Blackpool becomes popular music video filming location in 2021
Red Rum Club, The Lathums and Saint Etienne all recently filmed at the resort
Blackpool is becoming a popular filming location for pop videos. The diversity and razzle-dazzle of the golden mile is increasingly capturing the imaginations of bands, and giving local artists a post-Covid platform.
After landing a record deal, The Lathums came for a day trip from Wigan to film their new single, I’ll Get By. The video is a celebration of northern working class culture, from drab red-brick townhouses to larking about at the arcades.
“The video has an upbeat everyman quality,” says James Slater, videographer. “It’s about happy times. The lads remember being transfixed by the illuminations, and entertained on the pier as kids.”
James, originally from Bradford, puts the resort’s rising popularity down to its character and diversity. He says: “It’s iconic. Anyone from the north will have fond memories of a holiday or day trip to Blackpool.”
With Red Rum Club and The Killers both also using the Golden Mile as a filming location, an ever-growing roster of acts are putting us firmly on the map of musical significance.
London’s Saint Etienne realised their long-standing ambition to film the illuminations in their new film, ‘I’ve been trying to tell you’. Vocalist, Sarah Cracknell, says: "My best friend lives by the Norbreck Castle hotel. She took me to see the illuminations a few times, once while standing up in the car with our heads poking through the sunroof.”
Having just released their 10th album, the electro-indie trio last played at the Empress Ballroom with Bjork in 1994. The trippiness of the lights really compliments the mellow shoe gazing sound in the video, which is a million miles away from the brash youthful antics of The Lathums. For the Wigan four-piece, the association with variety performance is part of the town’s appeal.
“The video is all about making those connections with the people and local culture,” says James. With the local economy largely reliant on tourism, the band were conscious of the unique challenges affecting the town during Covid.
Scenes from the I’ll Get By video were filmed on the Comedy Carpet using local artists who were unable to work or rehearse during lockdown. Ryan Durrans, drummer, says: “As artists, we’ve all been held back in some way, so it’s great to be in a position to help local talent.”
The scene features a Funny Girls performer, an Elvis impersonator, and an amateur ballroom dancing group from Lytham St Annes. The band had previously done a live-stream concert from Blackpool Tower Circus during lockdown, which included interludes with the in-house slapstick duo, Mooky and Mr Boo.
Ryan says: “It was just an honour playing at the circus, it’s such an iconic place and to be the new band doing that kind of thing is monumental.”
In 2012, The Killers shot the video for their hit single Here With Me at Blackpool Tower. The Dungeons proved a great backdrop for the dark fairytale-esque work, directed by Tim Burton.
Kenny Mew, general manager at the Tower, says: “It is fantastic to see Blackpool taking centre stage, becoming the perfect setting for music videos! It’s no secret why, there really is nowhere else quite like it!”
The Lathums are playing at Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom on April 9.