By John Clay, Rock At Night Columnist-London
John Clay a.k.a Clark Kent records bands live in session with the cinematic flair of an auteur. Often, the bands are encouraged to play previously unheard material. They occasionally say ‘yes’.
John Says: Jelly’s new song has the unapologetic stamp of early seventies hard rock all over it. Think Mick Ronson at the height of his powers muscling his riffs over Bowie’s folk tunes.
Now, the trick to recording in a small space is to hold back on revealing every aspect of the room, and this holding back direction is applicable to the musicians. It was tempting to keep everyone in frame and shoot more of Mickey (lead guitar), but then you leave yourself with nowhere to go. Sometimes you can get away with it, but most often it’s about teasing certain players.
Not a fan of post production, but I applied a black and white filter to mask the fact that Stevie (singer) looked like he’d been under a sunbed for a year! I’ll miss the look of Vera’s fire colour hair though, but then it’s her solid bass work which is more important and the credit for the great sound has to go to Mickey (lead guitar) who took great care in getting things just right before I arrived.
The more I watch the vid, the less I’m that bothered about my shadow appearing from time to time, let alone my reflection in Stevie’s acoustic guitar right at the beginning. Truth be told, I make a bit of a cameo in a session yet to be uploaded to the channel. Stay tuned so to speak …
‘Special’ is a ‘twin’ song to older track ‘Spiders’ and from the sound of the lyrics and intense performance, Stevie (vocals) isn’t pulling any emotional punches here. Glad to film a band with good arrangements since my camera style relies on good dynamics to ‘dance’ with the song. Live Sessions Season 1 Video 8: Jelly
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Like this? Well, check out my previous session with The Loveburns here: Live Sessions Season 1 Video 7: The Loveburns
I'm a promoter of underground bands based in London and sometimes, further afield. I film live music and when the mood takes me, I shoot official music videos for free.
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