British white guys with guitars must really like walking.
Seriously, you can't get more rock'n'roll than a moody bastard trying to walk in a straight line while crazy shit happens around him.
Richard Ashcroft did it in The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony, and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson walked the streets of New York in One Night Only's Say You Don't Want it.
Massive Attack recruited Shara Nelson to walk the streets of L.A. in Unfinished Sympathy, and Radiohead hired an actor to lie in an unnamed street while angry pedestrians fretted around him in Just.
Coldplay's Chris Martin walked forwards in both Yellow and Fix You, and then decided to walk backwards in The Scientist, ensuring he had all directions of physical movement covered. (He even went all-sideways in Strawberry Swing.)
This year has given us two distressed white guys with guitars walking down a street with mad things occurring around them.
First is Liverpool's The Wombats with Anti-D, an indie tune in which lead singer Matthew Murphy, dressed like a mortician's assistant, walks out of his house looking like a barrel of laughs while a barrage of cheery folk try to make him smile by being hyper-happy.
Next is Scotland's answer to R.E.M. (maybe that's too high a praise), Twin Atlantic's Make a Beast of Myself, in which lead singer Sam McTrusty upgrades the walking experience by strolling down a street in Berlin, causing people to freak out upon seeing him. (I think it may be because he's meant to be conceptually dead or something.)
As you know, the plight of British guitar music is a cause close to my heart, but the current crop of videos is letting the scene down badly.
Neither of the above songs are bad melodies. They are, in fact, good songs with both substance and meaning. Matthew Murphy is obviously singing about his own battles with depression, while Sam McTrusty has a stunningly emotive voice that's rife with anguished feelings.
The videos may be concept-driven but the execution is pretty lousy and that encumbers the overall effect. I think that both songs will have pleased me more if I had heard them on the radio first as opposed to watching them on television.
Walking down a street is all fine and well, but shouldn't we demand more from our white guys with guitars?