A B>E>A>K from the norm

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Never ones to play it safe, B>E>A>K’s latest musical offering is as quirky as it is entertaining. Katy Wheeler finds out more about track Kehaar and its infectiously-good video.

THE sight of a White Swan playing basketball in Downhill or a Red Rooster running through the streets of Hendon at dusk are just some of the eccentric scenes that make up the video for Kehaar.

It’s a track released by B>E>A>K as part of this year’s Record Store Day and its accompanying video is a kaleidoscopic celebration of Sunderland’s most colourful collective.

For the uninitiated, B>E>A>K are an instrumental band made up of experienced musicians from bands including Coal Train and Field Music who perform in all their feathered glory in the plumes of characters such as Blue Tit and Green Gannet.

No two gigs are the same with this outfit and their videos are as off-the-wall as their vibrant performances.

The man behind these gems of creativity is Michael Gardiner, who as well as being Green Gannet in the band, shoots the videos.

Click here to see the music video of B>E>A>K’s new release, Kehaar

He explains the concept of this latest offering which sees actors playing the band members jogging and hanging about in locations in and around Sunderland.

“I’ve always thought that this track had the kind of energy and pace that would benefit from an accompanying video using repetitive imagery,” he explained.

“The rhythm of the song lends itself to the action of someone jogging so I decided to use this as the main motion, giving me the option to show off some of the North East while I was at it.

“I found that the less iconic locations worked better to help control the tone of the film giving it a certain gritty quality that I was looking for from the outset.”

Locations used for the video shoot include various back lanes in Hendon, the old paper mill in Hendon, Ocean Beach fairground and Groyne lighthouse in South Shields, as well as the pedestrian Tyne Tunnel.

B>E>A>K have become famed for their lively antics and proved a huge hit at last year’s Split Festival in Ashbrooke.

This latest experimental track forms part of their two-track White Edition release – part of a download series entitled The Life of Birds – which also features the imaginatively-titled song Stairway to Hendon. And it’s already proved eye-catching.

“We did get stopped on quite a few occasions by members of the public asking what it was all about. I think it’s safe to say we brightened up a lot of peoples days after the initial shock of witnessing a fully-grown man run around the streets of Sunderland and the North East dressed as a bird,” explained Michael.

Speaking about his creative aims with the video, he said: “I wanted to make use of that golden light you get at the end of a sunny day and I could only do so if I filmed each bird on separate occasions. Plus it took us an extra session to film the final section at a games room in a friend’s house.

“We decided to use actors in the video rather than band members for a few reasons, one being that I’m in the band myself so I needed someone to play me anyway, but mainly because I want to see as many people as possible getting their beak on.

“I loved how adventurous the lads were when it came to interacting with the public. I made the White Swan play basketball with the a group of teenagers at the court in Downhill, the footage had a quaint feel to it and almost looked like it could have been shot in the 80s.”

l To download the White Edition for free visit www.beaktastic.bandcamp.com