Grace “Cool World”

You know, Grace have a very pleasing oeuvre of videos. “Cool World” is directed by Mark Tierney (otherwise of the Strawpeople) and the video captures the media moodiness of his other band.

Bookended by snippets of a bald-headed person and alarming messages like “They are stealing the time”, the video launches into the group playing to their strengths – dramatic lighting, smouldering stares, cheekbones.

This is interspersed with a troubled young woman taking out her frustrations on a punching bag. However, she also takes the time to look fabulous in giant sunglasses.

I like that Grace kept their music videos consistently stylish, suggesting that someone with an overall vision cracked the whip no matter who directed their videos.

Best bit: the model posing with old white-painted TV sets.

Director: Mark Tierney
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Missing videos from 1995

February 1995

D’bre “Let Me Know”

The band formerly known as Bush Beat return with a second song, “Let Me Know”. The track featured on Tangata Records’ compilation album Tribal Stomp II.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Dead Flowers “Not Ready”

“Not Ready” is the first Dead Flowers video to be missing. The song was a track from their 1994 album Sweetfish.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Greg Johnson Set “You Stay out of Your Life”

From what I can remember of it, the “You Stay out of Your Life” video involved Greg Johnson and Boh Runga zipping around on scooters (probably shot using green screen).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Pumpkinhead “Third Eye”

More business from Christchurch grunge unit Pumpkinhead. With a song called “Third Eye”, I would be extremely disappointed if the video didn’t include low-tech animated third eyes. Nga Taonga describes the video as “Pumpkinhead perform “Third Eye” in a yellow lunar setting and in a pub.”

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ruia “Ka Tangi te Tītī, Ka Tangi te Kākā”

Ruia Aperahama, the frontman for Southside of Bombay, had te reo yacht rock with the solo track “Ka Tangi te Tītī, Ka Tangi te Kākā”.

Film Archive

Southside of Bombay “Umbadada”

Spurred on by popularity from the “Once Were Warriors” soundtrack, Southside of Bombay make a house record, with the highly danceable “Umbadada”. But Southside haven’t lost track of their reggae roots – the song has a message of unity and living forever.

Director: Regan Jones
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Feelers “The Leaving”

In 1995 the Feelers won the prestigious South Island Battle of the Bands competition. Part of the prize included a single and music video released through Wildside. That song in question was “The Leaving”, with the music video directed by James and Matthew of the Feelers and camera by future Feelers music video director David Reid. The song obviously didn’t have the impact of later single “Pressure Man”, but it was included as a track on the band’s debut album.

Directors: James Reid, Matthew Thomas
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

April 1995

The Tufnels “Pettibone”

“Pettibone” is the second single from the Tufnels, the greatest pop band in New Zealand that no one’s ever heard of.

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

June 1995

Andrew Fagan “Empty”

Andrew Fagan’s last NZ On Air-funded track was “Empty”, before branching out into the power combo of broadcasting and poetry.

Funhouse “I Don’t Mind”

Curiously enough, there’s an Italian punk band from the ’80s called Funhouse who also have a song called “I Don’t Mind”. It’s far removed the namesake “sweet ballad” of the Funhouse from Dunedin.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Jordan Reyne “Pandora’s Box”

“Pandora’s Box” was another song of Jordan Reyne’s 1998 album Birds of Prey. I have a suspicion that a video for this song not might not actually have been made.

Nothing At All! “Super Bullet”

Nothing At All! was the old band of Dion from the D4. “Super Bullet” was a tight 2:14 atomic bomb of a song that would have been a hit had it been released seven years later.

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

The Tufnels “Beautiful Ride”

The Tufnels’ last stab at pop immortality was “Beautiful Ride”. I think it was an extra track added to a revamped version of their “Lurid” album, once they’d signed to a major label. So long, Tufnels.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Urban Disturbance “Figure This Kids”

More coolness from Urban Disturbance. “Figure This Kids” has echoes of what was to become the more laid-back sound of Zane Lowe’s next music project, Breaks Co-op.

August 1995

3 The Hard Way “B All Right”

For their second album, 3 The Hard Way were going for a more mellow sound. “B All Right” has a bit of the Death Row Sound, and continues the 3 The Hard Way theme of mythologising their childhoods.

Barry Saunders “Little Times”

The Warratahs frontman has a solo song called “Little Times”, a bluesy ode to the opposite of the big time.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Ermehn “Nuttin’ Personal”

Another of Ermehn’s early tracks is “Nuttin Personal”, which is strangely ungooglable. It could be a case where the song or song title was changed at some point.

Grace “Heart Of Stone”

“Heart of Stone” is a souly pop track. Instead of the video, here’s the brothers Ioasa talking about the inspiration behind their music from a 1995 episode of Frenzy.

Jacqui Keelan Davey “Nobody”

Hamilton songstress Jacqui Keelan Davey delivers a miserable but bangin’ dance number, “Nobody”.

Jordan Reyne “Millstones”

Jordan Reyne delivers a sweet guitar track with “Millstones”.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Sulata “Find Yourself”

“Find Yourself” is a great song that shows off Sulata’s rich voice. I think this might be a video that wasn’t actually made, with the funding possibly transferred to another song.

