News and Features
Chapter XIII poised for MTV success
Number 13 is unlucky for some but the Bristol band still hopes for success after its lead singer quit around Valentine's Day. The band recorded a new track and music video in Somerset called Valentine which has caught MTV's eye.
Several Somerset locations were used
A home grown rock band and production team are seeking fame on MTV.
Chapter XIII are a bunch of lads from Bristol who are about to release their second single 'Valentine' through Universal- despite recently losing their lead singer.
As well as performing in showcases for the likes of the Arctic Monkeys' manager, they’re hoping to get world wide recognition starring in a gothic music video.
Manager Robin Brown said: "We think this video will really launch Chapter XIII as a band.
“They’re all first rate musicians and Valentine is a classic rock tune, very anthemic.
“The lyrics have a really strong storyline which is why the video is so important and there’s already been some interest from MTV.”
Valentine is about a man who leaves the love of his life and realises too late that he’s made a mistake.
Day 7 of the new job and already covered in blood
It was co-written by lead guitarist Paul Johnson, bass player Mark Nelmes and Gareth Marshall to be released in time for Valentine’s Day however the single had to be postponed as Gareth left the band for personal reasons. He’s now working in a circus.
Paul said: "At first it was like I can't believe that just happened. We'd all invested a lot of time in this project. Luckily it's all worked out in the end and we're all still good friends."
Gareth's replacement is a friend of the band's called Lee, who has a folk/jazz background.
Paul said: "It just seemed to happen overnight. You know when your whole world turns around.
"In the past two weeks we got a new lead singer, we recorded a single and a music video.
"We had about a week rehearsing 15 songs and then we played two gigs in front of about 350 people and now MTV have shown an interest."
The perfect setting for a rock video
The band says it's found its musical stride again and Valentine is expected to be released soon.
Somerset on film
If the single does catapault to fame on MTV, it will be great exposure for the With Light Production company volunteers who made the video.
Producer Linda Searle said: “It’s set entirely in Somerset and made by Somerset volunteers. They’re all ambitious young people following their dreams.
“For example the make-up artists were second year students from SCAT and the heroine is a stunning local actress, Louisa Gilpin, from Langport.
Taken as the train turned about in Bishops Lydeard
“Their fantastic costumes, top hats and tails were lent to us by the Thespians who are an amateur dramatic group based in Taunton.”
The video was shot at the West Somerset Railway, St Pancras Church in West Bagborough, Crowcombe Heathfield Railway Station and Linda’s front room in Taunton.
The film begins with the couple breaking up and the dejected lover riding a steam train to the church. He arrives just in time to see his girlfriend getting married to someone else. He rips out his heart and presents it to her in a box.
Chapter XIII are in good company as the heritage railway has previously featured in music videos by the The Beatles and Black Sabbath.
“It has this lovely winding track leading up to a beautiful iron gate, that I knew would look great on camera, and there’s a picturesque churchyard.
“Inside the church itself there’s an old fashioned church organ and it’s all candlelit, so it’s very atmospheric.”
The crew wanted their story to unfold like a gothic romance and have made two versions; a 3min 30 version for the music video and a ten minute version along the lines of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Special effects count toward her grades
“You’ve got the church imagery, which is very powerful, you think of Jesus bleeding on the cross, and the lover who’s chest wound was made by the make-up students as part of their prosthetics module.
“West Somerset Railway were superb. Genuine railway staff were used in the video, and you may be able to spot the guard blowing his whistle.
“We were very fortunate that the vicar was really up for it. We were worried people might not like having a rock band playing in the church but he was keen to promote local talent and just wants everyone to do really well.”
last updated: 03/03/2008 at 12:46