Mrs B and I first discovered Flight of the Conchords in late 2009 when my wife received a box set for Christmas. Entering 2010 we immediately indulged ourselves with the adventures of the New Zealand folk duo, Jemaine (Jemaine Clement) and Bret (Bret McKenzie), who are in New York trying to win an American audience after limited success back home i.e. the second most popular folk group in New Zealand. It took about two episodes but we were soon hooked and looking back now just over a year later it seemed an appropriate time to share our ten favourite Flight of the Conchords songs. If you’ve never seen the show you are in for a treat my friends.
Inner City Pressure (Series 1 – Episode 2: Bret Gives Up The Dream)
With Jemaine (Jemaine Clement) and Bret (Bret McKenzie) struggling for money they apply for jobs as human billboards but only Bret is successful. Having to decide between work and band commitments Bret prioritises work and records vocals and music on a tape for Jemaine to play alongside at a gig. With the tape recording being as good as the real thing Murray (Rhys Darby) fires Bret and decides to try and go it alone with Jemaine as the only band member. Early in the episode Bret and Jemaine reflect on their difficult position with the excellent “Inner City Pressure.”
This is probably the song that grabbed me first and made me realise that Flight of the Conchords was going to be a real treat. It plays in the style of the Pet Shop Boys as Bret and Jemaine wander the streets and reveal what they have resorted to for survival, selling items at the pawn shop and counting out the last of their change for a box of muesli. The shots of the pair in the city emphasise the isolation they feel in New York City a far fry from their rural home back in New Zealand.
Mrs B says:
It’s not surprising that Inner City Pressure always makes me think of the 80s but – despite loving 80s music – that’s not what makes it so great for me. Somehow Bret and Jemaine weave their usual magic and images that are actually very sad such as coppering up to buy some breakfast cereal become absolutely hilarious. Lyrics like “the manager there starts to abuse me, ‘hey man, I just want some muesli'” combined with the catchy Pet Shop Boys style music and the ever so lost puppy looks of Bret and Jemaine make this a Flight of the Conchords Classic. And, as always, there’s an underlying truth to their song. If you’ve ever coppered up to buy food I’m sure you’ve felt the Inner City Pressure in your own way and I doubt any of us could convey it so beautifully as this crazy duo.
Top Ten so far:-
5) Inner City Pressure
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