Found videos from the 2000s

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Headless Chickens “Expecting To Fly”

1998-headless-chickens-expecting-to-flyThis song was originally on the Headless Chickens first album, “Stunt Clown”, but it was remixed for the “ChickensHits” greatest hits/remixes album in 2002, with this single released in 2003. So what’s it doing in the 1998 funding round? Well, the band originally received funding in 1998 for the song “Chicken Little”. This video didn’t get made, but the funding stayed on the books until the Chooks were ready to make another video in 2003.

The band are totally absent from the video. Instead the screen is occupied by some very attractive young people. The video seems to have been a promo for the spring/summer 2003 collection from the iconic Dunedin fashion label NOM*d.

Directed by Rachael Churchward, the video is shot in black and white and is set in a bleak landscape. The models mooch around in a miserable holiday camp, going about ordinary domestic tasks. Doing the dishes at a stainless steel sink never looked more awful and yet so glamorous.

It’s interesting having a video without the band. It feels like the band have taken a step away from the spotlight, in preparation for their demise. Sometimes the models lip-sync the song, and other times select lines of the song are subtitled – a visual reminder of the lyrics. Somehow there’s enough of the Headless Chickens character for the video to work. It’s a bit dark, a bit depressed and still stylish – all hallmarks of the Chickens.

After the mixed quality of videos from “Greedy”, I’m glad the band has ended with a good video. Sure, it’s no “Donde Esta La Pollo”, but for a swansong, it’s a good one.

Best bit: the ceramic chicken, never forget.

Director: Rachael Churchward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… future boys tell us.

Headless Chickens “Donde Esta La Pollo”

“Donde Esta La Pollo” was to New Zealanders what “Sesame Street” was to Americans: a source of basic Spanish. Fortunately the video doesn’t linger on the Spanish factor, instead picking up on the carnival vibe of the song.

How cool were the Headless Chickens? While their compatriots were jigging about in front of green screens, the Chooks kept it real. They invited all their freaky friends into a circus tent and just filmed the decadent freakiness.

Ok, there was probably more to it than that, but no one in the video looks like they’re helping their mates make a music video; they all look like they regularly do freaky things in a circus tent and they probably all have more sex than you do. That’s how cool they were.

This video has a great tension between fun and unease, like they’re just one glass of absinthe away from terrible, terrible times. And I bet there would have been a few crazy religious parents who declared this video to be evil and forbade their kids from watching it.

Even though this is just one side of the Headless Chickens experience, this is how I like to remember them at their peak.

Best bit: the hairy guy with the egg in his mouth.

Directors: Bruce Sheridan, Rachael Churchward
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… an inappropriate public health act.