Mindless Greg The Media Consumer

Official Music Video: ‘Mindless Greg The Media Consumer’ (July 2015)

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JULY 2015 — Debut official music video released.

In May 2015 I was back home in Mandurah, W.A, preparing for my third U.K. tour – the biggest one to date by a long shot – when I decided more-or-less on a whim to follow up old mate / director Steve Correia (Zulu Media Australia) to see if he was still keen to make a music video.

By this stage, Mindless Greg The Media Consumer (the single) had been launched in Perth six months earlier, and I had since toured it across the UK and continental Europe. It was, let’s remember, my first proper solo release, so I figured the best bet was to see it through to endgame with an official music video.

By mid-2015 things were moving so fast that I literally picked up the video masters from Steve’s studio then flew directly to England to start recording. The hectic UK & EU tour that followed lasted three months, so it wasn’t until October that I was able to actually “launch” the video in Australia. My three week residency at (of all places!) the Hyde Park Hotel was as good an excuse as any, but it remained largely nominal due to the long lead-up time and the number of dates. Plans to screen the video on 25 October were stymied by venue management due to a small-scale moral/profit panic sparked by Leon Ewing‘s performance on the 18th. Gathering a bunch of children around, Ewing started ad libbing a kid’s song for ’em, but he accidentally sang ‘fuck!’. He tried to do the right thing and apologise, but he said: ‘oh, fuck! sorry guys, there’s kids here’ – which prompted one mollycoddling parent to lay a complaint. So I spent the rest of my series being patronised by businesspeople. Only in Australia.

I am so glad I did, for two main reasons.

First, the video kicks arse. I’m really proud of it. We perfectly captured the themes I had spent the previous couple years in the U.K. working toward with busking / street performance advocates Keep Streets Live – eg. the value of spontaneous art to both community cohesion and democratic freedom – but we put it in a post-convict context.

That’s the busking footage, and it was all genuine. We never sought out the GMO activists, or anybody else involved in those scenes. We just went and did the show (literally, I made money) and let the universe take its course.

Second, we captured something about my career which I guess I hadn’t been conscious of until my buddy / compère Paul Littler (The Maida Vales) introduced me one night at a show in north London.

“This is Benny Mayhem,” he said. “He brings people together.”

Hopefully, I’m wise enough now days to recognise that he’s probably right.

But it was really Steve Correia who was the catalyst for my transition from solo/troubadour toward working with a team again, and it began when Steve and I realised that the busking footage we’d captured for this video was hugely entertaining, but lacked energy. It wasn’t rock’n’roll enough. We needed some studio stuff.

So we called on a bunch of people we knew, and I was pleasantly surprised (since I was basically in exile at the time) that a bunch of Perth crew turned up – including friends from The Caballeros and Will Stoker & The Embers – mates from the old Project Mayhem days, and even a bunch of crew whom I knew from around the scene for many years but didn’t really know all that well.

One of the latter was David Azmo, the magnetic man with the kazoo in his hand. I’d known David online for a long time, and recognised him as one of the few people who understood obscure folk music, especially Irish stuff.

So when I started putting my band together the following year, David joined, and he’s been with us ever since.

Besides all that, I reckon the video is funny as fuck, especially the security guard stuff.