WATERMÄT - BULLIT
Kat Stevens: Pleasant bibble bookended on the frequency spectrum by ’70s-claymation-series piccolo (WHEEDLEEE!) at one end and container ship foghorn (PAAARP!) at the other.
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This song has been stuck in my head for the last 24 hours or so, but I still think a  is about right - there’s really not much more to the track than the PARP and the TWEEDLEY-EE, memorable as those bits are. But I keep thinking about the video: again, very straightforward, slowly paced, rather pleasant, with a circular ending. Unlike in the Odyssey, it’s the siren hula dancer’s visuals that lure in our hapless bartender, rather than their singing (of which the track has none).
We only see brief snippets of the bartender’s reality before he enters his trance. We don’t know if his bar is in Britain or in Bali. For all we know, he could have just sleepwalked the 20 metres from his hotel room outside onto the sand dunes (which actually could just as easily be the Mumbles as the Maldives). However judging by how quickly the staff turnover is at the end of the video, let’s assume it’s in Clapham. So why are these ladies enticing antipodean gap year boys to sunnier climes? Are they generously relieving the boys of their drab glass-polishing existence, or do they have a sinister motive? Surely not - the chirruping, farting song is far too innocent-sounding for that. It feels like an episode of Charlie Chalk, a relatively gentle Ivor Wood animated kids’ show about a shipwrecked clown, where the initially hectic theme tune belies the fact that nothing that bad (or even exciting) ever happens. It’s soothing and escapist - literally, in our bartender’s case.
From my limited recent observations, anonymous bosh videos (i.e. those without a visible ‘ft’ singer) seem to have fallen into three lazy categories: 1) the standard boobs-o-clock Benassi (whether that be set in an airport/bakery/submarine); 2) a Scandinavian child running away from an unseen monster into a pine forest; or 3) a gang of teenagers pointing at a horse in the middle of an industrial estate. ‘Bullit’ is leaning towards the first category with our lovely dancers, but while they’re tantalising I don’t think you could really call them titillating. I can’t quite put my finger on it but the tone feels very late-90s, more like a (non-Gondry) Chemical Brothers vid.
I was humming this tune at the bus stop in Dalston this evening as two crackhead dudes were hassling the homeless guy with the dog who always sits by the Barclays cashpoint, sirens flashing past to the rescue, but not for him. Nights drawing in, heavy bag on the shoulder. ‘Idealistic’ idiots opening awful restaurants that are in fact art installations, designed to outrage (as they’ve always done, it’s just that now we can instantly know and disapprove of them, and said art project can actually cover its costs by charging £50/head for some fried chicken). I hummed this song and thought of my childhood sat cross-legged in front of the television, I thought of long summer holidays racing around on the hot tarmac, round the roundabout at the end of our cul-de-sac with the big trees in the middle with the kids next-door. I tried not to think about the woman elbowing me out of the way so she could get on the 149 first, because I am a Positive Person and I don’t want to let these things get to me. I hummed the song to myself rather than listened to it properly because it’s not always wise to have your headphones in at the Dalston Junction bus stop, even though there’s tons of people around and I’m tall and strong and way down the list of targets. There’s always someone at Dalston Junction with their phone in their hand, and I make sure it’s not me. Humming, humming, trying not to think about not having had a proper holiday this year because of various bullshit. It’s also wise not to get lost in a trance thinking about far off beaches or suburban roundabouts, because not having your wits about you is worse than having your headphones in. Best wait till you get on the bus and have to squeeze past Elbows McGee who’s decided to park herself on the lower deck, right in front of the stairwell. Once safely upstairs you can listen to PARP and TWEEDLEY-DEE to your heart’s content and drift off with the hula dancers.
Actually scrap all that, I’ve realised the main reason I’m fascinated by this video is that the bartender dude’s haircut reminds me of top British backstroke swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn. AS YOU WERE.