Yesterday was Just the Beginning of My Life

Mark Williams, Music Video, 1981

This was the song that rocketed Mark Williams to fame, and the top of the New Zealand charts. The accompanying album became the biggest selling local pop/rock release of the 70s. Williams has described how Kiwis reacted to him with "either absolute adoration or absolute disgust". Having relocating to calmer climes in Australia, he returned to Wellington in 1981 and recorded a live TV special — from which this version is taken. On first hearing the demo, Williams was not impressed; but the song transformed after the call was made during recording to "swing it a bit".

Man on My Left

Betchadupa, Music Video, 2001

Filmed in guitarist Chris Garland’s warehouse apartment, this video for the single from Betchadupa’s second EP dryly subverts the generic “band-rocks-the-party” template, with the addition of a jaded audience member doing a running commentary on Liam Finn and company’s efforts — his complaints subtitled over the punky, effervescent din of course. The clip marks an early directorial turn from Gerald Phillips, the reclusive figure behind legendary electronic act Phelps & Munro.

Clav Dub

Rhombus, Music Video, 2002

Wellington dub/roots act Rhombus won fans with this video for the brassy, bouncy, self referential first single from their debut album ‘Bass Player’. Director Chris Graham pays fulsome tribute to classic road movie Goodbye Pork Pie (complete with cameo from the film’s star, original 'Blondini' Kelly Johnson). There are also appearances from a number of Wellington musical heavyweights, including Fat Freddy’s Drop, Trinity Roots (with a snatch of ‘Little Things’) and MC Rizzla, also known as Tiki Taane (who features on the original track).

One and Only

Deep Obsession, Music Video, 1999

Deep Obsession flared brightly but briefly in the late 90s, releasing a string of Eurodance songs. They are the one and only act to manage three consecutive number ones on the Kiwi music charts. ‘One and Only’ was the third, released after group founder Chris Banks had left the group. That left singers Zara Clark and Vanessa Kelly to get viewers primed for the dance floor. Impeccable music video logic sees the singers clinging to watery fluorescent-lit walls and overseeing a room of fishbowls. An alternative video for the song featured scenes in a desert and underwater.

Doctor I Like Your Medicine

Coup D'Etat, Music Video, 1980

Coup D'Etat were a short-lived band featuring Harry Lyon (during a Hello Sailor sabbatical) and Jan Preston (from travelling theatre act Red Mole). The band's second single is an ode to "the dangers of having too much fun". The bright, breezy number was written by Lyon, with the familiar Ponsonby reggae beat favoured by Hello Sailor. Peaking at nine on the charts, it won Best Single at the 1981 NZ Music Awards. The pedestrians in Leon Narbey’s video are near Auckland's Civic Theatre on Queen Street. In the same period, Narbey shot the short film of the same name.

Donde Esta La Pollo

Headless Chickens, Music Video, 1992

Headless Chickens were a rogue electronic act on the traditionally guitar-dominated Flying Nun label, so it makes sense that this Chickens video would be equally outlandish. Inspired by both the Mexican Day of the Dead and Eastern European circus traditions, it has the band dressed as gypsies, beckoning us towards the chaotic carnival which they inhabit. Accompanying the band are a brigade of performers, including knife throwers and stilt walkers, only adding to the surreal feel.

Beers

Deja Voodoo , Music Video, 2004

Life imitated art when Matt Heath and Chris Stapp transformed their Back of the Y house band into a real act. Here they make a determined bid to wrest the drinking anthem crown away from Th’Dudes’ Bliss with their own ode to the amber liquid. Heath and Stapp’s video takes the tribute to the six pack from pained conception through live performance to post gig acoustic sing-along by way of a hail of beer cans. It’s also a chance to revisit tried and true Back of the Y favourites: from flaming helmets and wrestling masks to dodgy stunts and pyrotechnics. 

O'Baby

Charlie ASH, Music Video, 2006

Winning Best Overall Video at the 2006 Radio Active Handle the Jandal Music Video Awards, Charlie ASH certainly made a splash with their debut video by director Sally Tran. The delightfully ramshackle clip for the raunchy number channels the DIY fantasy spirit of Michel Gondry as Rosie Riggir and the band inhabit a CASH-in-wonderland world of cardboard and cellophane sets, animation and colour. Caution: contains fondling of oversized instruments. 

Girlfriend

Streets of Laredo, Music Video, 2012

Dave Gibson (ex-Elemeno P) formed this indie-folk family act with his brother and wife. Now based in New York, they share centre stage with their new home in this hyperactive video for their debut single. As daily life in the Big Apple rushes past them, they busk the city’s streets and landmarks apparently unmoved by the commotion (but twitching slightly). There are unscripted cameos from a scene-hogging Batman and a courier van that gets a little too close, but the award for best supporting actor goes to a seemingly endless bottle of orange soda pop.  

Melting Pot

When The Cat's Away, Music Video, 1988

This big, bright cover of British act Blue Mink's plea for multi-racial harmony and a world of "coffee coloured people" was a chart-topper for all female vocal group When the Cat's Away in November 1988. The self-produced video is heavy on 80s fluoro colours and overexposed whites, while the placement of the Cats around a single mic affords them plenty of chances to interact and enjoy each other's company (they're also seen out and about on Karangahape Road, and at a rugby league test). This cat video before cat videos overran the internet includes an actual cat.