In @vincent’s thread about well dressed bands, @uncle-mick gave us the video to a very good Ultravox song, One Small Day. They appear to be in Iceland (the country) and have a full band set up going on, performing the song with zeal and gusto – as if they we on stage at a homecoming gig in front of thousands of fans.
But they’re not are they? There seems to be no speakers and no audience. We are led to believe that Midge and the gang have rocked up to some, er, rocks and have set up all the band paraphernalia to perform the song in the great outdoors. Which is stupid. All one would hear, at best, would be weedy, twangy strumming against a clattering drum beat and I sense the vocals wouldn’t be the strongest either.
Here’s Big Country, suffering for their art more than most – particularly about 1 minute in where Stuart Adamson looks absolutely freezing, pretending to play guitar.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Afterword…why do bands do this? We all know that these aren’t gangs of pals, united by music, spontaneously “doing the show right here” at such silly places in ridiculous conditions.
You don’t get plumbers appearing in videos, installing a toilet in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Or novelists pretending to write a book by Christ the Redeemer’s plinth.
I suspect with Ultravox they may have run out of ideas. If you liked the Vienna video, there’s plenty more where that came from! Perhaps they wanted to appear to the masses as a proper band for once, rather than moodily walking around at night in shadowy streets wearing big coats. Big Country I think were a bit different – they wouldn’t be actors in their videos, they can only be seen as a band configuration in the same way that Ant and Dec must always stand next to each other consistently as Ant and Dec, not Dec and Ant.
There are many videos where the artist is doing something silly, like walking through a warehouse populated only by mannequins. What I would like you to help me with is performance videos where the band is in position and giving it loads – but in ridiculous environments.