Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Video - Massive Attack's "Live With Me"

either way, win or lose, when you're born into trouble, you live the blues ....

Massive Attack get their drink on here, in no uncertain terms, with the wonderful promo video for "Live With Me", from some moons back. A song of simple yet haunting lyrics, dripping with beautiful strings.

Performed with the great Terry Callier, "Live With Me" is a beautiful slice of modern urban blues. A soulful song of a pained broken love.

The song was a special track on the band's 2006 compilation album, Collected, and was also released as a single.

"Live With Me" was among the first slew of tracks conceived in the newly constructed Massive Attack studio in Bristol in 2005. Coming off the back of making two separate soundtrack projects, Danny The Dog and Bullet Boy respectively in the previous year, Live With Me was influenced by these soundtrack excursions, using a film score approach to writing – employing putting down quick sketches and getting basic chord structures going such as melodies and riffs.

This resulted in a more simple and organic song than other recent material, which recalled Massive Attack’s soulful heyday, and their seminal debut LP " Blue Lines".

The track was originally not conceived as being apart of Collected but for another untitled film soundtrack which Massive Attack were working on in 2005 - under the name of their recently created film music production company known as OnePointSix - but at the last minute before the film began shooting, the film’s production was shut down.

The film in question was never named but would have required a jazz blues soundtrack, similar in sound to Live with Me. Once the idea of doing a “Best Of” retrospective came along, one of the abandoned songs from this soundtrack, Live with Me - on which Massive Attack had gotten soul legend, Terry Callier to do the vocals - recorded back in June 2005 was dusted off the shelf for inclusion on Collected.

The promo is like a short film that stands on its own right. Beautifully conceived, directed, shot and acted.

Man, that babe can really down a bottle of vodka! Reminds me of an Irish chick I dated back in the day! A girl who had just one problem in life ... two hands but only one mouth!

This one was directed by a certain Jonathan Glazer - yeah, the bloke who made the wonderful Sexy Beast. The cinematographer was Marcel Zyskind.

For trivia junkies, the town cryer that appears at the start of the video and whose image appears on the gorgeous front cover of the single release is the the actual town cryer of Gloucester, UK Alan Mynott, who also happens to hold the world record for the loudest human voice!!

The actress who played the tragic and pitiful role of the binge drinking woman in the video was played by Scottish actress Kirsty Shepheard.

For most of the video she was not putting on an act as she was actually drunk! ... Well, she is Scottish!!

The video closes with the girl passing out on a bench near her home and dreaming of rolling down an unending golden staircase. As the location didnt have the look required for the staircase sequence, it was decided to replace the original with a golden CG staircase. In post production (undertaken by a company known as MPC), the sequence was camera tracked, and once the director had approved the look, the 15 shots were rendered. The falling woman was then restored from the original footage into the CG environment.

The opening shot was particularly challenging involving seamlessly joining three separate takes into one smooth 10-second shot. Her shadow and reflections were added throughout the sequence to further place her in the scene.

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