Friday, December 23, 2011

Picassos in NZ Musician

Harold and I had a good old yarn with Mark Bell for NZ Musician recently, the print edition is out now (click to enlarge to a more readable size). Will add text when they chuck it online.

Thanks to everyone who supported our reissue collection, we really appreciate it. It's been really satisfying for us seeing people reconnect with our music, and seeing young folk discover it for the first time. The 20-odd years of music that has happened since we made these recordings gives what we were doing more context. In short, a lot more people get what we were doing, now that crossover of genres is widespread.

And it's been great hearing from our old fans, catching up with them and talking over old times. Trying to describe the music scene back then has been kinda hard, but its all still there, in my head.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

NZ Musician review

HALLELUJAH PICASSOS: Rewind The Hateman. By Simon Sweetman.

"This is an important document. For all the talk of New Zealand music – as a genre, or ideal – there really are not that many unique, innovative bands. Hallelujah Picassos created their music from an international brief – sure – taking hints from hardcore and punk, from dub and reggae, casting the net far and wide – but it was certainly a shot of energy to the local music scene. 

The group’s live performances were exciting, unpredictable – and the music has, for the last decade and a half, all but disappeared. Unfortunately the punk/hardcore material does sound a bit dated, but the reggae-tinged songs still sound fresh, rewarding. There’s a lot to take in here and though, stylistically, it can feel like it’s all over the place, it’s nice to have it all in one place. 

I’ve been enjoying cherry-picking from it; reminding myself that, at their best, this was one hell of a band." 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Radio radio

Nick Bollinger of National Radio  interviewed me recently on the Picassos reissue, the interview was broadcast on Saturday, and repeats this Tuesday night. Listen to it online here....

Also, read Auckland Public Library's Kelly Sheehan, reminiscing about the Picassos.
Excerpt... "It is too easy to characterize the Picasso’s sound by just piling musical genres on top of one another. Punky- reggae-surf-guitar-funk go the lazy lines. Really, what they played was Picasso Core and it needed to be experienced live because it was not only genre. It was pace and frenzy and the band changing on a dime. It was Bobbylon’s buoyant vocal thrown hard up against Roland harsh growl, with room still for Peter’s plaintive pop. It was the fact the band had a sense of humor that showed on their recordings and live shows. It was the speeding up and the slowing down. It was the pandemonium on the stage and the mayhem in the audience. Most of all, Picasso Core was fun..."

Andrew Dubber reviewed Rewind The Hateman on his music blog...
"Apart from all that jazz I was listening to at the time, the Picassos were the sound of Auckland in the 1990s for me. This retrospective compilation brings together so much of their brilliant work. Track 11, ‘Rewind’ was the big hit (turn it up loud to see why). Reggae/punk/funk/ska/thrash/pop from the early days of NZ’s alternative café bohemian society. I’d say “you had to be there” – but you didn’t. It’s still great."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hello Brizzy

In October, I got an email from John O'Brien, a journalist who works for Brisbane paper the Courier Mail. He was an old fan, and it turns out he does an annual Google search fro Hallelujah Picassos, and discovered the reissue. I sent him a digital promo copy, and low and behold, he reviewed it in the Courier Mail at the weekend. Thanks heaps!

Volume review

Review by Joe Nunweek, Volume Magazine

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 5

Let's face it, lists are fun. I got asked to do a Top 5 list for Volume magazine, and slipped in a plug for the Picassos - Rewind the Hateman collection.  I came up with this list.. unfortunately Volume doesn't have space for pics, so I've added them in...

Top Five Cheesy Album Covers

Herb Alpert - Whipped cream and other delights
The king of cheesy covers. Super-sexy Dolores Erickson covered in cream, which was mostly shaving foam [and she was 4 months pregnant at the time].

O'Donel Levy - Everything I do gonna be funky
The title tells you all you need to know about this record. Almost everything. Seen the cover?

