Guillemots Return From Hibernation

The Internet makes the world so unbearably small doesn’t it?

The pulses of electricity that fire trillions of times every second to transfer information, and the logic at either end that translates it for human consumption, in some ways almost belittle our achievements as a species thus far by being so blase about their function. The ability to communicate, and digest is more available than ever and it makes me forget that, as an individual, I could not achieve a hundredth as much using solely my own, dimming intellect!

I heard Guillemots’ new single this evening. Whilst a few of Fyfe Dangerfield’s solo songs stick in my head, on the whole, the other Guillemots make the best of his talent, in my opinion. The band are a very much a gang in my perception, and with that gang comes the real (disorganised, unpredictable, magical) street party that is Guillemots.

Something about The Basket just doesn’t work on a songwriting level. Like a lot of their music the edges between ideas are blurred, the choruses are pretty weak in terms of catchy hooks, with all the great harmony coming in the build up and the passing sections. Where there are hooks, they’re not easy to sing, or remember… Yet I still love this song, and I’m really not sure why!

What I think really works about Guillemots’ music is that party atmosphere it creates. It pushes and pulls you from ecstatic to sombre and back again so fast that you can’t help but move, then sway, fall over and get whisked up again by your own joy. Guillemots are easily one of the best bands I have ever seen live, and I believe that is the reason. They bring the party with them, and their energy and movement on stage is the sort that makes thousands of people close their eyes and snake their arms into the air like slightly-demented Sirens in flowery summer dresses and wellies (or a single candlestickholder-shaped welly, if you’d like to keep picturing the Siren).

Anyway, since The Basket isn’t on Spotify yet, and I had no intention of buying it as a download in anticipation of buying the album (which I’m really looking forward to, if you hadn’t guessed), I headed to Youtube to find that an Official Music Video (OMG OMV! from hereon in) exists.

The first thing I noticed (other than the fact that my Internet connection manages to remain unremarkable in a world abundant in technology that verges on being miraculous) is that the setting for the video features tall fir trees and dusty heathland; this land is just like Horsell Common, a very lovely spot of land in my locale.

Curious beyond reason to find out whether Guillemots were once to be seen on Horsell Common (and there have been stranger things), I proceeded to rewatch the video four or five hundred times, aimlessly trying to identify individual fir trees with which I am familiar. This was as difficult as it sounds.

So, I did what anyone would do in the information age. I found the contact details for the director, and wrote a probably-rude and certainly unsolicited e-mail to ask him directly where he had shot his video, what he had had for dinner, and what he likes to do with his wife.

At this point, I also noticed that the same director (his name: Tom Kingsley dot com [that should really be a title shouldn’t it? Like Esq.]) had directed another video of which I am quite fond; that is: Darwin Deez, Up in the Clouds.

Anyway – again proving my point that the human race’s overachievement could easily be spun to represent an individual’s underachievement – he got back to me before I’d even had time to watch his video two hundred more times.

Disappointingly for me, this meant I felt obliged to write down this thought before I went to bed (and it’s getting late). Luckily for you, it means I can conclude: The video was not shot on Horsell Common. It was in fact filmed at the unimaginatively-named Black Park near Slough.

“They also filmed a lot of the new X-Men and Captain America films there, cos it’s right next to Pinewood Studios”, he said, as if I might have feigned interest in my original e-mail (I didn’t).

So, as a break from my normal imploration to you to dwell on the lyrics of some song, this time I think I’ll simply leave by implying that you should check out the work of video director Tom Kingsley:

I’m watching the music videos for The Basket by Guillemots and Up in the Clouds by Darwin Deez.

These quaint, almost-amateurish videos have a simplistic charm that really complements the music. They sort of hearten me in that they really speak of a thriving contrast between gratuitous commercial overproduction and undeterred artistic expression which is – not rare but – quirksome enough to feel like it is something of a treat.