In early 2008, Bandwidth Films were approached by BBC Northern Ireland’s premier music TV show, ATL TV, to direct a video for a then unheard of group of upstarts by the name of General Fiasco.
A sell out tour with One Night Only, and a top 40 hit later, General Fiasco are the hottest thing on the indie scene – continuing to delight audiences all around the place with that catchy, fresh, genuine sound that only they can produce.
‘Rebel Get By’ was born when the BBC production team behind ATL TV put Bandwidth and General Fiasco together in the same room. All parties had an open minded approach to the project, yet the prevaling feeling was that the sentiment of the song had to be expressed, while still keeping the thing upbeat and jolly. Putting it lightly, Owen Strathern (Singer & Bassist and main writer of Rebel Get By) pointed out that “years ago people used to rebel now all we do is get drunk”. We reached the conclusion that it’s hard for young people to rebel today, especially when they have more commitments and undue pressure than ever before. We constructed an idea of a few young people sitting in dead-end jobs, wanting to rebel but instead just sitting with one eye on the clock to strike half 5. Then the characters would find General Fiasco’s music and that would make them feel free and energised again.
The shoot took place over three days in February in a house on Magdala Street, Belfast, where the band usually rehearsed. The band made the perhaps unwise gesture of announcing from stage at the Student’s Union the night before that they were to film the next day, issuing an open invitation to the party, shortly before the stage was invaded and amps knocked over.
The video also starred Shauna Tohill, formerly of Angelfall and now of Poets Pocket Symphony, as she walks around the city, tying together the disparate strands of several lives she witnesses – a couple playing guitar in the park, a guy waiting for a bus, another guy stuck in work at a laundrette – the video showcases a whole community at work. As night falls, the band (who by the looks of things have been playing all day – they must be tired poor things) pick up the tempo a little. People start arriving. The neighbours complain. Some unwise soul brings Buckfast. The neighbours say to hell with it and come over for the craic. The party was real, by the way. The guys rattled off Rebel Get By a few more times, then launched into a full General Fiasco gig to the most priviledged fans of their career thus far. Would you admit to being there? Did you realise the ceiling of the room below was actually bending?
With a headline tour coming up in 2009, you really have no excuse left but to get yourself to a General Fiasco gig at some point in your life and lose your dignity dancing to this song. Do it!
Director: Will McConnell
Camera: Martin Bolton, Michael Gibson