Herbie Mann - Push push
Guys who played jazz flute in the 70s liked posing shirtless.

Count Basie - E=MC2
there’s a weird bunch of records that came out in the 50s and 60s that thought they would sell by putting a picture of an atomic bomb exploding on the cover.

Bo Diddley - Big Bad Bo
The legendary Mr Diddley on a chopper, on loan from the Hells Angels. Kickass.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

From Sunday Star TImes writer Mike Alexander - On The Beat column...

Hallelujah for the encore?

Almost 15 years after they officially disbanded, Auckland-based Hallelujah Picassos have released a career retrospective?

So why now?

"We've been talking, for about four years now, about getting our music back in circulation," says founding member Peter McLennan.

"It has largely been unavailable for nearly 20 years and, over that period, I've been asked numerous times by fans about where they can get our CDs. There is so much great NZ music, from even just the past 20 years, that has disappeared and we wanted to bring back our part of that.

"I know there's a lot of hype around Flying Nun's 30th anniversary but they weren't the only thing happening in the 90s. I think it's important to remind people of that."

There's even talk of another Hallelujah Picassos reunion gig (they last played as the support for Asian Dub Foundation at the Powerstation in Auckland in 2000).

"As always with the Picassos, expect the unexpected," McLennan says. "No plans to tour. I have no great desire to leave the house - I am too comfortable!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Picassos on The Joint

Picasso Core! God bless the Hallelujah Picassos. From The Joint radio show, RDU, Christchurch. Cheers, fellas.

"... First time I ever heard the Hallelujah Picassos was in 1989 on UFM (formerly Radio U and now RDU) with their track “Clap your hands”. Loved it so much I went out and bought the Pagan Records “Positive Vibrations” compilation.

At the time, with a lyric like “…clap your hands for Jesus…” I did wonder if they were a Christian band trying to put the “fun” back into “Christian Fundamentalism”, but a closer listen to the lyrics revealed that they probably weren’t.

The Hallelujah Picassos were active from 1988 through to 1996, and like contemporaries Salmonella Dub, Supergroove, and Head Like A Hole amongst others, brought some much needed colour to the local music scene.

I loved the Picassos because they crossed genres (garage, pop, reggae, dub), could be light and dark, and sounded like they were having a blast.

“Rewind the Hatemen” ... still sounds quite fresh. “Black Space Picasso Core” is still nutty sampledelic, “Bastardiser” still garage rocks, “Hello Pablo” still has sweet melodica action, and “Shivers” is still The Bats / Able Tasmans collaboration that never happened..."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Graham Reid's review

From "In one of the liner note essays here Ross Cunningham says when he first got a copy of Auckland band Hallelujah Picassos debut album Hateman in Love he kept playing it because "it sounded like a compilation".

I always felt the same.

Cunningham says he came to them through hip-hop, I'd heard them from the reggae direction but, again as Cunningham notes, when you saw them live you "believed them". Up there on the small stages they played, they gave it all in the manner of an angry rock band.

And Lisa van der Aarde, formerly of bFM, says in her notes she enjoyed them because she'd always been a fan of garage music. Simon Grigg calls them "happy misfits" and says it was "both exhilarating and exhausting to be in their presence".

I always assumed you could still get their albums and CD singles simply because I had them and used to play random tracks on my radio show. But apparently they've all been out of print, which makes this cleverly programmed compilation brought together by the band's Peter McLennan (aka Dub Asylum) more than just interesting but essential.

Hard to believe there is a generation or two which have never heard the Picassos.

Emphasising their dark reggae and dub sound ("Murder!" is still an arresting opening line) up front, then diving into their raw guitar grit on Bastardiser, this one drops the hook then slowly reels you in for 18 diverse but oddly coherent tracks. A compilation from a band whose albums sounded like compilations, for sure . . . but this still sounds utterly coherent and from the same source.

