The Feelers “Communicate”

2001-the-feelers-communicateAw yeah, the Feelers are back with the title track from their second album. Since their previous album, things had changed. The band were a couple of years older, but seem to have ditched the rock star trappings of their previous videos. In fact, this video marks the moment when James Feelers adopted the more casual look that would see him compared to political one-hit wonder Aaron Gilmore a decade later.

The video begins with a bleak hazy orange landscape, struck by sinister bolts of lightning. And I’m thinking, ok, is the video going to be set on Mars? But no. It’s earth and here comes James Feelers walking towards the camera in a t-shirt, baggy jeans and a cap, like someone who’s heading back to the car after making a pee stop on the Desert Road.

The video then alternates between James walking around some sand dunes and the rest of the band putting in a low-energy performance of the song. How low energy? The bass player is sitting down.

Finally James stumbles across a door in the middle of the sand dunes, opens it and discovers his lazy-arse band set up in a makeshift room. Crazy! Surreal! Etc! There is a TV in the room. And – get this – it has a pot plant on top. And just in case things didn’t seem weird enough, it then starts raining.

It’s like because the Feelers have ditched the eyeliner, silver trousers and giant killer punks, the music video has to pick up the slack. But I suspect that the Feelers are actually more comfortable with this casual look. After all, the chorus proudly asserts, “We communicate without any style.”

Best bit: the slow-mo O-face of James Feelers in the rain.

Director: Matthew Metcalfe
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

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