The Ridings shopping centre in Wakefield was a brand new shopping experience for the Wakefield populous. Opened in late 1983, it had attracted a good range of visitors and a few big names had moved in. To be offered this modern and airy building as the backdrop for our band video was an amazing opportunity. It was great PR for the centre management team and an opportunity not to be missed for a local band.
Having secured the free services of a new video company, a make-up artist, a journalist, lighting technician and friends, we were ready to record on video, our first ever attempt at making our music into a visual extravaganza…
The story board was planned, locations and lighting noted, costume and make-up scheduled and choreography rehearsed, it was time to do the shoot. I can remember at the time of how bizarre it all felt, miming to the track, acting nonchalant, trying hard not to corps (which I nearly do at one point on the video) and all of this in front of a fair few people. It was very different to playing live.
We walked up stairs, down escalators, posed in front of columns and streams, pretended to sweep floors, sang out loud whilst sat amongst the plants and wrapped Linda up in a sheet. We repeated it all many times for different camera angles and took short breaks to discuss in great detail if we had managed to shoot enough film to make a decent video.
After a full day filming, we packed up our gear and somewhat elated we made our way home to reflect on what we had done and ponder on how well Steve would put together the final cut. We had hoped to spend time with him to edit the film but as things worked out we never got further than Steve’s first edit. With a growing business and timetabling difficulties we had to make do with a raw cut, without the studio quality soundtrack.
Watching the video back in 1984 was once again a bit of a strange experience, I personally felt it needed an awful lot of work; there were far too many cheesy effects and many of the scenes were not included which was a pity as it would have told a more comprehensive story about one guys love and lust for a regular visitor to his place of work – Total Seduction. A series of shots that were missed out all together included one of Linda dressed as a mannequin being carried by two delivery/stock room guys. I remember it vividly with Linda draped in the finest Egyptian cotton cloth, trying to remain rigid as she was carried/hauled up and down a rather perilous escalator. Not to worry, it had been a great experience for us all and despite the lack of artistic input, at the time, we were generally pleased. In 1984, for a local band to have a video other than home movie standard was quite unusual.
We never really hawked the video around as it was never finished despite what was reported in the press. The promises and dreams faded away but it remained a constant reminder of what life could have in store for us if we were ever to become mainstream. Well here is the video in all it’s glory. Now transferred from VHS to MP4, 32 years later. Watching now in 2016, I have to smile and cherish the memories. It’s good to know that at least four of the final six members of the band are all still in contact after all these years. Who knows, with two synth players, a bass and now, lead guitarist and a reluctant vocalist, a virtual collaboration might be on the cards? Enjoy the video and be kind, we were young and dreaming…
Barnsley Chronicle – Friday 4th May 1984