Dark and sometimes malevolent they may have often seemed -- Harold's leathery personae and clothes doubtless enhanced the perception -- they could also be funny I thought (I'd cite Sister Stacey here by way of supporting evidence) and here -- wrapped in a cover by the late comix artist Martin Emond -- is evidence of their broad musical church: reggae, dub, garage, electro, wit and menace.

And Shivers could have come from a Flying Nun band like the Bats.

On the back cover [of the liner notes] is a photo of a live gig and on every face there is a glow of liberating enjoyment. That sums them up too.

Oddly enough to coincide with this long overdue compilation the Herald has retrieved a '92 interview I did with them (here). McLennan says he finds it funny how serious they were back then.

I took them seriously, still do."

Here's the photo of a live gig that Graham mentions. Its a shot by Greg Rewai at Kurtz Lounge on Symond St, in 1994.

UTR review

"The Auckland-based group started life in 1988 as a Cramps-influenced garage band called The Rattlesnakes. Frontman Roland Rorchach (aka Harold) had seen guitarist Peter McLennan performing in a café he was working in. McLennan’s strung out version of James Brown's 'It's a Man's World' had Roland buzzing enough to later approach him about starting a band. 

The duo soon picked up other members, drummer Bobbylon and then bassist Johnnie Pain, and it didn't take long to evolve into the dynamic Hallelujah Picassos, a group that became renowned for pushing the boundaries of musical styles.

Rewind the Hateman reveals a sample of the wealth of material recorded by the group before they broke up in 1996. Their cooperative approach to recording saw the Picassos’ music morph from punk to dub, hiphop to rock, reggae to thrash - often within the same track - a sound they dubbed ‘Picasso Core’. The 18-track retrospective encompasses the ethos of the group - their eclectic style, transitioning moods and the issues they felt needed discussion. It is a beautifully reflective album, the liner notes filled with memories from friends, photographs and illustrations by the late Marty F. Emond.

The ebb and flow of the Picassos’ musical tone adds a rich texture to the album. Reggae kickback track ‘Lovers +’, with guests Greg Johnson on trumpet and Alice Latham on saxophone, is a sweet, lamenting song of polyamory.

On the other end of the scale is the stripped back, percussion driven track ‘Snakeman’s Cry’ which pulls Roland’s unusual inflection to the fore with a diatribe of righteousness. While other songs, such as ‘God gave us Boom Boom Washington’, are all-out uproarious. Upbeat pop-ska numbers such as ‘Rewind’, the hit that gained the group a place in the charts, though obviously much more commercially friendly still sit well with the more experimental tracks.

No matter which musical style, the passion that the Picassos felt for what they were doing shines through. Conscious-driven lyrics deliver messages surpassing genre and, more than 15 years since their disbanding, the songs on Rewind the Hateman still sound innovative, and the message is as relevant as ever." 8/10

Thanks to Danielle Street and Under The Radar for the kind words.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cheers, Chopper

from Cheers, Chopper blog...

"Ooh, ooh, ooh! The Hallelujah Picassos retrospective, Rewind The Hateman was released at the end of October.

I only ever saw the Picassos live once, at Otago Orientation in 1994, but I’ll remember that show for the rest of my life.

I bought their album Drinking With Judas the next day and spent the next two years playing it and playing it and playing it until the tape got so loose and worn so that when my walkman inevitably chewed it, bits of tape got stuck so hard in the walkman’s winding/threading mechanism that It was never able to successfully play a tape again.

That’s right: the Picassos were so good my walkman committed suicide when it couldn’t play them any more."

Sorry we killed your Walkman, dude . And thanks for the kind words.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

T shirt

All sorts of stories are coming out of the woodwork from Picassos fans, like this one I got via Twitter from Jeff...

"... check this tee i bought 20 years ago from the grumpy chef at the London Bar now fits me like a halter top..."

Speaking t-shirts, we're working on doing a limited run of a couple of our old t-shirt designs from back in the day...

