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Posted By jonnyP

Are we a pop up band, a fake band or a substantial band with a credible “body of work”? Much of the activity of being a musician and writer seems to be making a fake real. We make up stories that substantiate some kind of substantiality about us so friends, fans and “industry” get the idea we (The John Preston Tribute Band”) are a really real thing. That is what, I think we were getting up to when we made our first music video “fUKt”. 


fUKt itself is a song chiseling away at the thin veneer of British identity and the sense of ‘permanence’ to that abstract thing knowns as “The Economy”. The tools we used were half borrowed riffs (Kinks/Stooges), and snappy lines from Neil Young and Permaculture theory, amongst others. 


The video serves to back the whole project up by offering a “real” band miming to a “real” song. We were loaned an old church for the day. We gathered all our gear and props, set up a PA, hit the play button and goofed around to a song previously recorded. We were under the guidance of unsung genius Andy Smith who pointed his camera, quietly asked questions and quietly grinned to himself now and again. The experience was loads more fun than miming with tennis rackets as a kid. But it was still pretend and maybe it always is.


Once several runs were captured and few head shots, there was a serious amount of work from Andy to make us appear convincing as a band. His previous career involved making cereal packets look just great, so we were in safe hands. He used split screen, black screen (a cheapskate version of green screen to superimpose back projections) and wobbly camera techniques. We were all excited and encouraged by his presentation of The John Preston Tribute Band and felt suitably fortified to go out and gig on the back of our reinforced legitimacy.


The point of this exercise was to place the song and the band in the “Market Place” offering a “Brand Identity”. Entering the Ocean of musical detritus gathering our “likes” and “views” as we go. Also offering a platform to promoters and festivals heads sending out the message. “We are a really real band, book us.”


An experience at a recent gig at The Blue Moon in Cambridge highlighted this. We managed to arrest the attention of a couple of very talkative punters, but after few songs, they went outside to check out our “web presence” on their “devices”.  The really real thing was twanging and plonking away right in front of them and they were digging it. But that was not enough. They just had to go outside and check out if we really existed (on the web), so they could then really “like” us with a cheesy old thumbs up. And it worked.

1 Comment(s):
marshlander said...
You are not alone. Doesn't all art explore those places where different realities intersect?
27/05/17 07:41:41
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