When Dunedin's iconic Sneaky Feelings met its demise in the late 1980s, frontman Matthew Bannister founded folk-pop act Dribbling Darts Of Love (later known as Dribbling Darts). Bringing Alice Bulmer and Alan Gregg on board, the trio released their first album, Florid Dabblers Voting/Shoot in 1991. The group's second album, Present Perfect - featuring top 40 hit 'Hey Judith' (1994) - enlisted former Sneaky Feelings drummer Ross Burge, who was playing with Gregg in the Mutton Birds at the time.
Shot in and around Auckland, Karyn Hay's gorgeously colourful clip follows two love birds and their associated entourage - a female body builder, a Ken doll and a punk. Although not officially in the band, Andrew Fagan appears twice in the video, once as a hooded mugger, and again as the drummer, identity concealed with a paper bag. "One of my favourite scenes is the red lipstick on the kissing booth." Karyn Hay, May 09
This 1960 tourism film, produced by the National Film Unit, is aimed at a particular market niche: hunter holidaymakers. It follows a visitor from Omaha, USA, ‘JD’, who flies down to the “land of countless deer”: Dart Valley in the Southern Alps. A folk song extols the joys of answering the call of the wild — “The very best thing for a man: To hunt and fish and sleep out of doors, eat his tucker where he can” — as JD and his guide climb via bird-filled beech forest onto scree slopes to nab a 14-point stag; before a ciggie on the ridge and a squiz at the scenery.
This Kiwi neighbours at war ‘dramedy’ pitted the Rush family — newly arrived in Ponsonby —against the Shorts, who are long-time renters next door. Arthur Short (Patrick Wilson) is a Kiwi battler solo Dad, with two teenage daughters; Dimity Rush (Danielle Cormack) the right wing HR manager whose partner is an anaesthetist, with two teen sons. In this first episode, Dimity aspires to climb the property ladder by scheming to get the Shorts’ house as an investment doer-upper. The satire of gentrification screened on TV One on Friday nights. The cast includes Rose McIvor (iZombie).
The Wellington region is the focus of this 1958 edition in the long-running NFU series. The newsreel shows the rapidly developing town of Porirua, where farmland is being converted into state housing. Meanwhile in Taita the Hutt Valley Youth club provides entertainment for bored young people on Sunday afternoons. Highland dancing vies with skiffle and rock and roll, and Elvis-style quiffs date the teen spirit. Such clubs were set up after the 1954 Mazengarb inquiry into juvenile delinquency. And at Athletic Park a classic All Black line-up wallops the Wallabies 25-3.
Manapōuri hydroelectric power station is New Zealand’s largest. This 1970 NFU film — made for the Electricity Department — follows workers clearing a path for power through epic Fiordland mountains and rainforest, building roads and power pylons, and stringing a cable along the “hard and dirty” 30 miles to the aluminium smelter at Bluff. Sixteen men were killed constructing ‘the line’ before power was first generated in 1969. At the same time the scheme generated mass protests (the ‘Save Manapōuri’ campaign) at the proposal to raise Lake Manapōuri's level.
This 1968 Looking at New Zealand episode travels to NZ’s third-largest island: Stewart Island/Rakiura. The history of the people who've faced the “raging southerlies” ranges from Norwegian whalers to the 400-odd modern folk drawn there by a self-reliant way of life. Mod-cons (phone, TV) alleviate the isolation, and the post office, store, wharf and pub are hubs. The booming industry is crayfish and cod fishing (an old mariner wisely feeds an albatross); and the arrival of tourists to enjoy the native birds and wildness anticipates future prospects for the island.
Formed in the early 1980s and led by Matthew Bannister, Sneaky Feelings' seminal jangly guitar sound and layered vocals were influenced by the Byrds and the Beatles. The band's name comes from a song by Elvis Costello, ‘Sneaky Feelings’, (from his 1977 debut album My Aim Is True). Feeling's biggest hit was 1985 single ‘Husband House’. After the demise of the band in 1989, Bannister moved to Auckland where he founded the Dribbling Darts. He also wrote a book about his experiences during the heyday of Flying Nun - Positively George Street.
Sam Neill narrates this documentary plotting the career of one of Aotearoa's most successful bands: from formation by Mike Chunn, Phil Judd and Tim Finn at Auckland University in 1971 to their demise in 1984, when Neil Finn walked away. The major players talk freely about good times and bad — art rock, the wayward genius of Judd (including a rare interview), Noel Crombie’s spoon playing and costume design, hard times in England and the punk backlash, the big pop hits after Neil joined, Tim’s solo album, an obsession with paper darts, and the pre-gig ritual of One For One.
Rock'n'roll couple Karyn Hay and Andrew Fagan have both had long and varied careers in New Zealand music and media. They have been night-time hosts on Radio Live, but Fagan spent many years as the lead singer of pop band The Mockers, and Hay was the long-time host of iconic music show Radio with Pictures. Hay and Fagan are also both published authors.