Fly My Pretties is a musical collaboration put together by Barnaby Weir of the Black Seeds. The all-star outfit - who come together for live performances - has included members of the Phoenix Foundation, Fat Freddys Drop and Paselode. The group began as a one-off project - a sellout multimedia show performed, filmed and recorded over four nights at Bats Theatre in Wellington in 2004, which was released as a live album and DVD. The one-off nature of the project has expanded nationwide to equally well-received shows.
This black and white performance music video is taken from debut album Live at Bats (2004), back when the plan was for the Fly My Pretties ensemble to be a one-off project. Written and sung by Age Pryor — with vocal help from Tessa Rain — the gentle folk song is enhanced by simple but effective shooting, and attentive use of split-screen editing. The track was recorded in Wellington's Bats Theatre.
A live performance music video taken from the highly acclaimed Live at Bats album. Fly My Pretties creative director Barnaby Weir is out front in this one. The not-quite-black-and-white video treatment works well for the feel of the song and the elegant and atmospheric Fly My Pretties sound.
A live performance music video taken from the highly acclaimed Live at Bats album. Simply but stylishly shot and edited, this clip suits the moody style of this folk rock song from Fly My Pretties creative director Barnaby Weir.
This short film follows a teenage hitchhiker (Aaron McGregor) in search of his birth mother. The apprehension of the journey is heightened when he gets picked up by a mean-looking Māori (Calvin Tuteao) with a swastika tattooed on his face. The boy's great expectations wind up being realised in different ways than he might have imagined. The dramatic debut from actor-director Matthew Saville, Hitch Hike thumbed a ride to international festivals, from Tampere to Durban; the “emotionally engaging” film was selected for website Short of the Week in August 2014.
This collection rounds up almost every music video for a number one hit by a Kiwi artist; everything from ballads to hip hop to glam rock. Press on the images below to find the hits for each decade — plus try this backgrounder by Michael Higgins, whose high speed history of local hits touches on the sometimes questionable ways past charts were created.
The Black Seeds are key flagbearers for the downbeat Wellington sound, thanks to the unique fusion of dub, reggae and funk they're been pushing out since 1998. Led by singer Barnaby Weir (Fly My Pretties), the Wellington collective's line-up has included keyboardist Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords) and drummer Rich Christie. Dub-pop tunes like 'Keep on Pushing' and 'Something So True' have helped The Black Seeds become favourites on the local summer tour circuit, and they've taken their southern soul on several international tours. En route, two of their five studio albums have topped the New Zealand charts.
Age Pryor is a Wellington-based multi-instrumentalist known for his association with creative collective Fly My Pretties, and for his own solo work. Pryor's recordings include collaborations with Wellington musical luminaries from Fat Freddys Drop, Trinity Roots, The Black Seeds and Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra. His musical style blends folk, groove, funk, rock and reggae.
Northern English transplant Paul McLaney has released several solo albums and collaborated with artists from Fly My Pretties to SJD and Anika Moa; Gramsci is the band moniker of the genre-crossing singer-songwriter, whose constant in his travels has been his guitar. “I’d wake up, play guitar. Have breakfast, play guitar. Go to school, play it some more and during lunch, then I’d come home. Play more guitar.” Gramsci has spawned the electronica-infused folk pop of Permanence (2000) and Object (2002), and the epic guitar rock of Like Stray Voltage (2005).
The Listener called the kids music of Fatcat & Fishface “like Tom Waits’ toy cupboard. The perfect antidote to Barney”. This ditty (from 2004’s Pretty Ugly album) came from a collaboration with the Department of Conservation and bypasses the cuddly usual suspects — kiwi etc — to celebrate the unlikely charms of the bat fly. The blind, flightless fly lives symbiotically on the native short-tailed bat: “So what if I like guano … I like it for a snack / There’s nothing like guano … from a bat!” The stop motion animation by Carlos Wedde is suitably Tim Burton-esque.