Hastings musician Russell Field offers darkly-funny lockdown response

Hastings musician Russell FieldHastings musician Russell Field
Hastings musician Russell Field
2020 was a devastating year gig- and tour-wise for Hastings musician Russell Field.

But he is turning things round with a new darkly-funny video for his isolation song Because I Want You – a video he made because he had time left on a ten-year-old camera.

The video was Russell’s response to us all going back into lockdown.

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“Having lost all my touring work and my complete way of life, unravelling slightly and feeling generally low, I managed to put some energy into recording one of my own songs.”

As he says, it tells a story of being in love and going slightly mad…

“I have played drums for people for many, many years. I was touring, and then suddenly everything was off. I have played for Midge Ure for 23 years and we have become pals. I was in Australia and New Zealand when all this (the virus) started closing in on us. It was the middle of a world tour.

“And I came back, and suddenly the old Google calendar reminding me where I should have been was like torture. I was supposed to be in Sweden, Spain, Italy and so on, and we were supposed to be finishing the Vienna tour in Vienna. But we were denied all that.

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“I am pretty robust but there have been moments where I have felt that I was about to unravel because this is me, this is what I do. It was like a huge section of my life was taken away. I know that I am lucky and that other people have had it far worse than I have, but I have had moments of sulking like a petulant five-year-old because the whole of my life has gone. It was a bit of a shock!

“I have done some streaming gigs. I managed to do Ronnie Scott’s, so I am lucky that I have had some outlets, and then it was almost torture again when we went into the second lockdown. I did feel very deflated.”

The song – available on YouTube – is Russell’s way of lifting himself: “I recorded the song a while ago. I finished writing it before the first lockdown. I came back to it and during the first lockdown recorded it. It’s like an electro-gypsy-swing type song.

“This second lockdown I was starting to feel frustrated not having any outlets again so I got a ten-year-old camera that had 18 minutes of memory left on it and so did the video to go with the song.

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“My house is a bit 70s style and my friend gave me a fantastic Spanish painting of a woman with a tambourine. The song is very personal to me, but for the video it becomes a story about falling in love with a painting.

“It is quite funny but you realise that it is quite darkly funny when you think about it!”

It’s a bright way to end a difficult year. Russell turned 50 and was looking forward to his best year yet in terms of touring, but all the tours were wiped out at a time when everything seemed to fit together so neatly.

His worry is that when the tours resume, they will be clashing with each other – and his options will be limited.

“But at least I have done this song and made the video, and it’s that thing of thinking ‘This doesn’t sound like me! It’s actually quite good!’ And it might make people laugh a bit!”