Mancunian Americana band The Travelling Band have unveiled a vibrant and uplifting new video for their forthcoming single Mopping Forwards due for release just before Christmas on 22 December. Despite an absence of snow, the video has that post-party Christmas feel even if the lyrics are tracking the abstract narrative of a failed heist. The video which was filmed in Holborn/Covent Garden, London, is shot in reverse, a play on the song’s title (directed by award-winning actor Luke Treadaway), the inspiration for which came from a night out on Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
“There was a new guy working his first shift and at the end of the night, he got the mop and bucket out ready to clean the floor. But he started pushing the mop forwards instead of backwards: he was walking the dirt off his shoes right into the floor he’d just cleaned… and he carried on regardless; I’m not sure he even noticed what he was doing. I thought it made a wry metaphor for life, and the lyrics to Mopping Forwards flowed from there…”
Jo Dudderidge, The Travelling Band’s lead singer (and writer of the song) originally met up with Luke to discuss his own solo music and the possibility of collaborating at some point at the band’s Pinhole Sound Studio in Manchester. “I sang ‘Mopping Forwards’ and Luke started coming up with all these great visual ideas for the song. I knew he’d dabbled a bit in directing and I loved where he was going with it, so a few days later I followed up to see if he was serious”.
True to his word Treadaway began to piece together the shoot, pulling in a number of favours to make it all work.
“It was such a pleasure to work with him. He’s a natural behind the camera as well as in front of it and we’re all delighted with the end result.”
Talking about the idea for the video Treadaway said “It’s an idea that came to me in my sleep. I’ve always loved long-take music videos shot in reverse – Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Ian Brown’s F.E.A.R. – and as the song’s called Mopping Forwards it felt like a perfect contrast to the title.”
The end result is a continuous, dreamlike wander around nighttime Covent Garden, and features Treadaway’s Fortitude co-star Nicholas Pinnock (Top Boy, Marcella). “It was an exciting way to shoot a video as it relied on getting it right in a couple of takes. Nicholas is a brilliant actor who I knew had dance in his background so thought he’d be the perfect person to ask. Hopefully, it’s as fun and intriguing to watch as it was to make. Long live The Travelling Band!”