WHAT IS ‘BUG’?
BUG is a show featuring a selection of the latest interesting, brilliant, strange and otherwise noteworthy music videos that I present at the BFI Southbank in London. I was invited to present BUG in 2007 by David Knight who writes about music video for Promo News and along with Phil Tidy, finds most of the videos we show. David was keen to keep alive the spirit of the brilliant Antenna, a music video showcase that ran at the BFI for 20 shows. David, Phil and Louise Stevens who produces the live shows, remain the core of the BUG team. Chris Blakeston and Miland Suman were also part of the original group who got BUG going are an important part of putting together the BFI shows still.
I suppose where BUG differs from Antenna and other music video or short film showcases there have been is my contribution. I add bits and pieces of my own stuff from my laptop in between the music vids that might take the form of a song or a video I’ve made or might just be a selection of comments that You Tubers have left beneath a video. I tell people that BUG is like going round to a friend’s house and having him open up his laptop and show you interesting and amusing things he’s found or made, except not as tedious and shit as that sounds. Also it’s on a big screen with a room full of people which makes it more of an experience than just being alone in front of your computer at 1 in the morning (though that can be an experience too of course…)
Every two months we do a brand new show at the BFI. The first show usually features a shambolic interview between myself and a guest director. In the past we’ve had Shynola, Tim Pope, David O’Reilly, Kevin Godley, Garth Jennings, Richard Ayoade, Andreas Nilsson, Romain Gavras and Peter Serafinowicz to made but a few. Then, usually the following week we do one or two ‘Directors Cut’ shows that are more or less the same but without the interview and with some other delicious sprinkles added instead. We’re forever grateful to the BFI’s Stuart Brown for having us there in the first place and I’m proud to say the BFI remains BUG’s spiritual home!
You can book on the BFI website. Tickets go on sale to BFI members first and (for the time being) sell out fairly quickly but for one reason or another there are always a few seats left on the night, so if you can’t get a ticket on line, its definitely worth coming along and asking at the box office for tickets just before the show starts.
BUG ON THE ROAD
Recently we’ve been doing more and more BUG shows out and about. Apart from a regular show in Norwich these shows tend to feature a selection of my favourite videos from recent BFI BUG shows. In the past we’ve visited Leicester, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles and Sydney and done shows at festivals like Latitude, Green Man, The Big Chill and Reading. I do my best to keep details of forthcoming shows in the diary section of this blog but you can also check the BUG website (though it may not be any more up to date than I am here). The BUG website also features archives of many of the videos we have shown over the years as well as details of how to get in touch for whatever reason.
BUG ON THE TV
In July 2012 the first series of Adam Buxton’s BUG aired on Sky Atlantic in the UK. It’s since gone on to be the most successful TV programme of all time (well, it’s my blog…)
I love doing BUG and I hope you come along to a live show or get to watch it on TV and enjoy it as much as I do. Oh and I don’t know why it’s called BUG. David Knight came up with the name and never gave me a proper explanation other than mumbling something about “taking over from Antenna, so, you know, antennae like on a bug…” Super David, thanks.
DR BUCKLES KEY MOMENTS IN MUSIC VIDEO HISTORY
Here’s a selection of a few music videos that have made an impresssion on me over the years.
BOB DYLAN -- SUBTERRANEAN HOMESICK BLUES
1967 and much of the low fi aesthetic of modern left field music video is present and thoroughly correct. A nice simple one shot vid (filmed in an alley behind the Savoy hotel in London) by D.A. Pennebaker featuring a deconstructed performance of a very good song from the star looking his coolest, with cue cards written out by Donovan and cameos from available celeb hipsters (Allen Ginsberg and Bob Neuwirth). Iconic as heckins!
QUEEN -- BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
‘Bo Rap’ (as Ben Elton would have it) was the first video I remember seeing on TV and it’s still thought of by many as being the first modern pop video. It’s not exactly the cleverest or most inventive video of all time, but it’s certainly effective and for something bashed out in a few hours during tour rehearsals at Elstree Studios by Bruce Gowers and team, not at all crap.
PETER GABRIEL -- SLEDGEHAMMER
This was, to use the twatnacular ‘the game changer’. The ideas! The song! The time it must have fucking taken! I don’t think anyone had gone to these lengths for a music video before. Whenever they showed this on Top Of The Pops, or Saturday morning kids TV shows, it felt like a special occasion. They would usually cut the intro and the outro bits though and it was only on late night Channel 4 chin stroking art progs (where did they vanish to?) that you’d get the whole vid played in all it’s Aardmanic glory.
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS AND NOEL GALLAGHER -- LET FOREVER BE
Still the video by which all others must be judged in Dr Buckles’ opinion. Michel Gondry at his nutty French best. You can see how it was done technically but how he figured it all out boggles the noggles. Think that’s Gondry on the drums with fake beard at the beginning.
ALIAS -- SIXES LAST
Directed by Arvind Palep a good 6 years before audiences swooned at Avatar’s lush, state of the art CG jungles. This was one of the videos I saw on my first inspiring trip to Antenna.
GRIZZLY BEAR -- KNIFE
What the shit? Californian art/film collective Encylopedia Pictura made this back in 2007. It was one of the first videos we showed at BUG and it amazed my tits entirely off. Looks like genuine weirdness to me, rather than the studied kind. Grizzly Bear of course turned out to be very canny about who they worked with for their videos and Bjork like, they’ve collaborated with one whizzbot after another.
CORNELIUS -- FIT SONG
SEA AND CAKE -- COCONUT
Would love to hear and recommendations you might have.
love Dr Buxt