Skeptics “Agitator” (1987)

skeptics-agitatorThe 5000 Ways celebration of Flying Nun’s 30th nunniversary continues, looking back at videos made in the days before NZ On Air’s funding started in 1991.

The Skeptics are the best Flying Nun band, if not the best band in the entire world.

They only had two videos – “AFFCO” and “Agitator”. AFFCO is the one with the notoriety. It has the sheep and the blood and societal commentary. But the thing is, AFFCO isn’t anywhere near the Skeptics best song. For that, I turn to their other video, “Agitator”.

It’s a glorious three-part journey. Starting with moody black and white footage, as a simple piano line slowly builds, joined by creepy guitar, alarming synth and David D’Ath’s haunting vocals. A little colour is allowed into this vision with a bald-headed colour D’Ath reflected in a window, and then an eerie, bloody red starts seeping into the picture.

On to part two and full colour returns with the band in full-on freak out. Layers of people and visual effects and textures play with each other, sometimes emphasising the music, other times underscoring the mood.

But then just when it was all threatening to fall apart, along comes the final conclusion. An ode to June, July and August – the winter months – and we’re back in the black and white world. Only this time it’s a lot more peaceful, as if the former chaos has been exorcised, leaving only a peaceful feeling.