Work / Film

Dougal Wilson’s Morris Dancing-heavy first music video in six years

There’s a common saying that goes “you should try everything once, except Morris Dancing and incest,” and it’s one we’re rather glad Dougal Wilson ignored (the first bit, at least). In his latest music video – and indeed, his first in six years – we see a hell of a lot of Morris Dancing, helping bring to life a jaunty little track called Apparition for the band Stealing Sheep. When It’s Nice That’s Beccy Fulleylove spoke to Dougal earlier this year, he told her that he often draws references from “the Britishness in things, middle England and how you can get a bit of humour out of these underplayed moments.” He seems very much true to form in this new work, managing to spotlight the strange idiosyncrasies of English tradition gloriously. So much so, that he adds his own: the devil is in the detail here, the strange things going on in the background (here’s looking at you, straw man) and the never ending stream of middle aged men emerging from a telephone box.

 "The idea for Apparition came from the fact that the song had a mysterious, hypnotic feeling, and the fact that I’ve always found Morris Dancing slightly strange and psychedelic," says Dougal. “I’d also wanted to re-visit Morris Dancing since I made a Four Tet video in 2003, where I simply cut existing Morris footage to music. Since then, I’d always wanted to take the idea further by actually having a band learn Morris Dancing themselves, and this seemed like an appropriate opportunity given the unexpected contrast of the girls’ personalities with the characters in a genuine Morris side. Very luckily for me, Emily, Becky and Lucy, were very conscientious and learnt their dance steps very well. I also thought it would be appropriate to attempt to capture it in one (apparently) continuous take, as Morris Dancing seems to always shot by one camera when it appears on YouTube.”

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Dougal Wilson: Stealing Sheep Apparition video, still

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Dougal Wilson: Stealing Sheep Apparition video, still

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Dougal Wilson: Stealing Sheep Apparition video, still

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Dougal Wilson: Stealing Sheep Apparition video, still