We at Silverball Country have eagerly awaited the release of the supporting video to “Local Mans Star” and we were keen – and privileged - to see an advance copy. Why? This song stirs the emotions of all listeners, not just Rik and Francesca if the audience at Buckle and Boots are representative.
In off stage conversations with Kezia, she told us that she was worried that she might shed several tears through her performance; she explained the meaning behind the song and its back story. This set the bar high for the video, we had already developed the images in our own minds.
|Kezia with Silverball Country after her appearance at Buckle and Boots|
In case you are unaware, the song is about Kezia’s dad, “singing for a living” and how he is a celebrity to the locals and a hero and inspiration to her and her career.
Brought to life by Steph Lee, the video for Local Mans Star was filmed at the Zingari Club, Long Eaton by Jay Hillyer - the very club where Eddie McGill would perform and take his children.
Little Kezia is played to perfection by Tamari Sharvadze, the rest of the Gill family is played by – The Gill Family.
The way the video is woven around the lyrics; it is amazing and so evocative with transitions and actions that are simply perfect. We won’t detail them, but leave that for when you see the video for yourself, however be warned, this is a serious tearjerker and memory dredger:
Francesca who also grew up attending the local working men’s club adds a special “Thank you Kezia for transporting me back in time” and relates since “My dad was, and still is, my hero”.
She reminisces: It was always a treat to put on a party frock on a Saturday night and go with my mum and dad to the local working men’s club, known as “the club”. Half a coke and a packet of crisps was supposed to keep me quiet and sat in a chair, if I was good, I might get a treat from the fishmonger when he came around with his basket later in the evening - cockles anyone? Or maybe you prefer a salmon bap brought from home wrapped in tin foil.
Little Kezia is ushered into the room with her dad behind her, that was always the way, but not really needed as everyone already knew who you were and everything about you; as long as you attend you will hear stories about when you were a baby or did x, y or z. You never forget who sits where and not to sit in somebody else’s seat.
Excitement builds as the bingo ends, were just waiting for a committee man to announce who’s performing (extra respect if they get the name right) and hand over the all-important microphone.
It the artiste is good, everyone will be swaying along in their chairs and the kids dance on some of the world’s smallest dance floors. Expect a little banter from the punters too, at least they are engaged.
All working men’s clubs must be kitted out from a standard supplier, you see the same bar shutters, little round tables, heavy patterned carpets and the heavy dark curtains that held in the aroma of smoke long after smoking was banned. Years later you might notice the slight yellowing of the wallpaper.
All the stars perform in front of a glitter curtain and if they were lucky there might be a decent sized changing room behind it, otherwise it’s the toilets, I’m afraid.
This video is perfect for the song, recreating a time gone by, well almost - smoking is no longer permitted inside, and the drinks might be a bit pricier, but the sense of community and family remains if you can find these little hidden gems.
Kezia and the team behind this video have taken what was already an incredible and emotional song and improved on it – it gives the song a new dynamic.
The only thing that would make this video any better would be if it had been delivered on a reused VHS tape.
The release is perfectly timed for Father’s Day, Local Mans Star premieres this Sunday on Kezia’s Youtube channel - Youtube
Whilst the song reminisces about Kezia’s dad, the setting is alive and well and together they should inspire you to connect with family.
Watch it on Sunday and share a pint with your dad (ideally at your local).