Items filtered by date: September 2016

Shake Rattle and Roll

  • Published in Videos

Writing this song I guess I was in a nostalgic mood for the rock music of my youth. So for the making of the video I dusted off my old biker jacket in an attempt to look as ‘rock’ as possible. Funny to think that’s what I used to wear in one of my old bands. Times they are a’changin...GR

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Dark intent, dark content

The idea of opening a song with lyrics referring to paedophilia appalled me when Geoff first mentioned that he was writing Stranger in the Shadows. I thought the whole thing sounded like some sort of tasteless opportunism, shock tactics made lyrical for the sake of. I changed my mind as the song progressed: the melodic catchiness echoes the easy persuasive grooming and goading of receptive people that goes on all the time, regardless of age and situation. Vulnerability or weakness, either physical or sociological, is too often readily identified then abused or used for the dark intent of the stranger, who can pop up out of nowhere to practise violence or perpetrate hatred against another person. So, despite my early reservations, it was actually me who lobbied for Stranger in the Shadows to be the first Song for the Week in the second season of our Red House Work web site. We are all vulnerable, we all have our own weaknesses: warnings to be on your guard against the strangers lurking in the shadows of society never go amiss, especially when presented in such an accessible way. ML

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Reflections on the way to Santiago

  • Published in Articles

Five weeks and 800km later and I’m back home. And what did I discover on my pilgrimage to Santiagio? Well, on a prosaic level, I discovered that if I never sleep on a bunk-bed in a dormitory with 50 other people again that’ll be fine with me. And even though everyone snores, the ones who snore the loudest and longest are the ones who fall asleep the quickest and sleep the deepest. I discovered that however long you walk in a day, the last two or three kilometres, when you can see your destination, are as long as the 20 or 30 you’ve already walked. And I also discovered that there are many places in the interior of Spain where you’d find only ghost towns if it weren’t for the Camino. The route is a thin artery supplying and sustaining life in villages which otherwise would have shut up shop a long time ago.

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Loafing with positive subversion in mind

Bartholomew Ryan, an Irish musician/songwriter based in Lisbon, cites more than your average list of influences on his work. Hearing a track by The Velvet Underground in Oliver Stone’s movie, The Doors, while he was growing up near Dublin made him want to learn the guitar – okay, nothing too bizarre there – but then Czech author Milan Kundera enters the arena, credited with providing the perfect name for Ryan’s prospective band, the Loafing Heroes. Joining the dramatis personae along the way is a cast of characters as diverse as Søren Kierkegaard and Roger Casement, Herman Melville, Brian Eno and Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Perhaps it’s safe to say, then, that Bartholomew Ryan is not your average frontman.

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Shakin’ up an intercity force for the gooood

  • Published in News

It’s been a while in the making but Red House Work, back from its summer recess, is proud to announce the upload of its new music video, Shake, Rattle and Roll, a rockin’ collage of dance moves and happy faces from Liverpool to Lisbon, Sheffield to Santillana del Mar. You can view it under our “Videos” tag.

The first mise en scène was the small but hot tourist destination, Santillana del Mar, in Cantabria, northern Spain, known fondly as “the place of three lies”: its name roughly translates as a holy flat area by the sea but it’s actually not particularly religious, it’s in the foothills of the Picos mountains and it’s inland. Despite this apparent misnomer, Santillana is very attractive - Jean Paul Sartre described it as “the prettiest village in Spain”, which is quite some accolade coming from an existentialist. But there is also something horrible lurking right in the middle of town: the Museum of Torture. This makes for a truly depressing experience. Full of original machines and implements of unspeakable torture, the exhibition spells out in really gross detail exactly what simple but awful horrors one human being is capable of inflicting on another, no orifices spared. No room in a music video for such cruelties.

Happier vibes were encountered in Sheffield. A group of birthday guys in El Paso’s and a chorus-line of chicks at the Peddlers’ Market helped rock the venues into instant stage-sets with lots of energetic moves and mouthings, aided and abetted by some familiar but still determinedly enthusiastic Red House Work extras. In Liverpool a bronzed Billy Fury obliged, shakin’ his rattlin’ bones by the Mersey at just the right moment, while who can resist the manic rollin’ virtuosity of our arm-pumpin’ friend in the Belvedere pub.

Lisbon, infected by UEFA Cup fever during our filming, was alive and kickin’ even as their team was getting kicked into touch from somewhere down in the doldrums in the early stages of the tournament. The non-stop rock’n’roll energy commanding the airwaves over Lisbon was so strong it finally lifted the team and ultimately the trophy.

And so to the good folk of Gijón, captured here strutting their stuff in the traditional Begonia square dancing to welcome in the New Year. Thanks to one and all. We had a ball. ML

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About

Red House Work is the body of music, songs and videos written and produced by the band, Red House, based in Pinzales, Gijón. Here we also give you a flavour of our cultural and musical interests and those of others. Contact us on: redhousepostbox@gmail.com

Red House Work es el conjunto de la música, las canciones y los vídeos escritos y producidos por el grupo Red House, con base en el pueblo de Pinzales, Gijón. En esta web os ofrecemos también una muestra de nuestros gustos culturales y musicales y los de otra gente afín a nuestro proyecto. Podéis contactar con nosotros a través de:redhousepostbox@gmail.com