And please get in touch if you've got a story about the band, like the first time you saw us. We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

GeorgeFM interview

Had a fine chat with Nick, D this morning, thanks fella. Listen to it over here.

Wammo interview

Doing tons of radio this week. I did an interview with Wammo on KiwiFM yesterday, lovely chat.

Tune in today to GeorgeFM [listen] at 9.10am for an interview with Nick D, and 95BFM [listen] at 11.10am - Roland and Peter chatting with Charlotte Ryan.

Wednesday I'm on BaseFM [listen] at 815am. Righto.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Out now!

It's finally here! Very exciting.

You can buy the digital downloads from Amplifier (320k MP3), iTunes, and other digital stores. Amplifier has a special bonus tune - Marshall Law Dub [listen], which we recorded with Mike Hodgson (now of Pitch Black).

ITunes has a bonus track too  - our cover version of Head Like A Hole's song Air [listen]. You can also grab the digital versions in any format you want from our Bandcamp page. Also available at  Marbecks DigitalDigirama.

If you want the CD, Amplifier ship it across NZ and worldwide too. And the CD is in all good CD stores.

Cheers! Hope you like it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pre-order the CD

You can pre-order the CD of Rewind The Hateman now, from They ship locally and internationally. More info here.


Cheese On Toast did an interview recently with Peter and Roland, watch it below. They've also got the album stream up too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sounding off

The kind folk at Doubtful Sounds have posted a cool piece on the reissue  - thanks!

"Hallelujah Picassos were one of the most original, visceral and genre mashing bands to come out of Auckland, New Zealand in the early 90s. They combined reggae, lovers rock, punk, dub, hip hop and garage rock with the end result being an overwhelming live experience. 

Frontman Roland Rorschach, bassist Johnnie Pain, guitarist Peter McLennan and drummer/singer Bobbylon were something of a musical history lesson for young kids growing up in New Zealand, giving them an entry point into a diverse array of genres, pointing the way for them to make their own discoveries about 70s Jamaican dub, New York hip hop and US hardcore. Roland always seemed like a mysterious figure whether he was serving coffee at Cafe DKD, striding along the city streets or prowling the stage like a caged panther."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Herald p-core

Hugh Sundae of the NZ Herald has posted a great piece on the forthcoming Hallelujah Picassos reissue, out next Monday. There's the new video, and an excerpt from the CD liner notes, written by Simon Grigg. Here it is...

Extract from Simon Grigg's liner notes for Rewind the Hateman

"The Picassos arrived in 1988 and Auckland, and indeed, New Zealand, had seen nothing like them.

Whereas most of their influence-mashing contemporaries combined two, or at most, three of the above musical revolutions together, Hallelujah Picassos took absolutely no prisoners and slammed them all together in an almost violent and ruthless amalgam of joy.

And you either loved them or hated them. There was no middle ground. Harold's performance and Bobbylon's sweet noise didn't offer you the non-committal option.

I loved them, and found that it was both exhilarating and exhausting to be in their presence. You thrilled at the energy and seductive melody, but found yourself utterly shattered as they walked off... and I'm not a dancer. I can but try to imagine how the band felt.

In almost any other nation they'd likely have been adopted by the fringes of the mainstream and done quite well given their look and sound, but in an era when airplay for their sort (y'know: NZ bands) on any radio stations outside of student radio was non-existent, their sales remained steady but unspectacular, driven mostly by live shows.

But their influence was undeniable, and a generation of local acts who refused to accept the boundaries that those Pink Floyd and Dire Straits-loving critics defined owe massively to the Picassos, often without realising exactly how much they broke down the barriers of musical conservatism in Auckland and beyond.

However their catalogue has languished since then, being largely unavailable, aside from a track here and there, throughout the 21st century.

Until now... and this, I guess, is as good a place as any to encourage you to take a leap into the recorded work of one of the most important New Zealand acts of their time.

