On the set of Derriere’s Battle Plan video shoot

By Alex Oxborough

Brighton-based band Derriere, purveyors of raunchy rock’n’soul blues and honkin’ good times, recently released their first single, Battle Plan. Picked up already by the likes of Mark Lamaar, it seems glory awaits. Never one to miss out on vicarious glory I joined them as an extra on the set of the accompanying video at Studio Ping Pong.

Our instructions were clear: be there at six, dress 50s/60s. It was metaphorically puffing then, that my companions and I tumbled from a taxi almost twenty minutes late sporting beehive approximations. We are told to go to the pub as the set is nowhere near ready.

Three experimental shots and a chaser each later, we return to be herded into position. We choose the gantry, safely out of the way while the director, Rupert Noble, frightens everyone into obedience. Filming begins; I need to pee.

We have been told to dance awkwardly to compliment the swinging 60s youth music programme mise-en-scéne, not difficult when you feel like a plonker.

My companion turns to me in a filming break as I return, beatific, from the loo and says: ‘there is a lot of good hair in this room’. Glancing around I note there is both a lot of good hair and a lot of good dancing. Cheats.

Extras at the point of mutiny and calls for ‘drink’, ‘fags’ and ‘whores’ coming from each quarter of the studio, Sarah Tonin, lead singer of Derriere and star of the show, intercedes on our behalf to secure a cigarette break.

On our return professional dancers are jiving up a storm. They make it doubly embarrassing for my companions and I that we are unable to grasp the basic of uniform shimmying. The camera is all seeing.

By now the band have stoically played, not played, and pretended to play the single, Battle Plan, at least a dozen times. Kudos to them, it is ballsy, toe-tapping fun that proves catchy and surprisingly nuanced.

At seemingly great length we, the extras, are dismissed. As we head out for takeaway and pub I can hear the director geeing up the band for a few more hours of close-ups. Hard work, the music business.

Derriere’s single, Battle Plan, is available on vinyl and on iTunes. The video will premiere at the single’s launch party on the 4th November at the Blind Tiger Club.


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