By Niven Govinden.
There’s nothing like art imitating life. This 1998 video directed by Wiz, shows a bruised and fractured band at the end of a twelve month promotional cycle for their eponymous debut album. It plays on tabloid perceptions of Shaz, Mel, Nat & Nic as muso, earth mother-to-be, and sibling party-animals-on comedown, respectively.
Brilliantly, ‘War of Nerves’ was also the first video to be shot at the Metropolitan Hotel, at the height if its pinaccle status as the übercool of übercool celebrity haunts. With the girls being papped falling out of the Met Bar so regularly at the time, the idea of setting the video there was both genius and also a contemptuous finger to those intrusive showbiz hacks who noted their every drunken stumble. Is it part vérité or part wannabe or just a simple extension of their West London ethos of keeping it real?
The vid also continues the 90s trend of next to no lip synching. Very telling that Shazney – the songwriter – is the only one who sings throughout. Her choice or the Director’s? No matter. It’s self-fulfilling prophecy shot gorgeously, and does nothing to quell rumours of tension in the band. It’s probably just the way they wanted it. In pop, you are nothing if nobody speaks of you…
On a final note, probably the most important thing, they look amazing and have good hair. London at night never looked better. Oh, and ‘War of Nerves’ is one of their most underrated songs. So there.
First posted: Friday, July 10th, 2009.