Violins and Tambourines

Words by James Rednall

“I’ve loved film and music ever since I was a kid. When I first started writing songs I realised they could paint pictures in your mind, which inevitably leads to telling stories. I’ve always wanted to combine them both.” – Kelly Jones, Stereophonics.

Recently the Welsh rock band Stereophonics released a taster of their upcoming, currently unentitled, eighth album with a track called ‘Violins and Tambourines’. The track is accompanied by a short video, but this is arguably not a music video but is in fact a 5 ½ minute film. It has no dialogue or other sounds apart from the track playing across its duration.

The video is directed by Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones and it follows a man who goes into a drug store but at the same time bumping into a woman, who it is believed is an ex-girlfriend. The man leaves the women after a brief encounter as he exits the store and walks of down the road.

The film then cuts to colour and a different scene in which we see the mysterious man fall under water. The woman from earlier then swims after him and they are briefly intimate, but are broken up after he is caught in a net and becomes separated from her. This is perhaps a reflection of what is happening in the real world as the film then cuts back to what the man has really been doing in real life.

The pace of the song increases as the film progresses, with the lyrics being reflected in what happens on screen. It could therefore be argued to be a music video, which is a short film integrating a song and imagery.

However, I believe it is more than that and is a short film which illustrates the song, with no members of the band playing or singing in the video. It has meaning and themes attributed it to it which makes you further understand the song. This is not first time it has been done, but it is a welcome break from the music videos that appear today.

This is also similar to Noel Gallagher’s recent music videos for the singles, ‘If I Had A Gun’, ‘The Death of You and Me’, and ‘AKA What A Life’. Although released separately, they all make a up a short film called ‘Ride The Tiger’.

The songs are pieced together and it makes for a fantastic watch, with the lyrics and themes of the tracks being echoed in their own videos, but also all three coming together to form a larger picture.

Although these are only two examples of songs being made into short films, they show how music videos can become more than just mere promotions of singles.

They are much more enjoyable and deep to watch than what is put out from the chart singles today. It shows how songs cannot just be listened to, but also watched.


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