Thursday, May 18, 2006

Video of the week: Oh My Gosh

Ah, Basement Jaxx. They of the eclectic beats and samples. Darlings of the critics, and keepers of the flame of dance music, except with a tune, and that.

They're undoubtedly one of the best live acts you could ever hope to see - capturing in flesh the manic, kaleidoscopic, multiculturalism of their music.

And yet, for a band with such visual flair, their videos are mostly hopeless. Directors trying to match the unfettered invention of the songs are hampered by restrictive budgets and that curse of all dance promos: uncharismatic front-men.

There are precisely two good Basement Jaxx videos. Romeo is a pastiche of Bollywood dance sequences and Oh My Gosh, featured here, shows a day in the life of a retirement 'village'.

The action centres around singer Vula Malinga's flirtation with another resident. She has some superb comic timing, which gives the clip real personality, and the real-life pensioners who make up the extras get to handle the backing vocals, which is a wonderful touch.

It's directed by Matt Kirkby, who has also helmed videos for Keane and Jamiroquai amongst others. Most of his work has a comic twist or inventive motif. Perhaps the most memorable is for Markus Nikolai's "Bushes", in which a fixed camera records the faces of several women having their first bikini wax (you can see it on youtube).

This one, though, will make you chuckle while tapping your feet. Which is a much nicer feeling, don't you think?

  • Buy Basement Jaxx's greatest hits DVD

    By the way, Keli left a comment a couple of weeks ago asking for 187 Lockdown's "Kung Fu" to be featured as a video of the week. I don't have that one in my collection - but if anyone's got it, drop me a line and I'll try to get it up here!

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