.