Garageland released their first EP, Come Back Special, in 1995; their distinctive mixture of soft and loud, raw and melodic would provide a soundtrack to the 90s for students across Aotearoa. Signed to label Flying Nun, the indie rockers from Auckland recorded three albums that went gold in New Zealand. The band spent a few years in London, and achieved moderate international success — entering England's indie charts twice, playing Reading Festival and winning positive reviews in NME and Rolling Stone. Garageland split amicably after album Scorpio Righting (2001), but have played occasional reunion gigs.
Complete with go-go dancers and psychedelic swirls, this delightfully campy video from Garageland evokes the style of 60s music shows (eg C’mon) more than the pop-punk and grunge-filled 90s from which it came. The unusually tall aspect ratio may be an allusion to the far less widescreen televisions of the past — a look abandoned in a second music video, made for the same song. The alternative video played with screens in a different way, using the same segmented-frame style that director Gina Birch refined in another Garageland promo, Feel Alright.
Band in the forest rock conventions rule, in this music promo from British video director Gina Birch (of post-punk outfit The Raincoats). Band parks their tour van in the forest; band gets out instruments, and plays song in and around (and on top of) van, and on nearby tree stumps; band clowns around and runs through the trees. It's all good natural fun, in the Flying Nun tradition of simple but effective music videos.
Stumble into a mid 1990s underground bar and a lime green room, in this early Garageland video. After singer Jeremy Eade lines up another shot, the camera moves woozily elsewhere to take in the secondhand sofas, as the band rock out. Garageland made international inroads with their spikey, sweet sound. Flying Nun's Paul McKessar remembers their popularity. “My favourite moment was the Smashing Pumpkins support at the Supertop with the whole crowd singing ‘Fingerpops’. Co-directors Peter Bell and Carla Rotondo also directed Garageland video Beelines to Heaven.
For this Garageland video, British director Gina Birch filmed the band multiple times, before dissecting the footage and reconstructing it in segments. By splitting the screen equally into 12 squares, Birch creates some unusual distortions of time and space, including one head becoming two, and mirrors being used to dazzle the camera. The video was shot in London. Birch was a founding member of British post-punk band The Raincoats; she has gone on to direct videos for New Order, The Pogues, and The Libertines.
'Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?' represents a departure — in many forms — for Garageland. In the video, the usually mild-mannered band play a strip club, surrounded by pole dancers. Directed by Myles Van Urk (creator of grunge album series The Trip), it caused quite a stir, deemed too sexually explicit for music TV, and restricted, in an edited version, to broadcast after 9:30pm. Gone is the sun-soaked pop of previous hits, replaced by bluesy guitar riffs. Garageland would soon be gone too, splitting not long after releasing the track on their final album, Scorpio Righting.
This documentary tells the story of the legendary Flying Nun music label up to its 21st birthday. The label became associated with the 'Dunedin Sound': a catch-all term for a sprawl of DIY, post-punk, warped, jangly guitar-pop. The Guardian: "[it's] as if being on the other side of the world meant the music was played upside down". Features interviews with founder Roger Shepherd and many key players, the spats and the glory. The label's influence on the US indie scene is noted, and Pavement's Stephen Malkmus covers The Verlaines' 'Death and the Maiden'.