The most important part of any project is the foundations according to us here at Concrete HQ. This year we’ve been beavering away below ground getting things set up for the next phase. We look forward to telling you more in due course.
SHAKING CHAINS - INTO DUST
'Let them hate, so long as they fear.'
Lucius Accius, Atreus, c. 140 BC
Nuanced argument and electric shocks
Initially inspired by the 1960s psychological experiments of Stanley Milgram, Shaking Chains conducted their own experiment (albeit entirely unscientifically). Rather than testing willingness to obey authority, the band recruited people to argue their opinions or beliefs. And electrocute each other.
The video was directed by Shaking Chains drummer,Jack Hardiker whose previous promo for the group, ‘an algorithmic filmmaking experiment’, gained features in The Guardian, NME, BBC, Vice and Creative Review, later inspiring similar projects from Muse and The Horrors. The video for ‘Into Dust’ builds on the themes (particularly filter bubbles) previously explored in Midnight Oil, as Jack explains:
'I knew I wanted to produce something that expressed the ideas in the song, but also said something of its own. I’d been thinking about removing the mediating barriers through which we communicate with strangers online, whether comment moderation, or people's ability to hide behind closed groups and anonymous accounts.’
'I began recruiting participants from highly opinionated online groups, many of which were private. I was honest about my intentions and the groups were usually welcoming, despite some of the unpleasant subject matter. I was able to associate with people I wouldn’t normally come into contact with, online or offline. Of course when we brought these arguments into the physical space — even in a closed set where I was the only other person present— people didn’t express their opinions nearly as strongly as they do behind the mask of a computer.'
‘Into Dust’ brings typical online interactions into a physical space and introduces the kind of consequence you won't find 'below the line'. The band (who are now based in London) decided to return home to Manchester to shoot the video.
'Participants with differing opinions were grouped in to pairs. They were seated in different rooms but could hear each other. Participants were given a white card and electrodes were then connected to their arms. The pairs chose topics to discuss. One would be asked to give their opinion and the other could hold up the card to interject and trigger shocks to the first. Some participants chose not to electrocute at all. Some used it a lot.'
'The conversations were often political, or tackled ‘big’ themes, but I was keen to avoid tropes and sought to uncover nuanced, confused, human argument.’
‘Inspired by Burroughs' use of the Dadaist cut-up technique, I wanted the edit to create a certain amount of cacophony, ambiguity – an overload of voices. On paper, a music video comprising of subtitled interviews, cut almost beyond recognition, shouldn’t work… and maybe it doesn’t, maybe it’s too fucked up. But perhaps that makes it a valid account of our times.’
The shocks are real. Their reactions are real. Their fear isreal.
Who are Shaking Chains? Keep scrolling…
Shaking Chains borrow their name from ‘The Masque of Anarchy’, a poem written when Shelley was in exile, to portray his disgust with the Peterloo Massacre and the encroaching parochialism of the England in which he fled (‘Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many – they are few’). More Chartists than chart hits, they are a four piece produced in The North long after production halted, currently treading water under the dark streets of London (having played music together, in one form or another, since they were at school).
In an age where groups live and die in the time it takes them to amass a student loan debt, they have stayed together, like a dysfunctional family - chained - through mutual misunderstanding, begrudging love and harrowing shared experience. They’ve seen the changing musical landscape gorge on itself and spew out pale imitations, enough times, to inoculate themselves from hype and ceremony. Instead, they've concentrated on their neurotic craft and sullen art.
Shaking Chains are Jack Mahoney (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Nathan Mcilroy (Bass/Vocals), Alex Solo (Guitar/Vocals) & Jack Hardiker (Drums/Vocals). The single wasproduced and mixed by Oli Barton-Wood and recorded at The Gizzard Analogue Recording Studios in Bow, East London.
Stream ‘Into Dust’: https://soundcloud.com/shakingchains/into-dust-2
Pre-order ‘Into Dust’ on iTunes fromhttps://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/into-dust-single/id1275878566
Follow Shaking Chains online at:
Here’s a message from Broughton House, we had the honour of filming there for the Orphan Boy - Some Frontier Video, a very humbling experience. Please give them your support.
Dear Friends of Broughton House,
We are delighted to have been short-listed for the Trafford Centre’s Fountain Fund – however to be chosen as one of the three winning charities and be able to secure circa £20,000 for the charity to build a beautiful Band Stand in the new Veteran Care Village that will be enjoyed by residents, visitors and the entire community; we need to secure as many votes as possible.
I would be so grateful if you would cast your vote for Broughton House through the link below….and to share the link with as many of your colleagues/friends and family as possible.
Voting closes this Friday …. https://intu.co.uk/traffordcentre/events/choose-your-fountain-fund-charity?success=true
Video coming next week...
Promos have arrived at Concrete HQ ready for action. The song is huge, it will come and find you any day soon....
Muse have followed in Shaking Chains' footsteps with their new single video, read about it here.
P.S. Muse gents, some support slots would be good and we can discuss our mutual magnificence back stage.
Screen Shot From Muse Video
What a night last night was. Brilliant sets from Shaking Chains and James. Full house, crowd got 100% involved. Many thanks to James for the slot, greatly appreciated.
Vincent, Nathan, Tim and the Shaking Chains 1st Single- Order yours in the Concrete Shop✊🏻
Shaking Chains limited edition hand numbered first single with lyric insert sheet is now ready in the Concrete shop for purchase - http://www.concreterecordings.co.uk/shop/conc024-shaking-chains-midnight-oildrunk-no-more-7
The promos have landed
AA Side Midnight Oil / Drunk No More is now out there available for selection.
Shaking Chains first single is off to a big start with John Kennedy making it one of his 'Hot One's' on tonight's show. We love John Kennedy.
Kro OT is gathering pace. UTD have won every single game since we opened for the UTD v Spurs game. Approvals now in for 4pm til 8pm for the Hull semi on Tuesday night and for the mother of all battles next Sunday v Liverpool.
Opening hours are 12noon til 8pm again for your pre/post UTD v Sunderland match drinking/entertainment in our abandoned warehouse by Old Trafford Metrolink Station at 1 Warwick Road South. Jay Ellis will be in DJ action and Jack Mahoney in live action.
Jack Mahoney was born with a plastic spoonful of Calpol in his mouth. By his thirteenth birthday he had mastered the wild guitar styling's of Bert Jansch and discovered a taste for White Lightning. Whilst those with weaker palates might dismiss this beverage as a drink fit for a tramp, its name has symbolic meaning - a nom de guerre that perfectly encapsulates Mahoney's musical delivery, his sexual appendage and his sallow, off-milk complexion. Coincidence? Let's look at the evidence.
His voice evokes the balladeers of yesteryear - Paul Robeson, Luke Kelly, Johnny Mathis...and his devilish good looks have been known to send housewives running to the bathroom, to flush away their vomit soaked Prozac and question everything they've ever believed in. His guitar playing is the sound of the solitary, wizened old man, brooding in the vault at last orders. Bring your umbrella's and prepare to be electrified. Jack 'White Lightning'Mahoney is about to take to the stage.
Our new venue collaboration with Kro went v well indeed yesterday. Pop up application in for the UTD games on Boxing Day and New Years Eve. Big thanks to all staff, DJ Jay Ellis, Prose and the cool day one punters✊🏻