TV Priest 'Decoration' by Joe Wheatley
Promonews - 30th Oct 2020
Joe Wheatley brings post-punk outfit TV Priest's piledriving Decoration to the screen with a series of brilliantly oddball, occasionally poignant scenarios, featuring the band's mercurial frontman Charlie Drinkwater.
Drinkwater's vocal is a witty digression on the detritus of modern life that sticks in your brain - sparked by a quote from Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent, of all things - against a thrilling wall of guitar and drum noise. Joe Wheatley has made the connection with those lyrics and the really strange stuff you see on the internet - and has recreated many of those set-ups, mainly with Drinkwater as his muse and accomplice.
Eating pasta from a bag, hanging from a tree, walking the dog while dressed as a dog, having bread as your head, kicking a TV into a grave while wearing a Georgian outfit... the images just keep coming, and coming. And through Adam Jones's canny edit, the non-sequitor stream of images bonds with the controlled aggression of the track.
The result is testimony to Wheatley's resourcefulness as well as vision - it was filmed in Nottingham with a crew of just himself and DoP Rik Burnell over a weekend- and to the band's willingness in creating a video that resembles an art piece. A wonderful way to mark this longtime group of friends' forthcoming debut album - and their recent signing to legendary Seattle label Sub Pop.
It’s the first time my scene lists contained ‘dog nipples’ and ‘pasta bag’.
"I was introduced to Charlie and the band, I read their brief and thought ‘oh fuck, this is going to be hard - the treatment must be good’ and I wrote exactly that in the treatment.
"The film is a collection of vignettes that we either came up with or found on the internet and adapted to suit. It’s the first time my scene lists contained ‘dog nipples’ and ‘pasta bag’. I also wrote in the treatment ‘This will be a labour of love. It’ll be a 'call our friends and relatives' affair. It’s a 'please stand there and do this weird thing for an hour' kinda film. And again, the prophecy came true on one very fun weekend.
"If I could go back and change anything it would be the acquisition of the old television. I found it in an online listing, the band went to collect it and it was an older gentleman who immediately began to regale them very enthusiastically with the ohm rating, et cetera. If only he knew it's fate."
CHARLIE DRINKWATER (TV PRIEST):
"Decoration has always felt like a song full of little vignettes; like you’re walking down the street and realising the absurdity of human existence for the first time. Joe perfectly encapsulated this in his idea, which was based on an ‘endless scroll’ of images, like a filmic representation of a meme account crossed with 1970s durational performance art.
"Each situation becomes more absurd and Dada as we progress. We spent a weekend debasing ourselves in Joe’s native Nottingham shooting with a single 16mm camera and limited film which lent each of the single takes a sense of jeopardy; I knew if I didn’t nail it first time the shot would be unusable."
Promonews - 30th Oct 2020