Pertinent to this particular moment in time, I feel compelled to write a review of epic Nick Hornsby-esque proportions – of the kind savoured in ‘31 Songs’ – for this hard-hitting ‘does what it says on the tin’ video for Micko and the Mellotronics’ second single directed by filmmaker Ashley Jones. But I have to adhere to a word limit. Over the years at his gigs, frontman Micko Westmoreland has introduced ‘Noisy Neighbours’ all about ‘living in a housing co-op’. But that was then. Overnight, society seems to now exist on extreme tenterhooks, and self isolation is now the portentous norm, what with Coronavirus, and toxic use of social media. Negativity is the new positivity.
The video itself seems to be part of the lineage stemmed from the one for Siouxsie and the Banshees’ ‘Happy House’, revealing the claustrophobic side to apparent smug domesticity. Fast forward four decades with the rise of separation; divorces; the death of the nuclear family; the unfeasible price of property, etc. The beautiful people can’t afford to live in splendid isolation anymore. Pubs are too expensive. Staying in is the new going out.
The blonde protagonist, who resembles Marianne Faithfull circa 1966, is light years away from her expected summery idyll. She is literally on her hands and knees, making a normal night in seem like a total ordeal. The whispered refrain of the song and the descending Stranglers-like riff seem to add to her plight rather than empathise with her.
This all ties in with the Mellotronics’ brilliantly realistic sombre interpretation of fair Albion, where loners and beautiful losers sure aren’t the ones so beloved as depicted in late 60s ‘Rubble’ compilations and early 70s BBC sitcoms. The final nail in the coffin is that the TV is on full blast. Such a simple touch serves like a ‘homage in reverse’ to 80s Doctor Who where ‘reality tv’ as a commodity was pre-empted. Think ‘Vengeance On Varos’ and ‘The Greatest Show In The Galaxy’.
Britain sure ain’t sitting comfortably. Watch and learn.