Watch this

December 6, 2010

I only just recently watched the video for “Walk Like a Panther” for the first time, even though I’ve loved the song since the first time I heard it on London’s XFM. I’m trying to figure out why I love the video so much. I think there are three reasons.

Tony Christie. The main one might be the guest vocalist. I knew that All Seeing I makes use of guest vocalists and for some reason, I thought the main voice on the “Pickled Eggs & Sherbert” album was Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. I guess he did a version of the song with All See I, too, but the radio and album version turned out to be Tony Christie, as I learned from the video. I think I’m charmed that he’s an old guy, relatively speaking. It would be kind of like Tony Bennet singing with Gorillaz or something. And he’s being such a good sport with the acting that he has to do for it, even though, here and there, he looks just a trifle exasperated.

Hand gestures. When I watched this video for the second time, I realized that what I first thought was an homage to the zombie dance in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video was really customized gestures to go along with the chorus lyrics of “Walk Like a Panther”: fly like an eagle, prowl like a lion, leap like a salmon, keep up with me, and walk like a panther. Video actors one and all, young and old, move in weirdo almost-synchronization.

Sci-fi style. What makes it all come together is what I think of as the science-fiction style of videography. It’s shot through a robot-eye-shaped frame in the herky-jerky style, the frames go forward and backward to make that fake in-time-with-the-music impression, and it has wonderful 1970s faded photograph colors. Top that off with the location which to me seems like some anonymous Underground station complex in London.

It all just works.


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