The UK rave producer shares a gritty piece of kitchen sink realism in his video for ‘Backtail Was Heavy’
Lone’s new single “Backtail Was Heavy” has an old school flavour. Taken from his forthcoming sixth album Levitate, the track harkens back to classic rave with its skittish breaks and booming sub bass, and the only way you could hear it at first was by calling a UK telephone number that took you through to a mock pirate radio station.
So it makes sense that its video should have an old school vibe too, too: it evokes vintage British kitchen sink dramas and gritty working class crime films, following a kid through schools, council estates, pubs, and strip clubs. “Mike Leigh’s Naked was used as a visual reference to begin with, which is probably my favourite film of all time,” Lone says, “So I was on board from there.”
“When I first heard the tune, it instantly conjured up lots of gritty, real, British-looking imagery in my head,” explains director Hugo Jenkins, who shot the video with cinematographer Gabriels in Newham, East London. “I tried to stay close to this, letting it inspire the subject matter, locations and cast.”
Broad colours and dream imagery recur throughout Lone’s discography, so it was essential to represent this within the visuals. “The camerawork veered away from this realism – I wanted to shoot it in a very slick and stylish way so that it felt dreamy and hyperreal with long, fluid steadicam sweeps,” says Jenkins, “Filming in Silvertown in Newham was integral to the dreamlike feel of the piece. There’s loads of graphic-looking architecture that doesn’t look at all like London. You have these old pubs that haven’t changed since the 60s. It all feels really ambiguous, like we could easily be somewhere else in the country. In my mind this landscape works with the nostalgic rave stabs and breaks of the track, too. The place itself feels in-between two eras.”
“The colours are spot on for me,” Lone says, “When I hear the drums and stabs in the track, I’m seeing a lot of gnarly, faded browns and greys. The overall grade of the video has that going on, which is really satisfying. Also, the track is lairy as fuck, so it totally needed a video equally as lairy.”
R&S Records release Levitate on May 27