Earlier this year, Navigation Day, a studio-based music duo featuring myself and my buddy Tim Hann, released an EP called Mid-Decade Blue. A set of songs outlining a few choice existential doubts, it was led by a song called ‘Town’, a series of lyrical snapshots about the constantly changing face of the modern metropolis and, essentially, how it’s sometimes hard to find a place within it.
The genesis of the song had come from driving to work through Kirkstall every morning and watching as the tired old BHS building – a curious landmark from my long-departed student days - was demolished and slowly replaced by a shiny new shopping centre; how long before this new development ceased to be ‘new’ and just part of the everyday?
I decided that a good visual accompaniment for the song would be to capture the city centre at a specific but nondescript point in time: to take a snapshot, as a reminder of what it looked like in early 2016 (the thinking being, if it was reshot even just a couple of months later, developments and progress would have caused the skyline to evolve again). So, my wife Sarah and I fired up the Focus and headed into Leeds on a Sunday afternoon in February, did one loop of the centre starting just before the Crown Court and ending on Wellington Street where the Yorkshire Post building had once stood, and filmed what we saw.
There’s no whizz-bang trickery, just an iPhone app that renders the footage as if hand-drawn. A long-term A-ha fan, the animated effect is my tip of the hat to their none-more-iconic Take On Me video; alas, my cheekbones aren’t a patch on Morten Harket’s, so I wisely decided to stay behind the camera, instead giving the city the starring role.
On a whim, and anticipating a little local interest if nothing else, we entered the video in the Music Video category of the upcoming 30th Leeds International Film Festival, and were utterly thrilled when it was selected for screening. As regular Film Fest-goers, we’re chuffed to have even the smallest involvement, and it’ll be fab to see and hear our work up on the big screen rubbing metaphorical audio-visual shoulders with recent work by Steve Mason, Andreya Triana and Peter, Bjorn & John among others.
Leeds International Music Video Competition is on Wednesday 9th November, 6pm at the Belgrave Music Hall. The full listing of videos showing on the night is here: http://www.leedsfilm.com/films/leeds-intl-music-video-competition-at-bel...
Navigation Day’s Mid-Decade Blue EP is available from the usual digital stores, as well as http://navigationday.bandcamp.com/