By Nicky Harrop of NZ on Screen
Season three of TV drama Westside is currently gracing our screens, once again accompanied by a stellar soundtrack of local hits. NZ On Screen's Nicky Harrop highlights some of the Kiwi classics heard on the show.
The new series of Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside reconnects us with the West family and (criminal) associates, continuing life on the wrong side of the law against a backdrop of changing times. Set in 1982, episodes so far have cherry-picked their way through a number of standout Kiwi tunes from the 60s, 70s and 80s, as characters move from past to present day.
1982 finds Wolfgang West living in squalor in the 'slums' of Ponsonby, flatting in a dilapidated villa that would no doubt fetch millions today. In episode one he receives a surprise visit from his horrified mother Rita, appropriately soundtracked by a Flying Nun classic from the same year - The Clean's Beatnik.
Watch the video for The Clean Beatnik here:
Pivoting from indie to power ballads, the episode draws to a close with a montage set to The Narcs' Heart and Soul. The Christchurch rockers scored a big hit with the song in 1984, earning a top five chart placing and a handful of NZ Music Awards that year.
Watch the video for The Narcs Heart and Soul here:
Episode two opens with one of several flashback scenes, heading back to the 60s with the sounds of Mr Lee Grant's Thanks to You. In this 1967 performance of the song - taken from poptastic local music show C'mon - Grant is introduced by the legendary Peter Sinclair, before belting out the track against a groovy psychedelic backdrop.
See Mr Lee Grant performing Thanks to You here:
Also repping the 60s, Maria Dallas makes an appearance with Tumblin' Down. Another big hit from 1967, younger views may also recognise the song from the mid-80s, when it accompanied a series of Telecom ads.
See Maria Dallas performing Tumblin' Down here:
Another great song used to great effect, Split Enz's I Hope I Never closes episode three on a suitably poignant note, as the West's find themselves at odds after an unexpected turn of events.
See the video for I Hope I Never here:
Westside's theme tune comes in the form of another Kiwi classic, Hello Sailor's Watch Your Back. Taken from the band's debut album, the song's themes of deception and danger on the streets make it a perfect fit for our favourite local crime family.
See Hello Sailor perform Watch Your Back here:
You can find more songs from Westside here, in NZ On Screen's Spotlight collection.