Archive for the ‘Promo videos’ Category

Barney Bubbles: The Smash Hits interview

Friday, January 27th, 2012

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Thanks are due to the indefatigable Brian McCloskey for turning up this little-known interview given by Barney Bubbles to journalist Johnny Black for an early 80s Smash Hits feature on the fledgling promo video industry.

The quotes from Bubbles appeared exactly 30 years ago in the issue of the teen mag dated Jan 21- Feb 3, 1982.

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Video for Ghost Town by The Specials directed by Barney Bubbles

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

This is the Barney Bubbles-directed video for The Specials’ 1981 number one hit Ghost Town.

Here Dorian Lynskey explains why the song is still the sound of a country in crisis.

Barney Bubbles in Wonderland

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

In Reasons To Be Cheerful, Stafford Cliff – Barney Bubbles’ colleague in Conran’s design department in the 60s – talks about their participation in an uncompleted film version of Alice In Wonderland.

Now, after 45 years, footage featuring Bubbles and his friends has emerged as the promo video for Balloon Race, a new song by British quartet Bear Driver.

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Barney Bubbles Inside Out in 100 seconds

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Barney Bubbles Inside out from Lisa Whitaker on Vimeo.

This 100-second career resume has been created by Lisa Whitaker, who is currently studying graphics at Leeds College of Art.

The DVD – housed in an “inside-out” sleeve and accompanied by a poster – came out of a course brief for a collection of 100 design objects in which she compiled album sleeves, including Bubbles’ design for Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello And The Attractions.

“I am fascinated by this talented man and his links to other creative people,” says Whitaker. “My moving image piece Barney Bubbles Inside Out pulls together the research and is aimed at graphic designers, record collectors and music lovers as a way of spreading the word about inspirational figure.”

Whitaker’s backgrounder on the project is here.

Saville’s Reasons essay inspires album title

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Front cover The Past The Present & The Possible, new album by Tahiti 80.

“The work of Barney Bubbles expresses post-modern principles: that there is the past, the present and the possible; that culture and the history of culture are a fluid palette of semiotic expression and everything is available to articulate a point of view.”

Peter Saville, Reasons To Be Cheerful: The Life & Work Of Barney Bubbles.

During the making of Tahiti 80‘s fifth album, Xavier Boyer, mainman of the French electro-orchestralloungepopindie sextet, put together a mix-tape consisting of  80s indie from The The, dark dance 90s remixes by producer Andy Weatherall, the psychedelic cut-ups of Cornelius and 70s post-punk and power pop in the form of Wire and Squeeze.

Barney Bubbles’ promo for Is That Love, Squeeze, 1981.

Boyer and his accomplices also noted the sentence which opens Peter Saville’s essay in Reasons To Be Cheerful: hence the title for “our Postmodern album”, The Past, The Present & The Possible.

Says Boyer: “The Past is the sum of strong roots, The Present is us living in our times, and The Possible is one’s interpretation of the future.”

The new album is released on Tahiti 80’s label Human Sounds in February, trailed by the  Solitary Bizness EP out now with this animated clip by Daisuke Kitayama:

Tahiti 80 Solitary Bizness from Tahiti 80 on Vimeo.

Finally: The promo video for Rico’s Jungle Music

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Great to see Barney Bubbles’ promo for Rico’s 1982 single Jungle Music finally making it to Youtube courtesy of film-maker Lizzie Soden.

With Bubbles directing in the wake of his clip for The Specials’ Ghost Town (since Rico was part of Specials leader Jerry Dammers’ 2-Tone collective), Soden came up with the concept for Rico’s video with Steve Binnion.

“But I was an art student at the time and wasn’t in the union; we had to get a union crew for broadcast, so Barney and I co-directed with (Bubbles’ regular promos collaborator) Genevieve Davey producing,” says Soden. “Barney was inspiring and so generous.”

The Jungle Music film serves as a carnivalesque counterpoint to the appropriately dour Ghost Town, evoking in part the innocence of Technicolor 50s coffee bar newsreels.

As in Ghost Town, the musicians (including Dammers in his bluebeat hat-defying giant sombrero) travel in a classic car, but this time arrive to celebrate multi-cultural Britain, not mourn its inner-city decay.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

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Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles' 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Still from Barney Bubbles 1982 video for Jungle Music by Rico.

Read all about Barney Bubbles’ music video directing adventures in the new edition of Reasons To Be Cheerful.

