Whatsthetimemrwolf

What's the Time Mr Wolf?

Southside of Bombay, Music Video, 1991

This jaunty debut single from Wellington reggae band Southside of Bombay is as deceptive as the happy family sing-a-long it accompanied in Once Were Warriors (which turned it into a belated chart hit). Far from being a nursery rhyme, its lyrics are informed by composer and vocalist Ruia Aperahama’s Ratana religion and a belief in the clock ticking towards an end time. Cinematographer Richard Bluck’s Wellington-filmed video captures the band performing (aptly there's sax on the south coast), cut with archive footage of Aotearoa activism ... as Mr Wolf watches on. 

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Let the Children Know

Spot On Team, Music Video, 1985

This charity single, sung by Spot On presenter Ole Maiava, was made for Telethon in 1985. In the studio-shot video Maiava is supported by co-presenters Sandy Beverley on drums and Helen McGowan on maracas, backed by Eastbourne's Muritai School Choir. The song was produced by late screen composers Terry Gray (Sea Urchins and the classic 'We are the Boys' Chesdale commercial) and Rob Winch (Mark II, ‘Cruisin' on the Interislander’). The song made it to number eight in the charts. That year Telethon raised $1.5 million for the Child and Youth Development Trust.

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Let Time Be Still

Greg Johnson, Music Video, 2000

Inspired by the words of poet James K Baxter, ‘Let Time Be Still' was one of 12 songs recorded for 2000 tribute album Baxter. With help from studio whizz Joost Langeveld, Greg Johnson goes for a spare, percussive approach which puts the lyrics of Baxter's early love poem at front and centre. The video merges blue-washed images of Johnson in and around Jerusalem, with the long-haired, mokoed object of his affection. In 2010 the poem was given a more classical treatment by composer Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal.  

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Gutter Black

Hello Sailor, Music Video, 1977

Hello Sailor perform the classic single from their debut album, for TVNZ's cameras. 'Gutter Black' features what composer Dave McArtney called the band’s trademark “whiteman’s attempt to play that ska rocksteady beat” — plus the distinctive sound of amped-up drums and handclaps. 'The song was originally titled 'Sickness Benefit', with lyrics mentioning “dole bludgers living in Ponsonby” —  as revealed on a 1996 greatest hits compilation. Reconstituted as 'Gutter Black', the song took on a new lease of life as the opening theme for TV's Outrageous Fortune

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Oughta Be in Love

Dave Dobbyn, Music Video, 1986

The Footrot Flats soundtrack marked Dave Dobbyn's first steps as a solo artist. Inspired by his love of 50s crooners, 'Oughta be in Love' accompanied Wal Footrot's wooing of Cheeky Hobson (but sung, perhaps mercifully, by Dobbyn and not Footrot's voice, John Clarke). The video shows Dobbyn hard at work as a jobbing soundtrack composer on a song that has taken on a life of its own. Winner of a Silver Scroll and Single of the Year, it has become a Dobbyn classic and perennial wedding favourite (even gracing Hayden and Loretta's nuptials in Outrageous Fortune).

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Thru the Southern Moonlight

Rockinghorse, Music Video, 1974

In 1973 EMI NZ producer Alan Galbraith saddled up Rockinghorse: a supergroup of Kiwi musicians (including ‘Nature’ composer Wayne Mason) to provide session music for the label’s artists. Rockinghorse found success of their own with the third single from the Throughbred album — ‘Thru the Southern Moonlight’. It won Best Single at the 1975 RATA Awards. The band also won Best Group and their celebrations led to a year-long ban from the Lion Breweries pub circuit. Here they funk up the cowbells in a 1974 end-of-year special, for Christchurch-based music show Pop Co.

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Beautiful Skin

Strawpeople, Music Video, 1995

Vocalist Victoria Kelly is very much the focus of this moody Strawpeople video. Singing enigmatically of dreams, knives and possible obsession— and magically changing outfits off camera, in patented music vid style  she performs in a shadowy, red-lit dive for an audience that consists of Strawpeople founders Paul Casserly and Mark Tierney. Tierney left the group in 1996. Plans for Victoria Kelly to take on a bigger role in Strawpeople would be derailed by her increasingly busy career as a film composer. ‘Beautiful Skin’ was composed by Strawpeople collaborator Greg Johnson.