Video Exclusive: Benefits – Traitors | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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There seems to be a lot of dickheads about these days, perpetuating ideas that are harmful to society and who need calling out for their actions. Thankfully, up here in the North East we have the antithesis to all these cranks and the woes they inflict on the world, in the form of angry noise merchants, Benefits, who sonically set the record straight by documenting and commenting on the dismal state of the country we live in. 

The Teesside quintet of Kingsley Chapman, Jonny Snowball, Robbie Major and Hugh Major have found ways to work around the difficult conditions the pandemic has forced upon us and have been very prolific in releasing some hard hitting music and spoken word pieces this year. Their latest offering is Traitors (available across all streaming services on Friday 27th November) and we’re delighted to have been given an exclusive look at the video that accompanies it. 

Traitors is a song for those tired of all the outdated jingoistic rhetoric and imperialistic attitudes that litter our discourse. This ‘mixed to red’ assault on the ears has audio elements of Suicide (had they grew up on New Monkey and Thrash Metal) along with the razor sharp observations of Sleaford Mods (had their frontal lobes been inhibited) and the relentless industrial intensity of a final battle scene in most Terminator films (not Rise of The Machines). Its synth-fuelled soundscapes, potent beats and no holds barred lyrics might knack your ears, but the tinnitus is worthwhile as the cathartic content brings satisfaction to your poor, desolate heart; a heart that can no longer take the pain of waking up the morning after an election or reading the comments section of a local newspaper website.

The music video adds further context and intensity to the song as frontman Kingsley Chapman explains…
Making videos in lockdown or under Covid restrictions is difficult but strangely liberating. For the last six months I’ve tried to document the change in my local landscape as much as possible – whether that’s empty streets, quiet skies, or the rapid emergence of Union flags flying outside houses – Traitors is really just a continuation of what I’d already been filming over summer for my spoken word projects. To mirror the themes of the song, I arm myself with my cheap tripod and camera phone and search out locations that are on the edge of change, neglect or destruction. Luckily, as I live in Tory Teesside these locations are plentiful. I’ve always found images of the decaying industry we’re surrounded with down here utterly beautiful and cinematic and even though this was all done on a zero budget I hope this comes across. To add a sense of tension I messed with the speed of the video – often altering the levels and grinding the thing to a standstill before speeding it up again in the same continuous shot – and varied the framing by zooming in on my mug to heighten the intensity. I love making these things and, yes, I realise it’s pure Poundshop Kubrick but that’s absolutely fine.”


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