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videos | alive and kicking

Zbigniew Rybczynski

Kris Puszkiewicz


Alive And Kicking (5:24)

Outdoor performance

This is Simple Mindsí scariest video. Which is odd, given how Alive And Kicking is one of their most upbeat, joyous, positive songs.

Itís not the ever-lengthening hair styles, nor the Blair Witch style setting which makes this video so unsettling. Itís watching new bass player John Giblin rightfully earn his stripes as Ďhardest man in the videoí by standing on the edge of a cliff. And this was in the days before affordable special effects, and CGI wizardry, so Johnís really standing on the edge of that cliff.

The band signed up for a two video shoot with director Zbigniew Rybczynski. The brief was simple: the first would be a "band playing the song" type affair whilst the other would indulge Zbigniew and his love of special effect wizardry. With the band winding up the recording of Once Upon A Time in New York, and Anton Corbijn photographing the band in the woods further up the road, it seemed sensible to continue the theme by shooting Alive And Kicking in upstate New York.

(Although all the fans thought it was Scotland).

So the band played in a field, on the edge of the cliff and on an island (I hope Iíve not given the game away there, but I assume youíve all seen the video). It also introduces new player John Giblin who really got too close to the cliff edge for comfort and Robin Clark who had fond memories of sinking in the mud whilst trying to get from the makeup trailer to the shoot.

Everyone got their close-up, everyone got their long shot, and the whole shoot looks like it took a day (as Mickís piano solo was framed against the setting sun). It was a simple, good natured, fresh aired, basic pop video. And with the Evil Dead shot in the can (the one running backwards through the woods with band members popping up all over the place), the video was finished.

Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD Once Upon A Time DVD-Audio

The band signed a two-video deal with Zbigniew Rybczynski. One was to be a "conventional" band video whilst the other was to use specai effects. This was the "conventional" one - whilst All The Things She Said was the special effects one.

The group visited Zbigniew Rybczynski in his New York loft appartment to discuss ideas. His original idea was to put the band on a platform, attach massive balloons to it, float them over the New York skyline ahd film them from helicopters.

In the end they filmed at the town of Hunter, at North-South Lake in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. Part of the video (by the cliff) was shot on the footprint of the Catskill Mountain House. The location suited the band being near to Woodstock where they were completing Once Upon A Time.

John Giblin really does stand that close to the edge of the cliff.

The shoot overran and they ran out of daylight. Many shots were taken with the sun setting behind them.

The Universal archive only includes one protection copy of the video. There are no rushes or alternative cuts.

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Lying down on the job

The new Simple Minds circa 1985

Introducing Robin Clark

Step away from the cliff edge!

Introducing John Giblin

Sunset over the moody Mick MacNeil shot

And they were on an island all the time!