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Joe Armon-Jones & Hak Baker 'Wrong Side Of Town' by Broken Antenna

David Knight - 7th Mar 2024

Directing duo Broken Antenna reunite with Hak Baker for his collaboration with Ezra Collective member Joe Armon-Jones's new project to create not just a terrific promo but a hugely powerful short doc about gentrification in London's East End.

As Armon-Jones and Baker's song Wrong Side Of Town is about being priced out of a traditionally working class quarter of London, the video sees Baker cycling through the area he grew up in, observing the effects of gentrification, but also the surviving parts of a working-class community that continue to define the city.

Myles and Gustav of Broken Antenna have addressed this subject with righteous passion and considerable skill. With their experience in mixed media, they use various tools to augment the already excellent camerawork capturing Hak's cycle journey. And they continue to introduce new elements to grip the viewer to their subject - even as the track follows an appealing laidback reggae rhythm - leading to a stirring final section involving interviews with some proud East Enders.

Giving more context, Hak Baker says: “All our lives people have been looking down their noses at us but we used to have the safe haven of the estate, blocks and high roads to commune and be human. Now, we hardly have that. The wealthy come to our area to take over and not take part, shoving us outwardly looking down their biased beaks.

"Nah mate, not round here. I think it’s time to scream and shout that we’re here to stay and if you don’t like it, you must be on the wrong side of the town.” 

Ultimately this is a film which potentially transcends its nominal purpose as a pop promo to reach a wider audience, to raise awareness and emotions, putting the issue of gentrification on the political agenda. Something like that does not happen too often. Bravo to all involved.

 

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David Knight - 7th Mar 2024

Tags

  • Documentary
  • Pick of the Day
  • Performance
  • Reggae
  • Gentrification
  • Political
  • London
  • East London

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Broken Antenna
Production Company

Camera

Director of Photography
Thom Neal

Grading

Colourist
Jack McGinity
Colour grade company

Commission

Label
Aquarii Records

Misc

Head of Music Video
Ore Okonedo

David Knight - 7th Mar 2024

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