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.  

Time Makes a Wine

Ardijah, Music Video, 1988

After ten years performing together, Ardijah released their debut album Take a Chance to platinum sales and a 1988 NZ Music Award for Most Promising Group. One of three Top 10 hits off the album, 'Time Makes a Wine' is punctuated by clever light direction and a bright colour palette. All the way through silhouettes, smoke and an upright bass add to the video’s visual appeal. A few questionable hairstyles aside however, it’s the bright animation, reminiscent of A-ha’s classic Take On Me video (and only a couple of years after), that proves the most eye-catching.

Out of Time

Bleeders, Music Video, 2005

Comprised of veteran players from Auckland’s punk scene, The Bleeders quickly made a name for themselves with their polished take on the then-nascent ‘post-hardcore’ sound of the early 2000s. ‘Out of Time’, a tribute to friends of the band who were killed in a car accident, was their first single for Universal. The accompanying video has singer Angelo Munro stalking the tunnels and ramps of an inner-city skate park before joining an entourage of friends, fans and hangers-on for the song’s anthemic chorus — and a poignant gesture to the heavens. 

Time

MarineVille, Music Video, 2011

When photographer John Lake offered to collaborate with Wellington band MarineVille, the song he chose was ‘Time’: a meditation on the relentless ways that time plays out in our lives taken from their third album Fowl Swoop. The resulting video, shot around the suburb of Newtown over three hours, stars drummer Greg Cairns desperately attempting to flee the inevitable march of time — only to get his comeuppance from the grim reaper, a room full of people he offended along the way (“Vitutaa” is Finnish for “We are annoyed”) and a catering pack of cream.

Talk About the Good Times

Lawrence Arabia, Music Video, 2008

A Swanndri clad Lawrence Arabia (aka James Milne) goes back to nature in this video directed by Stephen Ballantyne and shot at Arthur's Pass in Canterbury. A 60s tinged number from his first solo album, 'Talk about the Good Times' is a scathing dismissal of a former friendship anchored in an urban setting of gyms, box shaped apartments and expensive coffee. Fresh air, the bush, the wide open spaces of the river bed and Greg Chapman's Disney-esque animated animals make for a pastoral idyll to counteract the falseness and paranoia of city life.

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 on the south coast, cut with archive footage of Aotearoa activism ... as Mr Wolf watches on. The song was produced by Ian Morris. 

She's a Mod

Ray Columbus and The Invaders, Music Video, 1964

Not exactly a music video, more a prototype. This promo film clip for the Kiwi classic was taken from the band's appearance on the Aussie TV show Bandstand in 1964. It's black and white and very basic, but the band has zoot suits; high slung guitars, as was the way of the time; and all the right moves. A very young-looking Ray Columbus has the beginnings of a Beatles hair-do, and is forever captured in time doing the legendary 'mod's nod'. This was the first time a film clip of a band performing was used for promo purposes in NZ.

Message to My Girl

Split Enz, Music Video, 1984

‘Message to My Girl’ finds Split Enz in a time of transition — foreshadowed here when the Finn brothers walk past each other in opposite directions. Tim has just completed his solo album and will shortly leave, while Neil is coming into his own as the band’s new leader. The track is an unabashed love song to his wife. The accompanying video was shot in two extended takes, with the only edit obscured halfway through — and staged in what looks like a theatre set storage area. New drummer Paul Hester makes his debut but no Noel Crombie suits this time, just civvies.

F.R.E.S.H

Scribe, Music Video, 2007

The promo for F.R.E.S.H. ("Forever Rhyming Eternally Saving Hip hop") is set 'Somewhere in Canterbury' and sets off a breakneck clip: around 100 cuts in the first 60 seconds. The costuming, set changes and colour palette are dynamic; the nods to Scribe’s mainland hometown are many. How many times do you hear the director namechecked in a song? Not many. Chris Graham's sense of pace, timing and cheeky lightheartedness — there's even a coconuts-as-horse-hooves rhythm section — propel the hip hop crusader and his horsemen into the stratosphere.

The Booyeouw Shamble

The Inkling, Music Video, 2005

A drummer plays in four locations and keeps playing as he moves; and, at each, a woman is at a different stage of her life. The Booyeouw Shamble was shot in Wellington by director Sam Buys and DOP David Paul in one continuous 54 minute take. Drummer P-Hill had to follow a score taped to his snare; and each hit had to be in the correct sequence for the entire 54 minutes. In editing the footage was sped up or slowed in at least 1000 places to get the drum hits in time with the music. There were no rehearsals and there was time for only one take.