Video: Lawrence Arabia, ‘Auckland CBD Part 2’


Lawrence Arabia is the nom de musique of New Zealand’s prolific psych-pop maestro James Milne. In full Lawrence of Arabia garb, he knocked out an understated eponymous debut in 2006, and followed it up that same year with an infectious set of glorious pop songs released as the Reduction Agents – Milne in cahoots with members of the loose collective gathered around the Brunettes at Lil Chief Records. “Auckland CBD Part 2” is from a summery sensation of an album titled “Chant Darling,” recorded in subsequent years in London by Milne, who supported himself by working at Kiwifruits, a shop selling confectionery and souvenirs to homesick New Zealanders, and later at Blackwell’s bookstore on Charing Cross Road. Maybe he saved enough to buy a huge pad on Waiheke and travel the harbor daily in black tie, but I think not. The video neatly skewers a particular Auckland stereotype (JAFAs the world over, here is your champion). A considerable proportion of the rest of the country may view it as … documentary.