Mercury Lane - Series One, Episode 13

Television, 2001 (Full Length Episode)

This 2001 Mercury Lane episode is based around pieces on author Maurice Shadbolt, and OMC producer Alan Jansson. With Shadbolt ailing from Alzheimer’s, Michelle Bracey surveys his life as an “unauthorised author” (Shadbolt would die in 2004). Next Colin Hogg reveals Jansson as the “invisible pop star” behind OMC hit ‘How Bizarre’ and more. The show is bookended by readings from Kiwi poets: Hone Tuwhare riffs on Miles Davis, Fleur Adcock reads the saucy Bed and Breakfast, and Alistair Te Ariki Campbell mourns a brother who fought for the Māori Battalion.

Artist

Zowie

Zowie is a musical persona created by Zoey Fleury (daughter of Auckland musician Johnny Fleury). A drummer from childhood, she formed lo-fi punk duo The Bengal Lights while at music school in 2006. Two years later, a growing interest in singing and drum machines saw her reinvent herself as the electro-pop inspired Bionic Pixie. Growing in confidence while writing music overseas, she relaunched herself in 2010 as Zowie. Signed with Sony, she won media attention after playing at US festival South by Southwest. Album Love Demoiition followed in 2012. Fleury's next release will likely involve further reinvention. 

The One

The Exiles, Music Video, 2006

Energetic and highly stylised, this clip was one of the few made for band The Exiles before they morphed into Schoool of Birds. Exiles co-founder Sean Sturm (Eye TV) has provided clues to the videos many inspirations: [1927 movie] "Metropolis, Tim Burton's first short film Vincent, the colour red, and the idea of desiring machines. Our mate Steve from the Misfits of Science sat in on drums and we CGI-ed our drummer Graham Cope in later (shh!)." The video was directed by Luke Sharpe (award-winning video Nesian 101), who later produced horror movie Housebound.

Artist

The L.E.D.s

Harking back to early New Zealand electronica (e.g. Body Electric) The L.E.D.s programme is to synthesise music made by man and machine. Evolving from the group Thomas:Parkes, the synth-popsters made their grand entrance in 2007 with the samples, blips, beats and beeps fuelled debut "... We Are The L.E.D.s", via a home pressing in Christchurch. The critically acclaimed release was followed in 2008 with Still, described by the band as "harder, faster, better, stronger and simply more - more synth, more bass, more drums".

One Will Hear the Other

Shihad, Music Video, 2008

'One Will Hear the Other’ offers all the trademarks of a Shihad classic — epic guitars, driving drums and a chorus tailor-made for joining in at one of the band’s legendary live shows. Directed by Australian Toby Angwin, and shot in Shihad’s then hometown of Melbourne, the video features performance footage of the group projected on to central city buildings, alongside a narrative implying this is the work of a group of guerilla street artists. The song was the lead single from 2008’s Beautiful Machine album, which debuted at number one on the New Zealand Top 40 chart. 

Stephen McCurdy

Composer

Composer Stephen McCurdy's screen music has crossed the gamut — from jazz, chamber pieces, rock, and pop, to the faux Peggy Lee song which opened each episode of 80s soap Gloss. McCurdy won NZ Film Awards for his scores to Came a Hot Friday and The End of the Golden Weather

Claude Wickstead

Sound

Claude Wickstead started working at the Government Film Studios in 1938. After serving in WWll, he joined the National Film Unit’s sound department, where he contributed to the soundtracks of a great many films including the long-running series Weekly Review and Pictorial Parade. He was in charge of the NFU Sound Department from 1951 until his retirement in 1977.

Andy Anderson

Actor, Musician

Andy Anderson began drumming and singing as a Hutt Valley teenager. Since then his diverse trans-Tasman performing career has included playing in rock bands, starring as Sweeney Todd and the Pirate King on-stage — plus more than 50 acting roles on-screen, often playing rogues and diamonds in the rough, in shows from Roche, Gloss and Marlin Bay, to The Sullivans.

John Clarke

Comedian, Writer, Actor

One of the funniest people on either side of the Tasman, John Clarke’s brand of droll wit (always delivered with a wickedly understated authenticity) defined the high-water mark of Kiwi and Australian comedy for 30 years. Spawned in the early 70s, his gumboot-clad character Fred Dagg marked a defining moment in the development of New Zealand comedy. Clarke passed away on 9 April 2017.