By 1996 the Chills were known as Martin Phillipps and the Chills, but like other videos from this time, the latest incarnation of the Chills are absent, with Martin Phillipps the only star of the video.
The song has a quirky, upbeat tone with dark lyrics (bloody goths) and the video picks up on this. It starts with stage show, where Martin plays “the great Persevero”. I assume he is skilled at persevering.
He’s up on stage with some cardboard waves moving from side to side, and a cardboard sun, reminiscent of the “Sunburnt” album cover. We also see Martin in more regular guise, strumming along on his guitar, sitting amongst a pile of highly symbolic crushed cars.
There’s more fun to be had on stage, at Persevero tries hard to perform his magic tricks, only to set fire to the chain of handkerchiefs. The stage also features the only appearance of another person, whose sole purpose seems to be to comedically swing a ladder around to bump Persevero over.
Compared to the slicker efforts of previous Chills videos, “Surrounded” is obviously a much lower budget number, but it captures the dark humour at the heart of the song.
Best bit: the junkyard dog, not at all interested in the pop goings-on.
Next… a three-way.