Put Down Your Pen Childcare
21 September 2013, 16:09
Central London, Friday, September 20, 10.30pm. On Great Windmill Street, home of the infamous Windmill Theatre - which "never closed" during the Second World War and is now the home of table dancing - there's a fracas occurring.
Three girls on a hen party, dressed in shocking pink and covered in "L" plates, are having a difference of opinion with a policeman. The copper, wearing a high vis jacket, is trying to move the boisterous girls on from this less than salubrious London backstreet, but they're not having any of it.
Passers-by either gawp or ignore this typical Friday night scene. A group of lads look on, enjoying the sight of girls who just wanna have fun. Then they spot a group of people with a large camera. "They must be filming a reality TV show," one of them says, before they scarper off into the night.
But it's not. One of the passers-by happens to be the tall, dark figure of Tom Smith, and this is a shoot for the video to accompany the new single by Editors.
"I've just realised exactly what I've let myself in for," Tom tells Radio X. As the action is taking place around Soho and Shaftesbury Avenue, Radio X has forsaken the usual Friday night pint, nipped out of Radio X Towers and headed over to see what's happening. Tom started work in Golden Square at 7pm and isn't due to finish until 5am. The rest of the band aren't due to appear for several hours.
The visuals to the song - the title of which will be confirmed in due course, Editors fans - feature Tom as a wraith-like figure, making his way through the dark and seedy night. "It's all shot from my point of view," Tom says, "and I kind of encounter all these 'undesirables' along the way." The "undesirables" include the hen party, a young streetwise girl and a scary-looking vagrant.
Tom confesses that the band never have ideas for their videos: they always put themselves in the hands of the director. In this case, it's Chris Turner, who leads the singer through many takes and the always-difficult process of singing and acting in slow motion.
Their last video, Formaldehyde, was shot by Ben Wheatley, the acclaimed director of Kill List and A Field In England. The clip channeled the spirit of the 1966 Italian Western Django, which featured a cowboy outlaw dragging his coffin from town to town.
Radio X bids Tom farewell and good luck around 1am in a residential thoroughfare round the back of Berwick Street, but there's still a long night ahead of the Editors frontman. He marks the end of the shoot around 5 o'clock with this tweet, posted from beneath the BT Tower in Fitzrovia:
finished pic.twitter.com/ldWzOEYWrj— THMSSMTH (@THMSSMTH) September 21, 2013
You'll be able to see the new Editors video soon on Radio X.co.uk. Meanwhile, have a listen to Tom Smith's exclusive acoustic version of Formaldehyde, recorded at Radio X here.