Last night I had some time to spare before heading off to a gig and so had a quick check of my one of email accounts. After deleting the spam and the ostensibly “personal” emails that have clearly been produced by a mailmerge program I was left with just one. It was addressed to me, and just me, and was short and polite, simply asking me to consider a video for display on the front page of the Americana-uk website of which I’m deputy editor. Because it was personal, short, polite and simple I clicked on the link and came to Ciaran Lavery’s “Left For America” and am delighted that I did because it’s a gem, and a masterclass in how to produce a great video with next to no budget, provided you have plenty of imagination.
A man shimmys across the floor of a dance studio, displaying some nifty footwork and subsequently an impressive set of tattoos. And that’s pretty much it. It may not sound like much but the dancing and the way it’s filmed make it compelling and you just have to watch until the end. Which would be so much window-dressing if the song wasn’t any good, but it is. It’s Bon Iver, but with with less self-pity and a decent melody, Ray Lamontagne with less overt angst. Intense but never overbearing, universal but totally lacking in cliché, I loved it. Have a look, I think you will too.