Ben Avison’s second video single is both a homage to and critique of the celebrated but controversial songwriter and icon Steven Patrick Morrissey.
Stream (free) or download (donate if you can – profits go to Love Music Hate Racism) here:
The video, produced by Patrick Steel of Fat Toad Films, centres around a letter to Morrissey in which Ben writes, “Dear Steven, you used to mean so much to me. But now your words just confuse me and make me sad. Please can we talk?”
Ben’s letter to Morrissey is in the post to his agent.
The song is inspired by the music of The Smiths. It is also inspired by Jo Brand’s novel The More You Ignore Me, about a mother and daughter obsessed with Morrissey in the 1980s. A film adaptation starring Sheridan Smith is also due for release on 6th July.
Ben said, “I grew up in a household of Smiths fans, with songs like William, It Was Really Nothing and Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want pouring through teenage bedroom walls.
“When I read The More You Ignore Me I decided to write a song from the perspective of an obsessive fan. Despite being a huge fan of The Smiths, I have found much to disagree with in Morrissey’s public statements over the years, and his recent pronouncements in support of nationalist political figures became increasingly questionable to me. It didn’t seem right to release a song in celebration of the man, so there is a strong sense of disillusionment and the need to ask questions – and to talk with him about his views.”
In the video, Ben mimics Morrissey, waving flowers and reading Oscar Wilde. But when Ben drapes himself in a flag, it is not in the Union flag, like the one Morrissey controversially wrapped himself in, but the flag of the European Union.
“It is very sad the way racism has increased since the Brexit vote,” Ben said. “And it’s interesting that Morrissey has now cancelled his upcoming shows after Love Music Hate Racism planned a big protest party on his gig date in Manchester.”
Steven, Please Can We Talk? is the second single from Ben Avison’s forthcoming album. It follows the release of the single Lovers’ Leap earlier in 2018 and his acclaimed debut album Good Day Mr. Magpie in 2013, which included a collaboration with Bhundu Boys founder Rise Kagona.
The new single was produced by Catgod’s Robin Christensen-Marriott, who plays bass and guitars, in addition to Ben’s guitars and vocals, with Tobias Sturmer on drums and Steph Pirrie on additional vocals.
Proceeds from Steven, Please Can We Talk will be donated to Love Music Hate Racism.
Ben Avison’s next gig is at WADS Stock, Wootton & Dry Sandford, Oxfordshire on 28th July at 3:30 PM.