Live music is an incredibly significant part of our heritage at Silver Bullet.
We’ve been around the world capturing artists play in a host of incredible venues and locations. From a ‘dry’ distillery in Lynchburg, Tenesse to Meydan Race Course, Dubai and to historic venues like BBC’s Maida Vale studios. Overall, we’ve filmed well in advance of 250 artists in session or concert for brands and broadcasters. So, we thought it was long overdue that we compiled our Top 10 live music productions. Ranked in order below:
1. Paul McCartney – BBC Radio 2 In Concert at Maida Vale – 2014
This live performance took place at BBC Maida Vale studios in October 2014. On the day itself, we were honoured to film an incredible 27 tracks taken from his back catalogue and ‘New’ album. At one point Macca asked if that was going to be too many… ‘no, you can play as many as you like’ was our answer.
2. Kraftwerk – Latitude Festival – 2013
Not only was this Kraftwerk’s only festival appearance in 2013, it was also the first time they’d been filmed for UK TV in 25 years. The original electronic innovators have been making pioneering music for 40 years and played all their best known tracks – The Robots, The Model, Computer Love. We integrated and overlaid archive footage to make this one-off performance part of Kraftwerk’s music history.
3. Foals – Annie Mac, Radio 1 – Maida Vale, Studio 4 – 2015
‘Don’t Jump!’… but of course he did. Foals are not the first act to feature a front man who likes to climb and jump – Bono and Eddie Vedder have got serious pedigree here. But, none of them have scaled the heights on a BBC venue in quite the same way as Yannis from Foals in 2015 when he jumped off a 15 foot balcony during ‘What Went Down’. Risking on one hand the wrath of BBC Health and Safety and on the other creating one of Radio 1’s most viewed Snapchat videos. Silver Bullet created a lighting and creative treatment for the session that at first seemed impossible to pull off in such a confined space and is now a regular occurrence.
4. Weller/Bailey Rae/Richard Hawley – Union Chapel – 2016
It’s not the first time that we’ve shot in a church, and venues like Union Chapel or St Giles in the Field always deliver a spine chilling experience for the audience and viewers at home. We’ve created film treatments that bring to life the epic nature of the location with JIBs and Steadicams, projectors and even a bespoke exterior crane light at St Giles’s which gave the impression of the moon lighting the 16th century stain glass windows. We had other church shows to choose from for this Top 10, including Laura Marling and Editors, but the combined pull of Paul Weller, Corinne Bailey Rae and Richard Hawley together singing The Beatles ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ is a moment that simply can’t be surpassed.
5. Toots and the Maytals – The Assembly, Leamington Spa
Heritage artists can blow audiences away with the depth of their catalogue, none more so than Toots Hibbert. Over a 55 year career, Toots has been sampled and covered by artists as varied as Beats International, Major Lazer, The Clash, Rebel MC, Pitbull, The Specials and Amy Winehouse. Stripped back and playing in the round, Toots and the Maytals played many of those recognisable tracks and samples, going on to feature in our SKY ARTS Documentary: From the Roots.
6. Jamie XX – Old Street, Classic Car Club – 2011
As with most of the performances in this Top 10, Jamie XX was a moment that you had to be there for and would never quite be repeated. In amongst the classic Jaguar’s, Aston Martin’s and Mustang’s of Old Street’s Classic Car Club, Jamie performed a mammoth three hour set covering a ton of genres. Not, only that, but visual artist Quayola spent months creating integrated visuals alongside the set. We camera rehearsed and planned in intricate details to capture this bespoke audio-visual installation and performance.
7. Robbie Williams – Radio 2 In Concert, BBC Radio Theatre, 2012
At Silver Bullet, we’ve produced many live performances that have multiple destinations. None more so, than with Robbie who opened his day with us by appearing in a Robbie hosted twitter Q&A live on youtube. The show itself went out live online, on radio and the next day on BBC Red Button, with VoD tracks also created by us. We created a classic pop performance treatment with swooping JIB shots above the crowd and into Robbie who played off them. There can be no bigger British showman of the last 20 years and this was a defining moment as he returned with no.1 single, Candy.
8. Loyle Carner – 6 Music Live, Maida Vale Studios – 2017
As Lauren Laverne put it, ‘Loyle Carner’ was the only good thing to come out of 2017. We worked with Loyle’s team to create a ‘living room’ environment in Maida Vale studios. As Loyle ended performing tracks from his Mercury nominated debut album, the audience (+us and Lauren!) were in floods of tears as he invited his Mum on to stage to share the final moments of his performance.
Boardmasters was one of our earliest filmed festivals and was part of a series of shows we created for Channel 4. We’d previously worked with Plan B and his team and created a filmic piece integrated with his own very personal life stories. The performance was one of those moments when an artist ‘breaks’; ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’ reached number 1 shortly after.
10. Amy Winehouse, Adele, Paolo Nutini, Sia, Patti Smith, Ray LaMontagne
OK, so not strictly Silver Bullet, but 10th place must go to those other artists that Silver Bullet’s founders, Andy Wood & Neill Sullivan have produced in live performance during their careers. Their Amy Winehouse shoot (with just her guitarist) has had over 20 million youtube views, a critically shy Adele played her second ever filmed performance, Paolo Nutini was a fresh faced 18 year old just out from behind the counter of his Mum and Dad’s fish and chip shop. Before US number 1’s, Sia performed in session to 100 people in Islington, Ray in an Art-Deco restaurant filmed by candlelight and Patti Smith was that US adventure to a ‘dry’ Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennesse.
Silver Bullet bring brands to life in culture. Contact us now to hear how we can do this for your brand.