“HUNTING FOR WITCHES”
August 27, 2007
A proper welcome is in order my dear friend! It’s Andy Gesner and my staff at HIP Video Promo back with yet another clip from the UK’s hottest act right now, Bloc Party. Here at HIP, we’ve had the immense privilege of working with Bloc Party on campaigns for their past five music videos. It’s been particularly gratifying to watch as this fantastic British band has caught on in the US: by now, they’ve captured as many American ears as they have in the UK, where they’re huge celebrities. A Weekend In The City, their 2007 release, reached #12 on the Billboard charts, and their performances in the United States have been jammed with enthusiastic fans. Kele Okereke is now one of the most instantly recognizable frontmen in the world, and his winning performances in Bloc Party videos have kept his handsome face firmly ensconced in the public’s imagination.
The Bloc Party CV is impressive: nine U.K. Top 40 hits, several visitations to the U.S. Modern Rock chart, appearances on David Letterman and Jools Holland, inclusion on countless soundtracks, compilations, and television programs. But we admire Bloc Party as much for their candor as we do for their catchiness. For a commercially-successful band, Okereke and his mates have always been unafraid to tackle important subjects: in fact, speaking out has always been at the heart of the Bloc Party enterprise. “I Still Remember,” the first U.S. single from A Weekend In The City addressed desire between two school-friends; elsewhere on the new album, Okereke sings about urban development in London, drug culture, the perils of anti-immigration logic.
“Hunting For Witches” is, perhaps, the most serious-minded track on the set; while it’s as infectious and propulsive as anything Bloc Party has yet released, its condemnation of the politics of fear is unflinching. Written in response to the crackdown following the London bombings of July 2005, “Hunting For Witches” examines government and press manipulation of popular sentiment; fear, Okereke suggests, can easily turn into a desire to scapegoat dissidents and foreigners. He’s talking about Britain, of course, but his is a message that will have special resonance for American listeners. “The Daily Mailsays the enemy’s among us, taking our women and taking our jobs,” he sings, “all reasonable thought is being drowned out by the non-stop baying for blood.” Revenge becomes an excuse to set aside critical thinking, and to indulge in our baser impulses in the name of “accountability.”
This single is nothing if not forthright, and Bloc Party has paired it with a straightforward clip that places the emphasis on the song’s sinews. The “Hunting For Witches” clip finds Bloc Party playing against a steel-gray backdrop – their guitars are out, but there’s no sign of amplifiers. All four members wear bright solid-colored tops and dark pants, and each stands out against the darkness; the band is shot from beneath and above, and from a point several yards in front of them, and the clip fluctuates rapidly between these vantages. This may sound simple, but Bloc Party has an advantage that many other bands do not: the members are extremely telegenic, especially when they’re shown interacting. Okereke and his bandmates are video veterans now, and they know just how to address the camera, to deliver a quick aside, how to blend into shadows and give each other space, and how to seize the limelight for a few crucial seconds to deliver an important message.
We could not be any more pumped to be back yet again working with Adam Shore, Jamie Farkas, and Christopher Roberts and the rest of their staff at VICE to promote another amazing Bloc Party video! We’re so very lucky to have Bloc Party back on North American Soil in September and October, so if you would like to set up a video interview along one of the band’s tour stops, please let us know. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at info@HIPVideoPromo.com.
For info about Bloc Party’s “Banquet” video, click HERE
For info about Bloc Party’s “Helicopter” video, click HERE
For info about Bloc Party’s “I Still Remember” video, click HERE
For info about Bloc Party’s “The Prayer” video, click HERE