Posted 24th of May 2000

Belle and Sebastian

2 May - Gareth Thomas did recording work at Glasgow University dressed as a Judge on a video single 'Legal Man' for the band Belle and Sebastian, appearing with "two belly dancers, a couple of transvestites, two 'dandies', and a girl with a python" in a set based on Soho gentlemen's club circa 1967. source - Belle and Sebastian's website.

All pictures expand to larger images.

The video is around 2 minutes long and if you have cable/satellite TV and watch the music channels for long enough you'll be bound to catch it! To help you, look out for: 'Long Play' on Sky TV - it will be shown every day as a 'new release' the week of 22nd May (it's a late night/early hours of morning show); It will also be getting 5 plays a week on MTV Channel, specifically on Tuesday nights between 11pm and 1am on the 'Alternative Nation' show. It's been shown on the Jo Whiley Show on 17th May and also Video Tech on 11th May (both Channel 4). Airtimes source - Horizon.

The following is from the diary section of the Belle and Sebastian web site

DIARY OF A BAND 3rd May 2000

We shot our first big budget video on Tuesday, for the new single, 'Legal Man'. All our previous videos have been made on a shoe string, on Super-8, a friend holding the camera. This one had a proper crew, consisting of a director (Isobel), a producer, a director of film, a camera man, lighting and sound people, a grip (I think), make-up and costume people, and various runners. We also hired several actors, including the guy who played Blake in long-running cheesy '70's sci-fi series 'Blake's Seven'. His name is Gareth, and he was a consummate professional. Other extras included two belly dancers, a couple of transvestites, two 'dandies', and a girl with a python.

It was all shot in Glasgow University's very own University Union, in the Reading Room, which had been successfully transformed into a Soho gentlemen's club circa 1967. A very good place to shoot a video too, with such fine catering and cheap drink so close to hand.

Back to the budget, it became increasingly obvious as the day wore on that there are several pro's and con's associated with increasing the budget of a video, as compared with the el-cheapo method. On the plus side, you end up with something that definitely looks more 'professional', which won't look quite so out of place next to the 'professional' looking videos you tend to get on the telly. It gives a boost, no matter how small, to the local film industry (most of whom are now friends with Richard, whose girlfriend is a big player in film costume cirlces). And it also gives you more of a chance to get dressed up to the nines, and get fussed over by the girls in costume and make-up. On the down side, it certainly is more impersonal, you feel much more part of the machine, a cog in the engine, an entry on the schedule. It's more like work, less like fun with your mates. And it could be considered by some as 'selling out'. Whatever, it's done, the spools are off to be processed, Isobel is off to edit it, and I for one am looking forward to seeing the final product.

Mick Cooke


The pictures are from the Video kindly provided by Banchory Merchandising. It was directed by Isobel Campbell and the producer was Russell Mclean. (p) + (c) Jeepster Recordings ltd 2000

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