London-based riot grrrl trio Bugeye are premiering the video for their new single, Wake Up, exclusively with TeamRock. The track, which takes aim at the gentrification of London’s music scene, is a powerful slice of disco-punk – described by the band as “Blondie vs The Pixies” – with an eye-opening video to match.
Check out the video, and learn more about the song, below.
What’s the story behind Wake Up?
“It’s very much a comment on the current political and social climate, not just in the UK but around the globe. Lessons from the past seem to have been forgotten and we’ve ended up in a situation where we have more than a few maniacs in power. There’s an ever-growing class gap where the rich get richer and the poor just get shafted – where racism, homophobia, and sexism seem to have been given the green light. It’s like this stuff just snuck up on us all and we really didn’t take it seriously that such fucked up things would happen, from Brexit to Trump being elected. It’s not all bad news though. People are waking up, joining forces and fighting back. So the song is really about this awakening, and how we’re not going to just sit back and accept how things are. We won’t get back in our boxes, we won’t be shut down and shut up. People are joining together: artists, musicians, promoters and local communities – raising a glass to the new revolution and fighting back. It’s like a beautiful collective of positive change is on the way, making this certainly an exciting time to live in.”
Can you talk us through the concept behind the video?
“We worked with up-and-coming director, Philippe Blaine, to create the video. He really understood where we wanted to go with this, the result being a video with political meaning, but also rather fun. The concept focuses on the gentrification of parts of London, with the rich feeding off the poor until there’s nothing left – developers with their swanky flats and so-called affordable housing making our capital the home for the few that can afford it. Music venues closing left, right and centre with no funding support, or merely being bulldozed in the name of progress. We wanted a video that really looked at what’s happening in our cities. It’s not all doom and gloom however, as the working classes rise up and fight back. There’s also a good measure of humour in there, with the likes of Theresa May and Farage caged for their crimes against humanity.”
What do you hope people will take from the song and its video?
“That it’s not a time to sit back and wait for others to fight for change for you. It’s time to get involved and keep at it. There’s real power in numbers, and so your voice and actions are very important, no matter how big or small the contribution is.”
Why was it important for you to get involved with the Loud Women and Music Trust campaigns?
“The Music Venue Trust charity came to our attention a couple of years ago at a gig a mate’s band was playing at. We’ve since been strong supporters, donating, attending shows and sharing news when and where we can to help with awareness. Their work is so important in protecting and securing the future of our iconic grassroots music venues in the UK. These are the places that have been key to the development of British music over many years. They’ve been the starting point for many bands and have always offered fans an affordable option for discovering live music. We’ve lost way too many of these places already, so it’s so important that people get behind the Music Venue Trusts #fightback17 campaign so we and future generations can continue to enjoy these awesome spaces.
Loud Women is another very important campaign run by Cassie Fox from the band Guttfull, and a collective of friends. They support putting women on stage with their live nights, annual festival and soon to launch record label. Loud Women are a shining example of how all promoters should operate. They are super proactive with promotion for their shows and the bands they work with. They also have a great Facebook page for people to connect with, share ideas, form new friendships and fly the flag for women in music. It’s the togetherness that we love about Loud Women. Positive support with a view that we are all in this together rather than competing against one another. It’s important for us to support Loud Women where we can as they champion women in music, raising awareness of the many issues that we face within the music industry as women. Cassie brings us all together as one strong voice that can’t be ignored. As I mentioned before, there’s real power in numbers and so collectives like Loud Women are extremely important to support to impact change.”
What can we all do to support our local music communities better?
“There are so many awesome music collectives out there with Loud Women and the Music Venue Trust just representing two of them. The Zine UK are another fab platform for live music that discover new talent and help launch careers – a real finger on the pulse type outfit. The same goes for This Feeling and Northern Exposure with their live tours and collaborations with venues and festivals setting the tone for the next wave of guitar bands. What we can do as fans and bands is help spread the word. If you can’t attend a show, share it on social media. If you know a local music venue, pop in from time to time and check out what’s going on. The bands starting out would love some new ears to play to, and every penny helps keep the venue doors open. There’s a lot of new music out there, so perhaps once a month take a punt on something new and purchase a track for £0.79 – less than the price of a can of cancer-causing fizzy drink. As for bands, don’t be arseholes, help promote each other, it’s the easiest way to build a following, and you’ll make some great mates along the way.”
What do you guys have lined up for next?
“We have a UK tour kicking off in the New Year with a follow-up single. Actually 2018 is going to be super busy as we have back to back releases planned so won’t be sitting still for a minute. We’re also going to be running some of our own shows in London with the cool bands we’ve met on the road. It’s basically just an excuse to have a party and get drunk with like-minded people. PLUS, we have our own recording studio opening, so perhaps there will be some interesting collaborations coming out of that in the new year. Watch this space!”