‘A Room With A Zoo’ is the new single from Manchester Soul collective The Winachi Tribe, a band that are firmly on the ascendant.
This trajectory is marked by the ten minute short film which accompanies their latest release, a collaboration between the band and California-based Mancunian filmmaker Trevor Miller. The film depicts an epic and mystical journey, where a young singer imbibes the hallucinogen ‘Ayahuasca’ and is transported into the desert to battle his personal demons, only to be rescued by a white-suited Angel portrayed by international Tommy Flanagan, star of Sons Of Anarchy and Peaky Blinders.
‘A Room With A Zoo’ – The Winachi Tribe from Trevor Miller on Vimeo.
The film was born during a brief conversation between The Winachi Tribe’s manager Harry Bridgen and his friend Tommy Flanagan.
“I knew Tom was a fan of the band’s music,” Bridgen explains, “so being a bit cheeky, I asked if he’d be in a music video for them… I wasn’t even sure what the video was going to be, at that point – but Tom was between shows and had time so he said yes.”
Bridgen’s next call was made to his long-time conspirato, filmmaker Trevor Miller. “Harry called and asked if I’d write a video treatment for his band,” Miller explains. “We were trying to lock-down Pierce Brosnan for a feature film at the time so I had the time while I was waiting for that to happen. I told Harry I would only write something for Winachi Tribe if I could direct it, and really push the creative in a very unexpected direction.”
Miller’s treatment and script are what he and Bridgen describe as an homage to Jodorowsky’s ‘The Holy Mountain’ with elements of ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ and ‘Thin White Duke’ thrown-in for good measure.
“It seemed mental, at first, that Antony and me would go from Warrington to film in Malibu,” says Winachi Tribe singer, Liam Croker. “Trevor wanted us to do dialogue scenes with Tommy (Flanagan) – then it was Tommy who suggested he lead me through the ‘desert’ on a white horse… Absolutely, mental… Still, I liked the idea of Ayahuasca and ‘cave paintings’ almost coming to life – especially for A Room With A Zoo – a track with musical references from Tom-Tom Club and New York Art-Bands.”
The resulting film is as unique and pedigreed as the people behind it. If you look closely you can see elements of Jodorowsky and Nicolas Roeg, but peel back the layers and the Mancunian influences of Ken Loach and Factory Records are also there.
“We started-out to make a music video with cinematic elements,” Trevor Miller concludes. “But what we ended-up with is a short film with music. The band and individual members like Inder Goldfinger wrote score and made sound effects. They performed as musicians and actors and the finished product truly reflects our complete and authentic creative force… But this is a much a film by Harry Bridgen and Tommy Flanagan, as by me or the band. In the end – we all are members of The Winachi Tribe.”
‘A Room With A Zoo’ is released in the UK independently on November 18th and the band will be supporting the record and video with shows in Manchester, London and Glasgow.
The Winachi Tribe are sonic soul collective who adhere to no boundaries or formulas, either musically or culturally. Lyrically explosive, musically diverse, the Electro Funk hybrid are an exceptional band of musicians and producers who have collaborated and toured with artists as diverse as Ian Brown to Danny Saber.
“There are just a handful of bands in my life that make me enjoy every song on a single album, and The Winachi Tribe have added themselves to the list”
LA Times“We are on the edge of a hybrid soul/northern soul explosion. I think it will, for want of a better word, be the new punk. The Winachi Tribe’s tune fits into the picture perfectly. Bring it on!”
photo credit; northernfacephoto.com