It's a Heartache

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, Music Video, 2008

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra's version of Bonnie Tyler's wrenching 70s hit was the title track of their debut EP. In director Tim Capper's video, they manage to take the song to new levels of pathos with vocalist Andy Morley-Hall's quest for a slice of vegan apple and rhubarb tart. The location is a crowded Deluxe Cafe (where the ensemble emerged from informal Thursday morning sessions). Age Pryor contributes the solo and, amongst the group's massed ranks, there's a masked nod to absent member and Flight of the Conchord Bret McKenzie.

Stuck Here for Days

The Datsuns, Music Video, 2006

The Datsuns make international touring look so easy. Sporting a home movie look, Stuck Here For Days kicks off with a blues slide guitar riff as Dolf, Christian, Phil and Mat Datsun travel to new, exotic locations via vans and planes. A slightly sped up travelogue follows them around international cities, as the boys check into their rooms, set up their instruments and play frenzied gigs in sweaty venues and packed festivals. Look out for Dolf, cool as a cucumber, emerging from a beer fridge.

Stormy Weather

Upper Hutt Posse, Music Video, 1991

Rappers Upper Hutt Posse were the first New Zealand hip hop act to release a record (and one of the most radical). This reflection on troubles at home and abroad brings out a more reflective side. Against news footage of the Springbok Tour, Bastion Point and a host of international trouble spots, the sweet soul vocals of Teremoana Rapley and Acid Dread (aka Steve Rameka) float in and out of the raggamuffin toasting of MC Wiya (Matt Hapeta) and Dean Hapeta’s less than cheery weather forecast. This music video was one of the first to be funded by NZ on Air.

In Love

The Datsuns, Music Video, 2002

The Datsuns came roaring out of Cambridge in 2000 with a hybrid of heavy metal and garage rock that quickly earned them international attention, and a major label deal. For this single from their self-titled debut album, they acquired the services of English music video director Robert Hales (who had worked with Stone Temple Pilots and Nine Inch Nails). For this black and white, live performance video, Hales lets the band’s music and their swaggering energy do the talking (with plenty of slow motion shots to accentuate those long flowing locks).  

Don't Dream It's Over

Crowded House, Music Video, 1986

Neil Finn has described the lyric to this song as "on the one hand, feeling kind of lost and, on the other hand, sort of urging myself on". The wistful single was Crowded House's breakthrough, hitting number two in the US (and the top spot in Aotearoa, after local radio earlier showed little interest). Australian director Alex Proyas (The Crow) based his video on locations from the band members' childhoods. As Finn walks from room to room, the video also neatly reinforces the band's name. 'Don't Dream It’s Over' remains one of the biggest international hits penned by a Kiwi.

How Bizarre

OMC, Music Video, 1996

After a first video was rejected, this version directed by Lee Baker was finished just as ‘How Bizarre’ went to number one in NZ. However, it did play its part internationally as the song became a huge worldwide hit. Shot on a soundstage in Ponsonby and at Ellerslie Racecourse for a budget of $7,000, it was shown on US networks 14,986 times in 1997 and 1998. Pauly Fuemana shares the limelight with Sina Siapia, and a Filipino named Hill, who was enlisted after turning up to help out with the shoot – and became something of a celebrity in his homeland as a result.

Pulsing

The Body Electric, Music Video, 1982

Shot in the same year he became producer of Radio With Pictures, Brent Hansen created this gem before going on to become Editor-in-Chief and President of Creative for MTV International. Like a cross between a Kraftwerk gig and an early episode of Dr Who, Pulsing features what must have been particularly exciting special effects, but sadly arrives curiously free of content warnings. The sight of ex-Play School host Tim Bartlett being aurally tortured has lined psychiatrists' pockets for decades.

The Best for You

Age Pryor, Music Video, 2004

Mixing nostalgic home movie style footage with images of Age Pryor looking slightly melancholic, this video dates from the singer's second solo release, City Chorus, released in 2003. Pryor went on to co-found the Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra, and contribute songs and vocals to ensemble album The Woolshed Sessions. 

Fingerpops

Garageland, Music Video, 1996

Stumble into a mid 1990s underground bar and a lime green room, in this early Garageland video. After singer Jeremy Eade lines up another shot, the camera moves woozily elsewhere to take in the secondhand sofas, as the band rock out. Garageland made international inroads with their spikey, sweet sound. Flying Nun's Paul McKessar remembers their popularity. “My favourite moment was the Smashing Pumpkins support at the Supertop with the whole crowd singing ‘Fingerpops’. Co-directors Peter Bell and Carla Rotondo also directed Garageland video Beelines to Heaven.

Simply on My Lips

Kimbra, Music Video, 2007

Kimbra's second single, the jazz inflected 'Simply on my Lips', was recorded when the future pop star was 16 and still at school. The starkly simple black and white video was directed and animated by Joel Kefali (later one half of award-winning video team Special Problems). It placed Kimbra with her guitar in the corner of a room, whose walls became a canvas for Kefali's line drawings. The result won the Best Breakthrough category at the 2007 Juice TV awards. Within months, Kimbra had signed an international management contract and relocated to Melbourne.