School assembly, a comforting sameness, a beardy trek, freaky friends at the club, on stage but not, and a wild road trip.
Running with blokes, a game of bowls, down in the flowers, old telly, a campstravaganza, flow not mirror
A very wet phone call, change management, paper boats, the band and the song, thrift store art, damp hair in a cool cafe, the romantic punk, and chaotic scribbles.
Harry Houdini’s greatest hits, Anika and the lightbulbs, gentle life on the road, cardboard pop-punk, farewell to Murph, and representing the south side.
Continue reading August 2007: 48 May, 5star Fallout, Anika Moa, Audio Empire, Brooke Fraser, Brotha D
Nerdy office high jinks, Brooke goes to Rwanda, Bryan’s mystery date, modern furniture, and hitching a ride.
Continue reading February 2007: Annabel Fay, Brian Platt, Brooke Fraser, Bryan Bell, Cliff Hedley
A WWII fever dream, adventures in Sydney and London, a forced commercial song, a failed seduction attempt and a MySpace URL.
Continue reading December 2006: 48May, Autozamm, Bling, Brooke Fraser, Bruce Conlon, Chong Nee
A rainy night in Tokyo, another ’06 Bonnie and Clyde, the rehearsal shed crashers, teen glam, punk pop prancing.
Continue reading October 2006: 5Star Fallout, Annabel Fay, Bleeders, Brooke Fraser, Cobra Khan
“Without You” is a short jazzy love song, the sort of thing that is in the repertoire of Saturday afternoon cafe performer.
We find Brooke sitting on a hearty old leather sofa, surrounded by stacks of books. This reminds me of the bar decor trend of having shelves lined with old books purchased from op shop bargain bins, most of which ended up being All Black biographies and Reader’s Digest condensed books. I wonder if Brooke’s collection includes Ebony & Ivory: The Stu Wilson, Bernie Fraser Story.
As well as stationary Brooke on the couch, we also get shots of couples, posing in a portrait style. As well as the obvious romantic and family groups, there’s a punk dad with a punk kid, two beardy bastards, a girl with a horse, and woman with her award-winning dogs and their trophies.
It’s a sweet song and a sweet video, but there’s just not much that’s especially captivating about it. Maybe it’s just the sort of thing to play in a cafe on a Saturday afternoon.
Best bit: the elaborately bedazzled jacket of a young punk.
Director: Tim Groenendaal
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… swimming in bread.
It’s curtain up on a stage, revealing a grand piano, a string quartet and several kilometres of fairy lights strung around the place. All this provides the setting for Brooke Fraser to perform her very sweet ballad “Arithmetic”.
It’s a very pretty, very atmospheric video that perfectly works with the tone of the song. Brooke always looks serene in the golden glow of the fairy lights. Sitting on the piano is a frame photo (her inspiration for the song, perhaps) and a glass of water, which – OMG – the number one rule is no drinks on the piano, ok?
Interestingly the string quartet members are all senior citizens. It’s a bit of a cliche having attractive young orchestral players, all long hair and sensual poise, so it really stands out that the video used a group of grandparents for the video. It gives the song’s message – a declaration of long-term love – a more serious context. It’s not just a young girl declaring she’s sooo in love with her bf. No, it’s the message of someone who sees herself growing old with the love of her life, just like the oldies down the back.
NZ On Screen notes that the video was the “winner of the (satirical) award for “Most use of fairy lights in a video clip” at the 2004 Studio 2 Awards”. And a rightly deserved award.
Best bit: the playing face of the granny on cello – she’s seen it all.
Director: Tim Groenendaal
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… Friday night in town.
This song feels a bit out of sequence, like it should have been released a couple of years later, but all evidence points to it being from 2004. Ok.
Brooke has got her tongue pierced, which changed the way she sung – a bonus for fans of acquired lisps. She also has a smoky eye thing happening, which I think is when the “set Fraser to stun” phase kicked off.
The video follows the journey of a toy squeezy ball globe of the world. It’s sitting in a rubbish bin and gets kicked and jostled around the city, including hitching a ride on a truckload of manure.
It’s also used as an impromptu rugby ball, manhandled by a dog, and just generally gets kicked around a bit. Oh, won’t someone save the world? Where is Brooke when we need her?
She’s singing at a bus stop, on a very rainy day. With water bucketing down around her, it’s not going to be good situation to busk in. It reminds me of the leakiest bus stop ever, which is Stop B outside Petone Station, in case you’re wondering.
As it happens, the toy globe ends up making its way back to the rubbish bin from the beginning, but this time it crosses Brooke’s path. Oh look – she has saved the world from ending up in a rubbish truck. Hooray!
The comedy antics of the globe aside, the scenes of Brooke at the bus stop are really lovely. They’re shot in a cool blue palette, and Brooke and her cool blue top and the falling rain all making being stranded at a bus stop on a rainy day look awesome and sexy.
Best bit: the dog perfectly dropping the ball out of a moving car.
Note: this video has fan-made Portuguese subtitles, which is pretty cool.
Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… shake it like a Polaroid picture.