THE CAT ON THE WALL GORILLAZ FEED 2017
After a short hiatus owing to personal reasons (rest in peace, Grandad), we’ve walked into our garage armed with the Cat on the Wall starter handle, and cranked away. It always takes a few rattles to get our engine going; but when a new Gorillaz video hits the world with the force of a rampant digital firearm, it’s no wonder we start first time.
Yes, it’s music video time once again (and it only feels like Yesterday since the seminal Saturnz Barz) – the pot has been stirred, the experimental Pandora’s box has been opened and it’s time for an all out party-floor of blues, pinks and purples with their video for their collaboration with Peven Everett, Strobelite.
When the band have, by now, garnered such a reputation for dark, creepy narratives, it seems a bit unusual – even a complete juxtaposition – to see such a bright, happy and simplistic concept. One could even dub this one old fashioned, harking back quite happily to the retro sound Strobelite builds from – a “club” video without overwhelming shite and an overpowering sound.
Remarkably simple and straightforward, the band (motion captured in a way that’s startlingly uncanny to Hewlett’s illustrations) are in a club – and Noodle and 2D get coaxed onto the dancefloor by the funky beat of Strobelite from their latest record, Humanz.
The two have always had this brilliant ‘dumb brother and smart sister’ chemistry, and their personalities come plainly on show as the bright and energetic Noodle keeps excellent time…while 2D thinks he’s an aeroplane.
Murdoc, meanwhile, being the potent grumpy fuck he is, goes off to the bar while sneering at those youngsters taking over his video. Russel, in the meantime, is asleep.
Basically, all is how it should be.
But wait; as the sparklingly charismatic Peven Everett thumps out the fantastic, soulful vocals that make Strobelite such a natural choice for a single – who’s this mysterious, moustachio’d fez wearing gentleman, and what service is he offering our striped jumper toting, green skinned S&M enthusiast?
We don’t get to find out. Something’s for certain; there’s a bigger plan afoot.
But what do the primates themselves have to say?
“Directed by Stoke native and Murdoc Niccals’ acolyte Raoul Skinbeck, the Strobelite video features Peven Everett along with band members 2D, Noodle, Murdoc and Russel Hobbs smashing it on a night out at an infamous London hotspot.
Skinbeck, a longtime acquaintance of Niccals, has a long and illustrious career in producing TV ads for a local double glazing company based in Stoke on Trent and Murdoc thought he’d be rather good at making pop videos.”
Intriguing. I have a feeling we’ve not heard the last of Mr. Skinbeck. Could he be the strange, Phil-Cornwell-looking chap in moustache and fez? Perhaps all is not so savoury as it first appears in this oddly positive, simple Gorillaz piece.
Another winning – if very restrained – video from the world’s biggest animated band. The question is, what does it all mean? If the Gorillaz social feeds are anything to go by…
I reckon we may find out soon…
While there’s always likely to be dissenting voices on this new, lower budget, potentially lower concept video, there’s no doubting the track and there’s no doubting the talent involved. For all it can’t provide – full 2D animation, 2D vocals or a straight out-and-out special effects masterpiece – it gives a sparkling, colourful and thoroughly absorbing video that really sums up the ‘party for the end of the world’.
And, potentially, kicks off our first plot of Phase four. It’s all to play for – and with it only being a few months and Gorillaz racking up an enormous amount of content already, there’s plenty to be excited about.
Strap in, kiddies. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.