Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Laith Bahrani Nizlopi "JCB Song "

I get to watch a lot of animated music videos but this one is a joy. If you missed it first time out (released in December 2005) Nizlopi's "JCB Song" is a case of song and animation perfectly in tune. Nizlopi is a two piece band, Luke Concannon and John Parker, who write natural, unpretentious lyrics and the voice of the singer is very pure of sound. That's about as far as I go on music but my purpose here is to praise the work of the comparatively new Monkeehub. Now I first became acquainted with their work through the awesomely good Low Morale series and their creator, Laith Bahrani, featured here almost a year ago. The animation in question must have been one of their first major commercial works. Commissioned in January 2005, the story is of a boy and his dad, who happens to drive a pretty spectacular vehicle: "I'm Luke, I'm five, and my dad's Bruce Lee. / Drives me round in his JCB." And the lyrics just get better: "My dad's probably had a bloody hard day/But he's been good fun and bubblin' and jokin' away /And the procession of cars stuck behind / are gettin' all impatient and angry, but we don't mind." So Laith has Dad and Luke at the head of a procession of cars. We've all been there but who dare criticise Luke's dad, such a hero to his young son. Drawn on lined notepaper the video commences within the office of the Low Morale team, the drawing of the yellow JCB on the desk. From here we are on the journey as dinosaurs and butterflies drift by, whilst coloured vehicles mass behind and the scenery delicately streams by as pencil grey line drawings. Dad, Luke and JCB soar into the clouds and we have been enchanted. This is not an overly complicated animation, but neither is the song. The humour is natural, ironic, almost incidental as Luke speaks his lines. David Crawford did the moo-cows, Nick Cooper the office and Laith just about everything else. He's got a distinctive and sharp intelligence, sense of humour and style. I love his work. The best place to view the animation is via the specially set up website .

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