We Gon Ride

Dei Hamo, Music Video, 2003

Director Chris Graham delivers five minutes of cars, comedy and eye candy in this slick who's who of the 2003 Kiwi scene. Featuring DJ Sir-Vere, VJ Jane Yee, ex sports star Matthew Ridge and Paul Holmes (well actually he was a no show — but his understudy made an appearance), the clip succeeded in planting a relatively unknown hip hop artist squarely on the front page. The result was the biggest selling Kiwi single of the year (it went platinum, and spent five weeks at number one). Named Best Video at the 2005 NZ Music Awards, it cost at least $50,000 to make. 

Rumba

The L.E.D.s, Music Video, 2006

Winner of Best Video at the Undertheradar 2007 People's Choice Music Awards, the clip could be seen as director Daniel Batkin-Smith's subtle nod to early Flying Nun work (featuring bike riding, a cat, kitchen-ware, walking on a beach and a baby.)   "We liked Dan so much we asked him to join the band after he shot the clip. And he did! I was reminded how much more fun it is to ride a bike without a helmet. I really miss that." Blair Parkes - March 09 

It's On (Move to This)

3 The Hard Way, Music Video, 2003

Set in cowboy bar/truckstop 'The Cask Cleaver Rodeo Restaurant and Cabaret' and opening with a woman riding a mechanical bull, this clip is classier than a Kylie Minogue lingerie commercial. Minogue's people obviously drew the line at drunken bar room brawls complete with smashing glassware and a stage cage. Later the partying moves to a limousine. James Barr's clip is simple yet slick, and lit with a warm golden palette. Even the violent bar brawl seems somehow mellow.

La La Lulu

The Exponents / The Dance Exponents, Music Video, 1995

In the early 90s Australian David Barraclough joined The Exponents as a guitarist and songwriting partner for singer Jordan Luck. ‘La La Lulu’ was one of the results. Directed by Mark Tierney, the video sees the band – besuited a la Reservoir Dogs – hard rocking in a studio then driving around a quarry, before tagging and demolishing their ride. It borrows a graphic style from US conceptual artist Barbara Kruger, flashing slogans like ‘online erotic’ over the band. ‘Lulu’ got to 13 in the NZ charts, and would be the band's final single to break the top 20.

Cruise Control

Headless Chickens, Music Video, 1993

‘Cruise Control’ is one of the Headless Chicken’s most poppy and accessible songs, and became a hit in New Zealand, and (in remixed form), in Australia. This studio shot promo, for the ‘Eskimos in Egypt’ remix, has Fiona McDonald and the Chickens packed into a touring car cruising to old school rear projected nighttime cityscapes. It’s dark and moody: a wry touch of Hollywood glamour mixed with early 90s Auckland - dated by Knight Rider, bling and brick-sized mobile phones.

Bad Note for a Heart

Straitjacket Fits, Music Video, 1990

Filmed at Bethells Beach and in a tunnel somewhere in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie, this award-winning video from future Whale Rider director Niki Caro traces a sea nymph, a beating heart and an elderly gentleman's struggle with his hat. Clearly reluctant to move into the 90s, the eternally rock Shayne Carter looks splendid in dark eye shadow — a look he later told RipItUp was "definitely a low point in rock". Bad Note for a Heart was judged best music video at the 1990 New Zealand Music Awards.

One Black Friday

The Mockers, Music Video, 1985

The Mockers were at the peak of their mid-80s pop prowess when they released this single. It originated with Andrew Fagan’s Wellington based co-writer Gary Curtis hearing reports of the 1984 Queen Street riot in Auckland (after an outdoor concert which had featured The Mockers). The music video places the band amongst the lions, acrobats, rides and sideshows of the now defunct Whirling Brothers Circus (set up in Victoria Park in inner city Auckland). Fagan is resplendent in a velvet frock coat with lace cuffs, black choker and matching nail polish.

Black Widow

Chong-Nee, Music Video, 2006

This Chong-Nee music video pays tribute to a young pole dancer who is a "master of her game". Skater turned TV presenter (Target) and nightclub operator (The Pony Club) Brooke Howard-Smith plays a fan paying for a visit, while Dei Hamo grabs a comfortable seat nearby to provide guest vocals. Musician and producer John Chong-Nee had collaborated with Dei Hamo before this track — the pair worked together on 'We Gon Ride', which topped the Kiwi singles charts for five weeks in late 2004.

Culture?

The Knobz, Music Video, 1980

In the tradition of novelty songs, ‘Culture?’ was catchy to the point of contagion. Fuelled by carnival keyboards, it was The Knobz response to Prime Minister Rob Muldoon’s refusal to lift a 40% sales tax on recorded music (originally instituted by Labour in 1975), and Muldoon's typically blunt verdict on the cultural merits of pop music (“horrible”). The giddy, hyperactive video comes complete with Muldoon impersonator (Danny Faye), and casts the band as the song’s 'Beehive Boys'. In the backgrounder, Mike Alexander writes about his time as the band's manager.