Just as Bill Shakespeare once told, everyone has a role on all the world’s stage and with their new single ‘White Rooms And People’ Todmorden’s hippest punk-funk 4-piece are reminding us that, in the likelihood of impending Armageddon, there’s never been a better time to step up.
“People have an important role to play”, affirms Working Men’s Club’s singer and chief beat-maker Sydney Minsky-Sargeant, alluding to the origins of the band’s newest release. “Creative power is incredibly important in these times, whether it’s to soothe people’s pain, distract them or address how fucked up the world is right now. There are things we have to accept but there are also things we can do; the power has always been there so it’s about time we used it again.”
As their revolving carousel of members and sonic activism cranks up another gear, Working Men’s Club’s fervent agenda is unwavering. Third single ‘White Rooms And People’ is deliberately elusive in its subject-matter (though right-wing political journalists may wish to close their ears) yet the band’s metamorphosis adds vibrancy and growth in character. Now joining Syd, alongside bassist Liam Ogburn, the Club’s most recent recruits include guitarist and synth whizz Rob Graham (of Drenge) and the multi-talented cool of Mairead O’Connor (of Moonlandingz) on guitar, keys and vocals. Together, Working Men’s Club’s infectious rhythm section is enhanced with synths that shift to anthemic bullshit-detecting disco beats.
“These are dark times we are living in; this world is forever more and more depressing but there is solitude in music and anyone can indulge in it, however hard these times are,” Syd affirms. “You can either tuck yourself away and cradle into a ball to make music as a way of distraction or square up to people and scream in their faces. I try and do a bit of both!”
The single was premiered by The Quietus and accompanied by and interview with Fergal Kinney. “‘White Rooms And People’ is a fantastic piece of Talking Heads funk pop – like life in a small town itself, it sounds hemmed in, brittle, agoraphobic.” Brilliant – check it out HERE
The video was directed by director Kieran Evans who had some beautiful things to say about the band:
“I’ve lost count how many people have told me a band will blow my mind when i see them live only for the whole experience to be a huge disappointment. But then again on a warm summer evening last June, that very rare moment where my mind was blown actually did happen and working mens club were responsible. Just 40 odd people and me slowly losing our minds in a sweaty basement. fuck they were good. i mean really fucking good. fast forward 5 months and Jeff Barrett fires over a Soundcloud link to me of ‘White Rooms and People’ and a simple question. promo. interested?… fuck yeah.
So here goes…. I wanted to abstract the idea of what a band should be seen to “do” in a pop video. what is the purpose of performing/miming live in this unreal state? i love the bands attitude especially Syd’s stage persona so i played with the idea of the band showing complete disinterest and nonchalance to this “requirement” to perform to camera. a number of the set-ups were devised on the day of the shoot with the band which made the process even more fun. the stereotypical visuals of cables, amps and paraphernalia were dumped in favour of the band presenting an attitude in the way they ‘performed’ or “mimed” the song.
In terms of the look and feel, the more i listened to the track, the more i wanted the shoot to have an analogue feel. the song is such
a hook laden monster i wanted to really set it visually apart from the current crop of indie style guitar bands promo’s set in derelict warehouses.
with that in mind, i started looking at early 80’s video art as reference points and especially the slightly off kilter vision fx treatments of footage
that somehow gave “meaning” to the art and the messages behind it.. so we worked with a vivid, colourful palette that lent itself more to 80’s style
videos…the one request syd had was he wanted the promo to have a weird/unsettling feel to the clip despite the colour and vividness so I devised
a simple narrative of framing the presentation of the promo within a strange, unsettling gallery space with a slightly dark twist to the band and protagonists fate. the clue is in the quote at the top of the promo…
ps: working mens club will truly blow your fucking mind. i’m telling you now.“
WATCH ‘WHITE ROOMS AND PEOPLE’ VIDEO:
Check out Working Men’s Club’s tour dates ↓