Enjoy. I will."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ideals With Attitude

Interview by Graham Reid from back in the day... NZ Herald, Friday June 12, 1992.

As Roland Rorschach of the Hallelujah Picassos he prowls the stage hunched over in tense knots of muscle and anger. And on the opening track Of the Picassos album, the dark menace of Crack Dub, his voice lets loose one crucial mood-setter - “Murder”.

Harold, as he introduces himself, doesn't muck around. He does his thing with a passionate intensity which can be unnerving, but in conversation he tempers the discussion about the Picassos and music in general with humour and thoughtfulness. Up there beyond the lights, however...

“I don't find music an entertainment any more,” he says with a shutdown 'n' serious expression.

''People in the last 10 years have been listening to non-idealistic music. Idealism faded away in the 70s, although punk, hardcore and rap brought it up again.

''Idealism got lost in the sales charts because people got sick of hearing about problems in the world. But that needs to be brought up again. We've forgotten about the starving millions, the ozone layer or unemployment right here in New Zealand.

“I want to educate people to the fact there are always more possibilities than the situations you have encountered. Naivety is still so strong among people. The Picassos are about social and cultural observation.”

That's a broad and demanding brief for anyone to uplift, but Roland won't let it go.
Onehunga's becoming a ghetto, the hepatitis B scare, even the caution about offensive language on the band's new Hateman in Love album, are all prompts for his wide-ranging discussion.

Across the table, Picassos guitarist/singer Peter McLennan occasionally tosses in his comments - particularly when the conversation turns to the album - but Rorschach is enthusiastic, earnest and busy articulating his ideas. If any band is capable of exploring the territory that he considers important it is the Picassos, who are at the core of the meltdown of inner-city musics in Auckland. He considers Grey Lynn and Ponsonby “out of the city” and is looking for living/rehearsal space in Hobson St.

As a self-styled agent provocateur - who enthuses about the Clash's Sandinista album for putting the cause out front as much as for its musical diversity - Rorschach (and the Picassos) stand at the intersection of styles. With drummer Bobbylon he is part of the Riot Riddum Sound System (Bobbylon appears on the MC OJ and Rhythm Slave album) and has worked with a revolving roster of acts in the central city. And musically the Picassos bounce from the rebel styles of reggae, dub and thrash to McLennan's chiming, melodic pop.

The album crunches all that diversity together almost as a compilation of material recorded over the years and for various projects.

The poppy No More previously appeared as a single for Pagan, but the album was released through Wildside. Practical reasons says Mclennan: Pagan could offer only the vjnyl/cassette option but Wildside offered CD and the longer running time. With 16 tracks, Hateman had to go straight to disc to let the band clear a back catalogue and show that diversity.

"It's a mixed bag from old to new" says McLennan ''and it's structured like a live set. We push people through our various styles and moods. We evolved from playing garage punk through reggae styles and recording all the way until we came to this point where we had an album's worth of material.”

That slew of styles has already confused some scribes down in the South Island, where the band is touring. The questions are always the same, says McLennan. How come the band plays such a range of material? “The album was a conscious move to show that diversity,” says Rorschach. "That is very important to us; the title subliminally suggests that. It's about dualities and keeping yourself alert so you don't stagnate. The album explores those territories and each song was realised in a different frame of mind. We want people to keep exploring ideas."

''White kids want to be down and out," says this frontman who came to a New Zealand from Holland in '82 and was schooled briefly in Whakatane. ''But you can make a buck, get food every week... you just need to be motivated. It's now cool to be working class and unemployed. Music has conditioned people to that, The Sex Pistols and Anarchy has a lot to answer for.

''But in South Auckland the Polynesian kids like to dress up and show they have money. They like to be able to buy a drink and afford to take a girl out. Their reality is a completely different one and we explore those things."

