A new video for “The Listening Times,” directed by the magnificent Simon Ward.
Over Easter, we performed and filmed a concert of my new album The Sparrow from start to finish at Whangateau Hall. The hall’s about an hour north of Auckland, situated on a rugby league/cricket field right beside the tidal Whangateau Harbour. Idyllic as hell.
Mr Ian Joseph Hughes, who demands to be referred to by his full name, helmed the whole directorial process with great aptitude and gusto. The band consisted of myself, Hayden Eastmond-Mein, Alistair Deverick, Andrew Keoghan, Tom Watson, William Pollard, Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper, Veronica Dale, Iselta Allison and Rachel Wells. It was a really nice night.
From this footage Mr Hughes has cut a traditional Music Video for Travelling Shoes, the first single from The Sparrow which can be downloaded for free here.
Auckland, you cruel bitch. This is another Jensen Downes Picture Company joint.
Directed by Stephen Ballantyne, and produced by Jensen Downes Picture Co., this video is a tribute to the golden age of New Zealand politics, the Muldoon era, 1975-84, and a campaign video for the Lawrence Party , the only NZ political organisation of the present day to aspire to the megalomaniacal ideals and frankly pheromonal political decision making of this period.
Defined by the Think Big projects, the pseudo-FDR-esque response to the serious economic crisis that was precipitated by Britain’s membership of the EEC, and further exacerbated by the energy crisis of 1979, this era was also distinguished by the charismatic, uncompromising leadership of Robert Muldoon, and a preponderance of awesome brown suits.
This video was filmed at my old flat in Grey Lynn in 2006. Best thing about it was getting to go to Bunning’s Warehouse on the Shore to buy crappy halogen lights etc. A rare opportunity for Steve and I to indulge our alpha-male hardware shopping fantasies.
For some reason, even though I’m an incredibly impractical person, awkward with manual tasks, and invariably frustrated to the point of destroying the very hypothetical object I’m trying to fix, I love hardware stores. I really love hose fixtures, I love the feeling of the dense rubber on hammer and screwdriver handles, and the way these heavy rubber handles somehow balance the weight of the tool end itself. Some of the generous sized aisles fit only a few wheelbarrows, watering implements and large plant pots. These items need space, to appreciate the full practical impact they will have on your life, to imagine them gleaming on your lawn, overflowing with clippings and cabbage tree leaves. Everything smells of a strange combination of potting mix, paint, rubber compounds and lightly greased stainless steel. The look and implied texture of the polished concrete floors, encased like Han Solo in Carbonite.
There’s men all around; real men, with sons, and repressed urges re-directed into large and intimidating utes, which they fill with bamboo stakes and twenty kilo bags of blood and bone, and 10 three metre lengths of 4×2, and some Gib. And their sons push the oversized trundlers around the shiny epic wonderland, riding with the bottom of their ribs wedged against the handles of the trundlers, like flying, but then holding back the play instinct just slightly, in acknowlegement of the manly responsibility that has been granted them in pushing the wiry vehicle. This is an integral part of a task that is imbued with deep, mystical significance, that stretches right back to the vague and unseemly circumstances of the boy’s creation.