George O’Brien-AZ Irish Music Society
A few weeks ago The Brazen Heads presented two videos to support their new CD, “Who’s Yer Paddy”: “One Eyed Reilly” and “Who’s Yer Paddy”. From an artistic standpoint, their videos break new ground.
Most band videos are pretty simplistic. They are simply a presentation of a performance. In some cases, Celtic performers use professional video teams to produce DVD’s and use segments for online videos (Celtic Woman is a good example). But visually they are still just videos of performances. The other most common approach is a generic slide show of photos like pictures of Ireland.
The Brazen Heads videos go far beyond anything other Celtic performers are doing. The difference is that the Brazen Heads have scripted a series of sight gags that match the lyrics of the songs.
In terms of style, the Brazen Heads videos resemble the classic MTV videos of the 1980’s when record labels put big money into the video process. The Brazen Heads lack that kind of money, but made up for limited money with their creativity.
“One Eyed Reilly” reminds one of some of the segments of the classic Beatles movie “Help”. Drummer Roy Plisko wears an eye patch and makes faces as “One Eyed Reilly”, but it is guest Michael Fitzpatrick who provides most of laughs as a guest performer on the cow bell. The sight gags come fast and furious.
“Who’s Yer Paddy” is the video debut of Shala Pero as Annie who simply steals the show. The “plot” is that Annie has a baby and no one knows who is the daddy/paddy. One at a time, everybody in the band comes to her room and then gets pushed into the closet as someone else arrives. Describing it does not do justice to the gags and how effective Shala is as the center of attention. Her expressions are just priceless.
More than just being effective at promoting the CD, their videos offer a chance for the performers to show their comic talents and personalities. The thought that went into the production of these videos puts them in a class of their own.