The different style of songs - written individually or by various combinations within the four piece - means the band exists beyond and between the various audiences they appeal to. "We're not really part of the New Zealand psyche because of our beliefs and the range we cover", says McLennan. "But we're not consciously standing apart … it's just there is no one else really doing what we do."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New video!

About a year ago, I was digging round in my archives/boxes of random stuff looking for some old Picassos press clippings, when I discovered a box of super 8 film labelled "Picassos - Powerstation". Thought to myself, "Cool, some footage I can use to make a new video for the reissue." I filed the film away carefully..  fast forward to August 2011.

I decide to dig out the roll of super 8 film and digitise it, ready for editing. Can I find it? No. Searched all my boxes, twice. Still couldn't find it. Searched them a third time. Found it. I remembered only one roll of film tho  - when I eventually relocated where I'd carefully stashed it, there was three rolls. Score. Two colour, one black and white roll. Some of the footage originally appeared in the video for Rewind, back in 94, so I'm guessing it was shot by Clinton Phillips.

So, with the generous assistance of video editor Justin Redding (thank you!), here's a suitably grimy clip for the noisy punk blast of God gave us Boom Boom Washington. Enjoy, and please share it round.

Oh, and here's the tracklisting for the reissue. Special bonus tunes for iTunes/Amplifier customers. More on that soon.


 1 Lovers +
2 Black spade picasso core
3 Crack dub
4 Snakeman's cry
5 Bastardiser
6 Sister Stacy
7 Hello Pablo
8 Shivers
9 God gave us Boom Boom Washington
10 Hateman
11 Rewind
12 Drinking with Judas
13 U+I
14 Glue
15 I want you to be my million/Happy go lucky girl
16 Smokin and fumin
17 Yardy
18 Seven stripes of the Maumau

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Look what I got!

Just got a copy of the Picassos reissue, damn it looks good! Check out the cover, below. Cover art by Martin Emond. Release date is October 31

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marshall law

Marshall Law Dub was recorded and produced by Mike Hodgson, way before he started Pitch Black. We did several tracks in his studio, two of which (this song and Sister Stacy) ended up on our first album Hateman In Love (1992). The other tune, Principle dub (audio), was released on Mike's album as The Projector, on Deepgrooves.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Head Like A Hole

Air was a B-side on the Rewind single in Feb 1994. Originally performed by our Wildside labelmates Head Like A Hole. Seeing as we were going to be playing a few live shows with HLAH, someone had the bright idea that we should cover one of HLAH’s songs, and they’d do one of ours. We threw in a few other musical references (NIN) for good measure.

I recall we played this live in Wellington once, our singer introducing it as the Wellington National Anthem. Crowd loved it. HLAH later recorded their version of two of our songs (Hitskin/7 Stripes of the Maumau) and released them on the Spanish Goat Dancer EP. They changed the lyrics a bit, in a rather amusing fashion.

Monday, September 26, 2011

BFM Summer Series, 95

These photos turned up after I put out a call via Twitter/Facebook asking for any pics of the Picassos. If you've got some, please get in touch! Add them to our Flickr group too. 

These pics are from BFM's Summer Series in 1995, taken by Mark Walters - thanks for scanning them and sharing! We played last, and the crowd was a bit rowdy by that stage of the day. I had to stop playing guitar midsong at one point and drag a security guard off a punter cos he was punching him repeatedly in the head, not cool.

Then the head of security pulled all his staff off the front of stage, and then the PA guys decided since there was no security, they'd take away our monitors from the front of stage as well, Didn't bother us, we played on, the crowd started stage diving like mad, the PA started swaying, and we all had a good time. Those security guys were lugheads tho. If you look at that crowd photo above, you might spot Steve, from ' Nick and Steve' on BFM fame....

Thursday, September 22, 2011


From, reviewing NZOA-funded music videos, by Robyn Gallagher...

"A song about relaxing and taking it easy, which seems to be the national genre of New Zealand. The “Rewind” video is a cruisy collection of a lively studio performance and scenes from New Zealand.

