`Sign on, sign on, you've never had so much fun…'
Last weekend, Salford band Death To The Strange picked the sunniest day of the year to shoot the video for their new EP, Sign On, around various Eccles locations.
The shoot started early in Tony's Café, complete with real customers getting stuck into their Saturday morning brekkies, and the band were lucky to recruit Emmerdale star Jason Merrels, who plays the soap's character Declan Macey, to direct the video.
Merrels, who has also starred in shows such as Waterloo Road, Queer as Folk and Cutting It, got to hear the band through friends and family, and was so impressed with what he heard he decided to offer his services. The video itself is all Jason's idea and he supplied the crew and a van full of equipment as well.
The song, Sign On, is done in a Lee Maver's style skiffle and funnily enough is about being on the dole. I asked the band if they felt there isn't enough music out there protesting about the ghastly state of the country's economic affairs…
Guitarist and co-songwriter, John, explained that there's too much musical apathy out there and bassist Alan agreed… "It should be like the Seventies when you had bands like The Clash saying things."
As a massive Clash fan myself, the boy was speaking my language. I decided to stick around and watched scenes to the vid shot outside the imposing Sentinel House building that houses Eccles's very own Job Centre Plus. There was also a hilarious shoot down Eccles high street which involved the band members carrying a coffin.
Inevitably Merrels kite was clocked and a crowd of Emmerdale nuts gathered to nosey and wait for pics and autographs. The London born actor took it in his stride and like a true gent happily posed and signed for his fans.
The shoot carried on later in day on location in Bolton and concluded the following day, apparently recruiting more Emmerdale actors. Should be great fun when the promo is released.
The band launches the four track Sign On EP at the Ruby Lounge on 26th April and are also pencilled in for the Kendal Calling festival 26th-28th July which will be headlined by Primal Scream, Basement Jaxx and The Charlatans.
Sign On EP Launch and Party
Friday 26th April 7:30pm £3 adv £4 door
The Ruby Lounge
28-34 High Street, Northern Quarter
Manchester, M4 1QB
For tickets click here
With support from Livestock Jihad and The Moods, plus after party with DJ sets from Zac Peach (Salford City Radio) and Paul Holmes (The Moods). The first 30 people through the door will receive a free EP and all attendees of the event will be able to purchase the EP at a reduced price.
To hear Sign On and other Death To The Strange tracks on SoundCloud – click here
To follow Death To The Strange on facebook see https://www.facebook.com/deathtothestrange
And on Twitter https://twitter.com/D2TheStrange
Words and photos by Graham Williamson