Swagger of Thieves: The Head Like a Hole story is a rock doco unlike any other

If you were around Wellington in the early and mid-1990s, you couldn’t not be aware of the music thundering out of various dives in Cuba and Willis streets.

Years before the user-friendly grooves of the Freddies and The Black Seeds defined “the Welly sound” this place was rock-pig central.

And right at the heart of it, under the stewardship of manager Gerald Dwyer, were Shihad and Head Like a Hole.

Years back, I was invited to write a proposal for a doco on Shihad.

I did the research, reassembled some memories, got to know the band better than I had and put together a 30-page outline that became an outline for the film Shihad: The Beautiful Machine.

I was briefly attached as director, but that was never going to work.

I was aware at the time there was a parallel film in the works, on Shihad’s contemporaries and label-mates Head Like a Hole.

But that it was an unfunded labour of love with only one maker.

Head Like a Hole’s Nigel "Booga" Beazley is in no mood for legacy polishing in the documentary Swagger Like Thieves.

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