Antmusic collaboration on T4

September 7, 2008

So live on T4 Transmission, September 5, 2008 The Charlatans and Dirty Pretty Things perform Antmusic.  But is it just me who would like to actually see this?  The camera work / direction in this bit of video is shocking!

If you’ve watched it already, did you spot that there was more than one drummer?  Adam Ant had various incarnation of ‘the ants’, from early punk through the new-romantic 80s to going solo, but the best known line up had two drummers Chris “Merrick” Hughes and Terry Lee Miall.   It looks to me that both are playing in this collaboration along with Dirty Pretty Things drummer Gary Powell.  But there are only a couple of shots that you can see there are THREE drummers!

Not only does whoever is calling the shots decide not to show much of the only two members of the original band being paid tribute to here, or a fairly unusual visual impact of having three drummers but for some reason at 1:28, they again at 2:28 we get the camera to sweep past a set of step ladders that has been left on the side of the stage!?  The second time this is done it lasts for the duration of a drum solo only for the camera to cut away when the camera finally arrives at the drummers – what’s going on, what is the director trying to show or is it simply that they have a programmed flying camera that can do that sweep, so might as well use it whether it fits or not.

OK, so visual rant over, the version of Antmusic is fun, the singers have dressed up for the part and it is a good track.  Shame you can see so little of it in this video.

Visually this version is fantastic, but it is more famous famous because they are so obviously miming and at around 2 min in the bassist guitar strap breaks and he starts messing around like an idiot, it isn’t hard to see how pissed of Adam is (skip to 5:45ish if you don’t want to watch it all).  Kevin Mooney was sacked shortly after this Royal Variety Performance in 1981.

and just for the hell of it, here’s Robbie Williams version of antmusic from 1998


August 8, 2008

Some say the world will end today because it’s the 8th of Aug 2008

Some say it is a good day to start the Olympics (but I’ve decided to boycot the opening ceremony as it is too far away, so I’ll only watch it on TV).

However, 8th of 8th 2008 has reminded me of this long forgotten song from my formative years (1980 in fact)….

It is Hazel O’Connor singing Eighth Day from the movie Breaking Glass (not a very good movie if I remember, right up there with Jubilee in the Post-Punk-apocalyptic-homegrown-British move stakes – or DON’T WATCH!!)

I distinctly remember listening the a 12″ vinyl single version of this over and over, probably with the words ripped out of Smash Hits, ahh the days before internet and mp3s :-)

Have a nice 8th Day!

The Ting Tings at QMU Glasgow 24 May 2008

May 27, 2008

So, I finally got youtube to stop messing around and managed to get the video montage from The Ting Ting’s gig up. I uploaded it to VIMEO as well as YouTube just to try out this place, to be honest I’m not to happy with either site.  Vimeo is a much easier site to use and has some nice features but the playback always stutters during playback.  Youtube drastically degrades the quality of the video, however as many more people use and search youtube, this has to be the place to keep videos, also although the embeding code for both Vimeo and Youtube are below I’m fairly sure you will only be able to see one.

The Ting Tings at QMU Glasgow 24 May 2008 (46) from Grayza on Vimeo.

As for the gig itself – it was fantastic, lots of energy and really different and fun sound.  It was short, but as Poppadom commented  “I thought it was a good gig, it was fun though short… but they only have one album so I don’t know what else they could’ve done. Better a show that’s short and good than a longer one with dull fillers”

Also, to answer the question about the support group Modernaire – I only caught the last couple of songs and they didn’t really grab my attention much though, I thought it sounded a bit ‘Cassio Keyboard’ for my taste though I was intrigued by the sudden appearances of a chello – and the two girls vocals sounded good.

Worship, eyes closed or eyes open

May 9, 2008

I’ve been to two large Christian events recently. Worship Central‘s visit to Glasgow and the CWW National Gathering.

Unfortunately in both cases I wasn’t able to get to the whole thing – life has just been too annoying lately with the amount of stuff that gets in the way – so I didn’t want to post too much about either, but one thing I’ve been going over since Worship Central is how much the total lack of visual stimulus distracted me from worship.  How can the lack of something distract me?

If there were awards for worship services (please don’t tell me there are), then the one at Worship Central would have won across the board.  Great worship leaders, good band, fantastic mix of songs well arranged and structured across the set and a ‘congregation’ of worship leaders and musicians who had waited for this sold out event, queued outside, anticipated and were ready to go.  So a win-win situation, what could possibly go wrong.  Me, apparently.

Yes, I did ‘enjoy’ the worship if you are aloud to say that sort of thing, and yes it did help me to focus on, think about and I suppose ‘meet with’ God, which I guess is the point.  But I just got so bored of staring at white text on a black background.  The church we met in had some banners up – these were all just text – and there was a nice big stained glass window (which had three characters in it that I have no idea who they were, it wasn’t obvious to me).  I got so bored I realised that I was looking around (while singing) looking for something that pointed to God and I couldn’t find it.

Jump forward two weeks – Church Without Walls National Gathering at Ingliston.  Again, I could only make part of the last day and I know there were lots of different styles of worship, singing, praying, service, etc. all going on but I only managed to get to two (more or less).   Sunday evening’s closing session for the national gathering was in the program as “Worship with Jonny Baker, Praise with Stuart Townend” which was interesting because we often use the words ‘Worship’ and ‘Praise’ to mean the same thing – singing.