It’s a fun video that nicely captures the spirit of the song, with green screen used quite thoughtfully. The background images, scenes of both rural and urban New Zealand, are contrasted with the laid-back band.

The video also features the nice bright, highly saturated colour palette that was cool in the ’90s, and I think this kind of colour use has come back around. Now all we need is for chunky green screen to become cool again.

Best bit: the green-screened turntable.

Bonus: Peter McLennan of the Hallelujah Picassos has again been kind enough to share his experience of the video:

"We worked with Stratford Productions on this video, as we did for the previous video Lovers Plus. The latter video was directed by Bruce Sheridan, and for this one we worked with Clinton Phillips. I co-directed the video with Clinton, which was very generous of him, as he did a lot of the work, really. We shot Rewind at the Powerstation, using the stage for the band footage, and shooting from the balcony for the verses, looking down on Bobbylon, singing. We bounced round the stage Roland and myself wearing turntables strapped on like guitars, and Johnnie playing his korg synth, nicknamed the Hog.

The black and white footage in the verses was shot on super 8 film by me, while we were on tour. I gave it to Clinton to send off for telecine transfer over in Sydney and never saw it again, which was a bit sad.

There’s also footage shot on video of us clowning round on the roof of Civic House, next to DKD, which also makes a brief appearance in the video. The only green screen is on the record on the turntable, which also serves up my fave shot in the video, at 2.09 – Roland doing his best Michael Jackson tippy-toes dance move.

This song will be included on the forthcoming collection of Hallelujah Picassos tunes, remastered for CD/digital."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


In 1992, we made it to Kingston. Sadly, not Kingston Jamaica.

We made it to Kingston. Sadly, not Kingston JA

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lovers plus video

From 5000ways, music fan Robyn Gallagher's ambitious plan to review every NZ On Air-funded music video online...

"Roland Picasso has a dilemma – he has two lovers and would rather like to keep it that one, only one of the lovers wants him to be true to her. It’s a simple, almost underplayed song, and the video matches this minimal vibe.

There are a few green screen and digital tricks – dripping paint, flames, but most of the video is restrained, with simple layering of Roland (in colour) over the band (in black/blue and white), as well as an outdoor excursion. While it’s not as fun as other Picassos videos, it’s still a fine early ’90s video.

The only thing that worries me is the song title – it reminds me of Paper Plus, Flooring Plus and all those other ‘plus’ businesses that sprang up in the ’90s. It’s not so appealing being in a menage à retail.

Best bit: the remote appearance of Greg Johnson on guest trumpet. See, he does end up online sometimes.

Bonus! Peter McLennan of the Hallelujah Picassos and now of Dub Asylum and the brilliant blog Dub Dot Dash has been kind enough to share his music video experiences both in front of and behind the camera.

"We’d made a few videos prior to doing the Lovers Plus video. I directed a video for our song Clap Your Hands, made with the help of TVNZ’s music show CV (the replacement for RWP). TVNZ supplied filmstock, processing, telecine (film to video transfer), and editing. We covered the other costs – we made that video for $138. So going to a NZOA-funded video to the tune of $5000 was a step up.

It basically meant we were able to pay people and hire better gear and so on. It also resulted in a video that was more likely to get repeat viewings on tv, due to higher production standards.

At the time I was studying at Elam School of Fine Arts, working in film and video, so I took a keen interest in the video-making side of things. Bruce Sheridan at Stratford Productions directed and produced the Lovers Plus video, with input from us. We also managed to convince them to let Roland use a welding torch, as he was doing a welding course at the time. Singers playing with fire, always fun.

The use of green screen was pretty popular at that time, from what I recall. It allowed you to layer up imagery and mix and mash it up.

We also did a video for our song Picasso Core, a mate of ours shot that on video one afternoon with our singer Roland. TV3′s late evening news show Nightline screened it once, which amazed us, as every chorus features the f word."