Swagger Of Thieves: Are You Gonna Watch It Or Miss It?

Swagger Of Thieves: Are You Gonna Watch It Or Miss It?

Hollah HLAH fans and all students of the bare-arse crazy end of the rock’n’roll spectrum, here’s a film that’s right up your passage – a doco charting the story of those veteran dysfunctional Wellington rockers Head Like A Hole.

Documentary maker Julian Boshier has been around the band for over 20 years, since his own early days as a camera assistant. Wet Rubber (a song developed from the find of a German porn movie in a bin on the streets of Wellington) was his first music video for the band – brilliantly filmed then banned from TVNZ for its explicit lyrics and visuals. Swagger Of Thieves is Boshier’s first foray into producing and directing a feature documentary and he’s put more than a decade of personal dedication and determination into this.

Despite getting the band’s agreement to film a feature doco no funding was ever applied for. Boshier says he didn’t want to risk censorship and loss of cut control under the conditions of tax-payer funding. He also figured it was going to be a long-term project and wanted to avoid deadlines – or the (very real) risk of the band splitting before he had a film’s worth of footage.

Head Like A Hole changed over the time but the songwriting / hard living core of Booga Beazley and Nigel Regan survived all manner of confrontations and abuse as his documentary reveals. He shot much of the footage solo so as not to be too intrusive, and the pair allowed him to film some extraordinarily revealing real-life episodes.

Like their live performances back in the wild ‘90s it’s a doco that will make you sweat and want to wipe yourself down afterwards, and starting May 17th it’s going into 24 cinemas nationwide. Having funded, produced and directed it himself Boshier is also self-distributing the film.

Describing it himself as a monumentally stupid undertaking Julian Boshier has to his great credit captured perhaps the greatest who-gives-a-fuck-what-you-think rock’n’roll acts of this country’s history. Comfortably Shagged, Hot Sexy Lusty, Fish Across Face, Juicy Lucy – who else but HLAH? Are you gonna watch it or miss it?

List of cinemas that will screen the doco from May 17.