Bunch Of Fives – Elephant Memoirs | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Gateshead alt-rockers Elephant Memoirs follow up their most streamed single, Fairytales with their latest release, Ordinary Life, a spritely, folk-rock affair with sharp guitars, soaring vocals and rolling rhythms. 

Here, band’s bass player Carl Aspinall talks about his five favourite music videos…

Music is great, but what if you could see it? Well you can’t because it’s just sounds, but the next best thing is a music video. They allow artists to enhance their music and be creative in a different way. Here are five of my favourite music videos.

1. R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts


R.E.M. have made some of the best music videos such as Losing my Religion and Imitation of Life, but I’ve chosen Everybody Hurts.  This starts out as a lyric video. Some people are stuck in traffic and the song plays. But as we move from car to car we see into the lives of the people and it turns out that everybody does indeed hurt. The song builds and then we hit the key change. If you think boybands invented standing up at the key change, you are very much mistaken. Everyone gets up out of their cars and starts to walk as we see Michael Stipe singing for the first time. The song has a great message and the video highlights this with despair changing to hope. But you are left thinking ‘where did everybody go?’ I bet it would be a logistical nightmare to get that road cleared.

2. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2U


Maybe this should be called nothing happens in this video. It’s mostly Sinead O’Connor’s head, a couple of statues and her aimlessly walking about. But it’s the emotion that she sings with which makes it such a great video. You really believe every word she sings. It helps that it is an all time classic song, but sometimes in music videos less is definitely more. Although this type of video may not have worked so well if she was belting out ‘Cotton Eye Joe’.

3. Radiohead – Just


Thom Yorke is an interesting frontman to watch, so the band playing in an upstairs room works really well. But the reason that this is a great music video is what is happening outside. Some bloke is having a bit of lie down on the street and people are trying to get him up. The tension builds as more and more people gather round asking him why he’s lying down. He eventually tells the crowd (but not us) why he’s doing this. The final shot is of the band looking out of their window to see the whole crowd lying in the street. It’s more like a short film that draws you in then leaves you with more questions than when you started.

4. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit


The song that changed everything? This video goes hand in hand with the song, so you can’t think of one without the other. School sports hall, quiet verse, loud chorus, smoke, fire, cheerleaders and a crowd of kids going nuts. The chaos of the chorus and those pounding drums made every teenager at the time want to be in that crowd. Kurt screaming into the camera at the end is pretty iconic. The only question I would have would be why does the caretaker have to feature so heavily? He spends a lot of time slow motion dancing with a brush or mop. I imagine the director shouting ‘we need less of the band and more of Old Clive!’.

5. A-ha – Take On Me


For my final choice I wanted to introduce you to a dirty underground punk video that is an undiscovered gem. But I’m sorry, I had to choose A-ha. This is the first music video I can remember seeing and it’s pretty fantastic. It starts with a lady reading a comic book about a motorbike and sidecar racer where the sidecars reach speeds of over 140 miles per hour (can they really go that fast?). She goes to a cafe to read her comic, but then something even more amazing happens, as a giant hand comes out of the comic book and drags her into the book. Obviously she turns black and white then dances around with the good looking motorbike guy as A-ha play in the background. He then walks behind a screen and we see that it’s real life Morten Harket, from the Masked Singer on ITV. The waitress then angrily throws the comic in the bin, thinking that the lady has done a runner (which technically she had). All of a sudden the sidecar rivals are back and they aren’t happy. They are waving around a wrench so Morten rips a hole in a wall so the girl can escape to the kitchen floor of the cafe. She then runs off back to her flat to have another look at her comic, but she’s not alone. A glitching Morten has made it to her hallway and he’s got a bit of a sweat on. They both seem happy, but we don’t hear if the rest of A-ha survived or not. The song has a great melody and is pure 80s pop. The whole look of the video is quite unique and the special effects and concept are great (except maybe the sidecar). It’s also a very influential video with it’s main themes of 80s mullets and traveling to different dimensions very prominent in the Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’ which surely can’t just be a coincidence.

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