The Bedlam Six and I have just been shooting a music video for the song “I Ain’t Done (Being Young).” It’s our most energetic and visually complicated video yet. This project has been a long time in the planning (since last October in fact) and we’ve finally achieved it with the help of director Ste Webster and the team at Vanguard Film.
Often a relatively prominent feature of our promos is the condensation visible as we breathe out. Making videos is an expensive business… the first thing to cut from the budget tends to be the heating. But not this time. We were outdoors and the sun was shining. Indeed we now all have pretty bad sunburn. Where were we? Ibiza? Barbados? No, we were in an abandoned street in Toxteth, Liverpool on an uncharacteristically clement afternoon. I think this is the first time Summer has ever crossed paths with anything the Bedlam Six have been involved in – we’re usually a much more Autumnal band.
I must admit I have a new found respect for Boy Bands. Before last week I had little more than a mandatory sense of derision towards any outfit with coordinated dance moves and lip-syncing. Well now that we’ve all spent a day hopping, sliding and strutting about in unison I have changed my mind. I have also changed my shoes – that pair is now quite worn through. That stuff is HARD. The dancing is tricky enough but singing along to a backing track whilst doing the shoulder shimmy? My brain almost exploded.
The shoot consisted of about fifty extras, dancing aggressively at each other in a sort of “Run DMC vs Braveheart in an abandoned terraced street” vibe. The prologue of West Side Story was our original concept for the video and both drummer Tom and I have been itching to try and achieve something like that on screen for years. The idea has now morphed from Jets and Sharks into a battle of the generations – a kind of mid-life crisis ballet if you will.
Sun burn and aching feet aside it was one of the most enjoyable shoots I’ve ever been a part of. Needless to say, however, everyone started out pretty skeptical. Indeed, though most of us have a certain degree of natural rhythm, we are by no means dancers. And I haven’t worked with a choreographer since I played the MC in Oh What A Lovely War twelve years ago – and certainly nothing as physically demanding as a full scale street war dance off with a bunch of trained performance artists. But everyone excelled themselves, kicking out that routine again and again and again until we got it right. I channeled my inner Russ Tamblyn that day and had the best of times.
When you’re a Jet
You’re a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin’ day…
(well, that’s another line to add to my CV)