Before Adele and “Someone Like You”, “Lydia” was the default white-girl-blues song for those evenings requiring white wine and bitter tears. It’s a great song (it hit number one in the charts) and has a perfect singalong chorus – “My babeeeeey! Don’t you want me anymore?”
Director Jonathan King sets the band performing in an intimate venue (filmed at Verona on K Road). It soon becomes clear they’re miming their instruments. It’s not just air guitar, but also air bass, air drums and air microphone. As sultry nightclub singer Julia Deans sings the song, the camera captures her dramatic eye rolls and sarcastic facial gestures. She’s singing across the room from a couple at a table – a crusty looking guy sitting with a blonde chick. Lydia.
When the chorus comes around, the sarcasm leaves Julia’s face. She gets right to the emotional core of the song, that feeling of awfulness.
As the video progresses we discover that Lydia is played by Julia Deans in a wig, complete with the same labret piercing. Julia walks over to the crusty guy and Lydia and climbs up on their table. But she seems to be as invisible to them as the band’s instruments are to us. But something happens. Julia turns to Lydia and cries, “My baby, don’t you love me anymore?” Lydia acknowledges her, her face dropping. And we realise – Julia was never singing to the crusty guy (good, because gross); she was singing to Lydia, a blonde version of herself.
Such a simple and such a devastatingly good video.
Best bit: the crusty guy’s wine tasting mime.
Director: Jonathan King
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… a pretty cool night in Auckland.