Jonny Baker has posted here about what he did in that hour with an outline of the order things happened and links to resources.  Very useful if you were there but it doesn’t give the feel of what happened and neither can I. What I can say is that the visual stimulus which matched the music style and almost ancient chanting style of singing I found really helpful to quickly focus, become still and be with God.  Some of the visuals were specific to match what was being said, sung or read others less so but even on this scale (2-3000 people in a large venue with a stage fit for a rock concert) there was still an intimacy and sense of interaction.  This style of led worship with mixes of readings, liturgy, stories, etc. included asking for our physical participation in response to what was being said, it included a time to reflect what we wanted prayed for and to take away something to pray for a stranger – it was in other words, very well structured and rounded time of worship (not just singing songs)

Following this I stayed for the first song or two in the “Praise by Stuart Townend’ section, but I was too distracted, had a headache and wasn’t able to focus at all on it.  When I realised I was just singing the words for no good reason I left to go and think more about what had happened earlier.

So, are these the two extremes of contemporary worship – a guitar based band, leading song after song with the aim of getting us to think about God (presumably) and a bloke with a Mac using chilled music, singing, visuals and written words.  Perhaps it’s not just a visual thing as I had in mind when I started this post, not simply a case of eyes opened or eyes closed – perhaps it is that I’ve got a short attention span and prefer to have multiple things happening (visuals to look at, words to think about, music to listen to) and not just look at the band playing their instruments.

Blog explosion

April 30, 2008

If a blog were to explode what sort of noise would it make?  I think some kind of blurting-blobby-splat.

I’ve not had much time to post here because I’ve been working on a video with a bit of a deadline (only taking a break now to let some of the text overlays render so I can tell if what I’m doing looks right).  I’ve also been starting up a bunch of other blogs.

1- has moved the archive of what happened this month at Deeper from a page on this blog (which made it difficult to update) to one of its own.  Eventually this will grow so that more of the Deeper team will update different areas and we can send out announcements before the event and follow-up posts after the event.  This is experimental, and we are winding down towards summer but hopefully it will kick off when we start a new series in the Autumn.

2- Got a bit confusing.  I wanted to start a space where I could talk more about the visual mixing actually being a ministry, so to develop some slightly more serious thinking and writing on what it is I / we do.  But I didn’t want to get this mixed up with the general ‘notes of life’ that I put here so started a new blog.  The problem is I don’t like ANY of the terms we use… Christian VJ, Worship VJ, Visual Mixer, etc…  they are all OK and I like the term VJ but it does make people instantly think of jumpy, fast paced visuals that would fit in a club but really don’t work behind a slow paced worship song.  So (for now) I’ve settled on Christian Visualist. Visualist is a term used by some VJs and Video Artists and does tend to mean live performance so I think it fits – does sound a bit pompous though.

3- I’ve been trying to move the good old, hand-coded DeepRiver web site over to WordPress as well, however this is proving difficult – all the relevant names have been taken, I can’t get the full depth of sub pages that I need and I don’t have time to write the new contend or upload new videos.  It’s frustrating how developing DeepRiver and anything that actually might bring money to it always seems to take a back seat to the projects that have been taken on in the mean time.

Speaking of which, the video has now rendered, so back to the grind stone – or track-ball to be accurate.

Inappropriate clothing for worship :-<

April 27, 2008

I managed to go to a little of the Worship Central event yesterday. I think this was their first time in Scotland, and unfortunatly I was only able to get along to the opening session and couldn’t stick around all day.

However what I got to had some great worship (even with the lack of any visuals which would have been nice) and a good talk, and even time for some prayer ministry. During this ministry set the speaker gave several calls to come forward for various reasons and several times said things along the lines of coming forward “to remove the garment of Despair and put on joy” .. “take off that garment of Despair”… etc…

It was at this point that I realised that today had been the wrong day wear my new Tshirt purchased online from Despair, Inc – which has this on the back of the neck….

despair logo

Granted this logo is only in small print but I was very aware of it and eventually I did go up for prayer (for non-clothing related reasons) and was glad to have done so, but I was pleased that nobody decided that this had been a literal ‘word’ and tried to remove my T-shirt of Despair – ’cause I didn’t have much else with me :-/

Taking Photos in public

March 23, 2008

I’ve thought about this a lot, but never got around to looking into it so now that I’ve stumbled across this I need to note it here.

My understanding is that you can take photos of anything you want in a public place – you don’t need permission of people or copyright owners or property owners. Later, if you want to publish or use photos (especially for profit) it is a bit more tricky. It is obviously better to get consent if you want to use them like this and also it is polite in many cases if you are getting in people’s way or if they are the main subject of the photo. Anyway, lots more info….

UK Photographers Rights

Photography and The Law: know your rights
(US law, but good advice)

I have no idea how much of this is also relevant to video work done in public so if anyone comes across this and knows more feel free to comment.

Now that I know this I’ll publish this photo which I took last month. I was taking pics of the mirrors in a shop window when this moment just happened – I’ve not asked her permission, but it was very obvious that she was walking through the shot, I’m not sure if she was looking to see what was worth taking photos of or just checking herself out but I really like the moment.


What’s even better is that my understanding of all this legal stuff is that I can take the photo with her in it, I don’t need permission to publish it but I have full copyright on it – so don’t copy!