Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Story Behind 'Balloon String'

Thanks to everyone who has been watching and sharing 'Balloon String'. I thought I'd write a quick blog about the track and the video. I wrote the song in 2009. I was drifting off to sleep one night and the phrase 'She Got Hold Of My Balloon String' came into my head. I wrote it down quickly incase I forgot it. When I looked at it the next day I thought 'what the hell does that mean?' and decided to put it into a song. I had a bit of a country thing I was playing around with and it seemed to work quite well with that. A lot of the rest of the lyrics 'selling my body parts on ebay', 'where is she, her food is going cold'  etc came from jumbling up various peoples Facebook statuses from the day. Before too long the song was coming together nicely.

To finish the track off I decided to add a big fat guitar solo at the end. Not many people seem that keen on guitar solos these days, but this was my song so I could do as I wanted. Plus, it would save having to think of any more lyrics..... A few months later I went into the studio with the great people at Little Box 9 to record a proper version of the song. 

Three years later (there's no point in rushing these things) I decided to make a music video. I met up with the talented Steve Pycroft, who had the great idea of having a car full of balloons. I suggested that people could hand me these balloons in different ways, and the story for the video was born. The next step was to find some willing balloon holders, a car and some balloons. And then it was time to shoot........

I got up early and drove to the balloon shop to pick up 30 helium balloons. Getting 30 balloons in the back of a car can be quite challenging. Then I picked up the morris minor which Zoe and Tom were very kindly lending me for the day. Next I put on my red t-shirt and hat, as stylist Gemma Latham had advised me to wear. The car was green, the t-shirt was red and the sky was blue. It was all coming together.

First of all we headed to a cool looking street in Ancoats, where photography legend Sven Eselgroth, drove passed me on his new bike many times, each time handing me the first balloon of the day. It was a tricky stunt and at times we thought we might have to get a stunt double in but I'm pleased to say Sven pulled it off in the end. I was expecting more odd looks from the passing pedestrians but no-one batted an eyelid.

Next I drove around Manchester for a bit, tapping the steering wheel in time to the tune. Steve sat in the back filming, and getting some great shots of Manchester scenery. The car was a lot of fun to drive, although I had some difficulty getting into third, which you can see at about 37 seconds into the video. Throughout the day we filmed more footage as the car gradually filled up with balloons. All of which was perfectly safe and legal.

We popped into a nice suburb near Chorlton to film the scenes at the start of the video. Then, just as it was time to film the dog scene, the heavens opened. I've never seen a grumpier looking bulldog. Wet through and shivering, Mr Beefy marched up and down the pavement many times with a balloon tied round his neck. In all fairness, he was very professional and only sat down once in a bit of a strop. We were also losing balloons left right and centre at this point, and as we'd only brought a handful to this scene, it was mildly stressful. But it was ok in the end, Kristyna Myles and Mr Beefy did a great job.

Then ensued the terrible ordeal of having an angry Jon Donohue run at me from behind a bush to throw a balloon through my window. I'm still recovering. The funny part about this scene was that I had to film my reaction after Jon had left, so in effect I was reacting to nothing. Luckily, it turns out that I'm an incredibly good actor. Haha.

Next we headed into town to film the scene with Helen Batchelor, who had received the brief to look 'hot slutty and a bit retro'. This scene went together nicely with the 'dangerous woman' part of the song and Helen did an amazing job. Once again, I had to film my reaction after Helen had left. As I got out of the car and attempted to look gobsmacked as Helen walked down the street, I was really staring into the eyes of some horrible fat man who happened to be there. Tricky.

After that I needed a drink and headed into Revolution De Cuba, where I was hoping Kitty would serve me a beer, but instead she just gave me another balloon. So that was annoying.

For the last scene we headed to Platt Fields Park. Luckily the weather had dried up and there was an amazing sunset. I drove round the lake, not sure if I was allowed to but no-one said anything, climbed up a hill and released the balloons. I also did a star-jump which I had been working up to all day. 

To correspond with the very last note of the song I decided to pop a balloon next to my face. I found it very hard to keep a straight face in such close proximity to an exploding balloon. In fact I tried it 3 or 4 times and still couldn't manage it.

All in all it was a great day. Thanks to everyone involved. I couldn't have been happier with the way it turned out, and the way Steve edited all the footage together. Thanks again to everyone who's been watching, sharing and giving positive feedback -I appreciate the support. 

No comments:

Post a Comment