Upper Hutt Posse “Can’t Get Away”

Upper Hutt Posse have “Can’t Get Away”. Here’s the group performing the song live on What Now.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Wonderkind “Destiny Change”

Wonderkind have “Destiny Change”, an upbeat dance song about a teen prostitute. There was a lot of that in the ’90s – upbeat dance music about really depressing social issues. Here’s a very 1997 remix of the song.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

October 1995

Dead Flowers “So Low”

“So Low” was a track off Dead Flowers’ third album. By this stage they were ruling the school, even opening on Pearl Jam’s NZ tour.

Jacqui Keelan Davey “Too Late”

Hamilton songstress Jacqui Keelan Davey has another single, “Too Late”. “Jacqui Keelan Davey has a voice that gabs you by the scruff of the neck and won’t let go,” enthused the Waikato Times.

Mara “Message At The Bottom”

Mara Finau – best known as co-lead singer of The Holidaymakers – went solo with a cover of Chaka Khan’s “Message At The Bottom”.

Ngaire “The Way I Feel About You”

Ngaire returned to the pop charts with “The Way I Feel About You”, which spent one ever-so-brief week at number 42.

Director: Tim Mauger
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Sulata “Back To Hong Kong”

“Back To Hong Kong” was another track from Sulata’s “Kia Koe” album. And this is another case where the video may not have been made or the funding given to another track.

Ted Brown and the Italians “Battle Inside”

“Battle Inside” was a track from Ted Brown’s album Shaky’s Blessing.

December 1995

CMB Swing “Your Love Is All I Need”

CMB Swing were a five-piece group (four vocalists and one percussionist). And were they named after the Cash Money Brothers from 1991 film “New Jack City”?

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Jacqui Keelan Davey “Watching Me Drown”

Another track from Hamilton songstress Jacqui Keelan Davey, this time with “Watching Me Drown”.

Maree Sheehan “Might As Well Shout”

The Kiwi Hit Disc described “Might As Well Shout” as a “fast-paced, catchy dancefloor number”. It features backing vocals from expats Mark Williams and Australian Idol vocal coach Erana Clark.

Papa “For What It’s Worth”

This is pretty much impossible to Google (it’s not a unique song title). I don’t know who Papa was, but it might be related to the record label, Papa Pacific.


Meanwhile in the world of non-NZOA-funded videos we find “Manic (Is a State of Mind)”, the first music single from Jan Hellriegel’s second album. Filmed in Sydney, it takes place in a gloriously garishly painted art deco house (not a visual effect, the YouTube description notes!), and features a very sinister looking cafe fridge.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Grace “Desert Moon”

1994-grace-desert-moonAgain Grace make a music video that is much more interesting than the song. That’s not to say the song is bad – it’s a poppy soul groove – but more that the music video is really interesting.

It’s set at an exotic nightclub, which Peter at Dub Dot Dash identifies as the Queen Street venue that became The Whitehouse. The club is full of sexy patrons in all manner of undress, including one fellow in studded leather undies, being led in on a leash.

The less pervy patrons are just enjoying themselves as Grace perform up on stage. And sometimes a young singer takes to the stage to add backing vocals – hey, it’s Bic Runga! She was, as Dub Dot Dash notes, part of Grace’s live band, but didn’t actually sing on the recorded version of this song.

With the previous two Grace videos having featured only the band, it’s nice to get a glimpse of their freaky friends. A lesser music video would have probably used a lady in a floaty dress dancing barefoot in the moonlight, which is far less interesting than a bar full of freaky friends.

Best bit: Mr Dog Leash, smoking a cigarette, too cool to pay attention to the band or the woman’s crotch in his face.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a cake to farewell Fiona.

Grace “Black Sand Shore”

The Ioasa brothers return, and this time they’re spending a night at the museum. Using the grand marble halls of Auckland Museum as a dramatic backdrop, the trio pose and generally look awesome as they stand in a variety of symmetrical formations. The only other people in the museum are two very glamorous-looking women, who are probably security guards trying to track down the source of the smooth Pacifica soul they can hear wafting from the top floor.

Much of the band’s intense posing takes place outside the entrance to the exhibit formerly known as Centennial Street (later Auckland 1866, later demolished). The exhibition included replicas of ye olde Auckland business premises, and – frankly – would have made a brilliant setting for a music video. I wonder if Grace had a look around it when they were shooting the video.

The “Black Sand Shore” video is filmed in sepia tone, with a stylish and respectful feeling. I bet they were all absolutely on their best behaviour, and probably had a stern museum director saying that if anything was broken, the museum would be closed to all musicians forever.

It’s a really successful video (and probably relatively low budget) and I like to think it marks a turning point for New Zealand music videos. Don’t need no green screen.

Best bit: how incredibly amazing Auckland Museum looks.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… Captain Don’s nautical adventure.

Grace “Confessions”

1994-grace-confessionsThis is the first single for the group based around the three Ioasa brothers, but you know what? The video is better than the song. This is for one simple reason: Anthony Jason Ioasa’s fabulous cheekbones. The video, directed by Jonathan King, takes full advantage of this, with dramatic lighting to emphasise his features.

But, ok, it’s not all bone structure. While the video does linger on the singer, the rest of the band can be seen working away in the background, even with wide shots that reveal more of the studio set-up of the video shoot.

It seems like a low-budget video, but one done with skill and technique so it doesn’t look low-budget. As well as the moody lighting, it’s shot in black and white with an olive tint. Pretty stylish for a first video. The Ioasa bros were obviously going to have to raise the stakes for their next.

Best bit: Jason Ioasa’s cheekbones, ok?

Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… over-the-counter pain relief.