The Beatles, Hendrix, The White Stripes, Cat Power, Aretha...popular music is strewn with acts for whom a cover song has proven no compromise to credibility. This collection proves that popular music in New Zealand is no different. Alongside chart toppers from The Holidaymakers, Tex Pistol and cover queens When the Cat's Away, Crummer does Clapton, Jon Steven goes slightly Jamaican, Head Like a Hole do Springsteen — and 'Nature' and 'Shoop Shoop' get soome added guitars.
This film documents the influential 1979 New Zealand tour of a black theatre group from London arts centre Keskidee. They visit marae, perform at The Gluepot, prisons and youth centres; meet gang members, Ratana ministers and a young Tame Iti; and korero about roots and fights for rights. The made-for-TV film was directed by Merata Mita and Martyn Sanderson. On the tour Sanderson met his future wife, Kenyan actor Wanjiku Kairie. Tour instigator Denis O’Reilly argued in 2009 that the doco is “full of insights at a time of huge social and cultural shifts in Aotearoa.”
Katchafire developed their roots reggae sound as a Bob Marley tribute band in the 90s - under a Waikato ponga tree rather than a Jamaican palm frond; and the seven-piece have gigged extensively, on and off-island, earning a reputation for the accessible revivalist euphoria of their live shows. 'Giddy Up' (from the band's debut album Revival) was NZ's highest-selling single in 2003, while follow ups, Slow Burning (2005) and Say What You're Thinking (2007), established Katchafire as reigning Kiwi kings of reggae.
Mid 90s hip hop act Joint Force was a brief collaboration featuring MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave (aka Mark 'Slave' Williams and Otis Frizzell) and Darryl 'DLT' Thompson with production by silent partner Angus McNaughton. The alliance arose after Williams and Frizzell began looking for a full-time DJ. They found one in Thompson who had parted ways with Upper Hutt Posse. One Inch Punch, their debut eight track EP, added Jamaican dub and dancehall influences to their hip hop beats and rhymes and featured a remix from Beasties Boys producer Mario Caldato.
In this Mo’ Show edition Mark Williams and Otis Frizzell explore Kingston, Jamaica with their tour guide — poet and singer Italee (an appearance that led to her being cast in a series of NZ rum TV adverts). She introduces them to reggae stars Luciano, Dean Fraser and Buju Banton (who, like any good scientist, refuses to disclose the secrets of his work); and a visit to Hellshire Beach allows them to sample its celebrated (and dangerous-looking) Jamaican style fried fish and pastry. After watching Italee perform in a club, the pair take to the stage themselves.
Reporter, musician and most importantly music fan, Dylan Taite can be fairly claimed as the man who brought some of the most left field musical talent to prime-time TV. Some of his interviews are legendary — others, like his sit-down with reggae legend Bob Marley, historically important. All were done with an eye for invention, a sharp turn of phrase and a touch of eccentricity that made his reports a must-see for music fans.