And visit Soden’s DaisyB Studios Youtube channel, where she has posted much else of interest, including the promo for another great track to emerge from this period of the 2-Tone story, The Boiler by Rhoda Dakar.

Meanwhile, to come up to date, here’s the ever-progressive Dammers with his Spatial AKA Orchestra and an excerpt of their cosmic take on Ghost Town from a performance last summer:

Kim Ann Foxman’s Creature clip

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Check out the Barney Bubbles references in this clip for Kim Ann Foxman‘s track Creature.

Process: Pictures from our exhibition

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

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Process: The working practices of Barney Bubbles uses the three areas of Chelsea Space to guide visitors through the methods by which this master designer realised his audacious creations.

And there’s a continuous soundtrack of the music for which he designed, from Cressida to Costello, from Hawkwind to The Damned, from Iggy Pop & James Williamson to Red Dirt.

In the entrance to Chelsea Space is selected ephemera – adverts, badges, music press ads, stickers – as well as books, magazines and other finished artwork and designs, including the rug made in the image of a panel on the cover of Brewing Up With Billy Bragg.

There is also a showreel of 10 of the videos directed by Bubbles (including two never publicly displayed before: Incendiary Device and Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby for Johnny Moped).

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A face-off is conducted between Elvis Costello (in 1977’s Warholian 60″ x 40″ Live Stiffs poster) and Chuck Berry (in the form of the wall-mounted sculpture created by Bubbles for music publisher Peter Barnes) at each end of the ramp.

On the ramp wall are posters, sleeves and other exhibits denoting approaches, recurrent themes and areas such as art direction, colour usage, application of symbols, photographic treatment, geometric arrangement, etc.

In the main room there is no finished artwork, excepting a copy of Damned Damned Damned with it’s deliberate printing error, and an NME Book Of Modern Music to demonstrate from whence Bubbles was taking his design leads at the time of production.

Sketches and proposals, along with personal effects, influences, paintings and sketchbooks rest on plinths and trestles colour-schemed to a typically exuberant Bubbles palette.

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The walls are lined with pen and ink artwork, PMTs (Photo Mechanical Transfers), proofs, proposals, paste-ups, photography, etc. There’s a guide to the technical aspects of producing artwork in the pre-digital age, as well as a professional CV.

If you get the chance, do drop by; we’re around a lot of the time so can be on hand to talk you through the show and answer any questions.

Video and music track listings for the show are available here.

All photos Donald Smith.

Time travel The Phenomenauts’ way

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Scamps The Phenomenauts didn’t need any encouragement to time-travel back to 1980 for Barney Bubbles to direct the promo for their song She’ll Launch.

Well that’s their story, anyway.

The pink/black treatment a la Kill City and the yellow/red/brown overlay from the posters and initial run of My Aim Is True are just some of the BB effects which abound in their clip, so who are we to disbelieve them?

Coming soon! The Barney Bubbles exhibition!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Exciting news – the Barney Bubbles exhibition opens in London this autumn.

PROCESS: The working practices of Barney Bubbles will run from September 14 to October 23 at leading London gallery Chelsea Space.

PROCESS will present many fascinating exhibits  – some displayed for the first time in public – to pinpoint Barney Bubbles’ approach to the body of design work which has cemented his reputation as one of the greats in his field.

By examining  Bubbles’ activities from leaving art school in the early 60s to his death in 1983, PROCESS also traces an important strand in the development of the practice of graphic design.

Situated as it is within the grounds of Chelsea College Of Art & Design in the shadow of Tate Britain, Chelsea Space’s hosting of PROCESS will provide students of design and the visual arts and other creative disciplines – as well as the visitors to the home of British art – with vital insights into pre-digital working methods across the range of media.

Delineating the stages of production, PROCESS will also investigate the ways in which Bubbles conjured brilliance by his unique conflation of references and influences.

PROCESS will be complemented by a series of events, including an opening party, talks, q&as and performances from musicians, designers, photographers and others who worked with Bubbles.

We’ll be unveiling details of that programme over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled. Already we’ve agreed participation with quite a few people, some of whom will be speaking publicly for the first time about their association with, and appreciation for, the work of this intriguing and elusive figure.

Chelsea Space is the place where The Clash, B.A.D., Carbon Silicon and Gorillaz mainman Mick Jones launched his installation The Rock & Roll Public Library, which has evolved as it has toured other spaces.

Similarly we’re looking for PROCESS to be the first manifestation in a rolling series of  Barney Bubbles shows over the coming years.

For more info on the exhibition keep in touch by subscribing here and contacting us at info@barneybubbles.com