Our favourite "fan-assisted" videos

Also: be in an Oxygen Thief video!

- 6/06/14 -

NOT about ovens.

When is a music video better than other music videos? When it has you in it, obviously. Some of the most memorable band clips we've seen feature fans of the music doing things or interacting in some way. So we thought it'd be fun to see which "fan-assisted" videos we really love.

The reason for this is not just for Buzzfeed-style viral social media spattering. Oh no. It's because we have an opportunity for YOU to feature in Oxygen Thief's merch-laden video in the storming run up to the release of his new (coruscating and savage) album The Half-Life of Factsas well as his highly-prized support slot for the Möngöl Hörde tour at the end of June.

How? Well, first perhaps you should watch the video for 'Badge of Honour' from his five-track acoustic EP One Day All of This Will Be Fields. It features MANY band t-shirts. For fun, imagine 1) how much all of that cost, and 2) what percentage of those bands are truly great (PS it could be 100%).

Here 'tis:

So, want to show off any of your music threads too? Of course you do. You're way smarter and/or sexier than everyone else with your King Prawn gear, or Mineral tee. Well done you.

To get involved, just take a photograph, or several, of you in your band shirts (back and front if it's double-sided, like in the video above), hats, headbands, bibs, whatever, and send them to us at xtramilestreetteam@gmail.com, with the subject header "OT Shirts". Read this for full details and guidance by the ever-brilliant Val. You can join the street team if you'd like too. Get your friends in on it. Yeah! Community spirit everybody!

Once you've done that, and done it right, you're in a video. Yep, just like these people below.

Why not give us some more fan-assisted videos that you like eh? You can always talk to us via Twitter or Facebook. We're friendly and certainly won't start shouting about making way for any Möngöl Hördes or anything. Nope.

Here comes a list.

1) Feeder - Just A Day

This soaring triumph of a pop song was not only poignantly the last song played live with drummer Jon Lee before he died, but the video will forever be etched in the minds of circa 2001 teenagers and twenty-somethings, because people "like us" were in some massive top 10 charting Welsh band's video for arguably one of their greatest songs.

All of those included won a competition to be featured in the video, and the snippets of people leaping around to a song were crafted into a simple, of-its-time montage that was repeated on MTV2 for the entirety of its life. 

Everyone has their favourite entrant too, but the dramatic miming girl in cyan while on her parents' bed is pretty spectacular. 

It also inspired a recent, Aaron Paul-endorsed video for The Travis Walton's 'Homewrecker'. Look see. It's rather good. See if you can spot anyone you recognise. You might.

This band really are rather good. They have a new album out soon. Here's another video for you to watch

2) Frank Turner - The Road

This one's a little different. Instead of asking fans to film something for a video or to be at a specific place and time for several hours of filming, Frank Turner and a band of merry crew (including myself) went to other people's houses instead.

Drafting a list from eager Frank Turner forum dwellers and a couple of friends who wanted their houses and living rooms featured in the liveliest version of Location Location Location ever, we spent 24 hours on the road in London springing up at people's homes to play a song or two, and then dash off.

Frank finished by playing a full-set at The Wheelbarrow in Camden for the 24th show. Never to be repeated, this is a very special experience for everyone filmed here. Especially that guy right at the end. 

We also put together a (badly filmed, thanks to me and my shaky hands) "behind-the-scenes" video to accompany it. Go watch. PS my hair doesn't look like that now. It's much more sensible. And grey.

Some facts about the video: 

1) We didn't ask those people to crowd surf originally. They just did it. In their own house. They rocked

2) We started at 8pm Friday on the roof of The Wheelbarrow and ended at 8pm Saturday inside the same pub. We slept a lot the next day.

3) We can never ever pretend that this was remotely fun after the first 12 hours. Look at our faces. They tell the haunting story.

4) Seriously. We're not doing this ever again.

3) Beastie Boys - Awesome! I Fuckin' Shot That!

It's only number three and I'M ALREADY CHEATING. This is the trailer for the 2006 concert film Awesome! I Fuckin' Shot That! (great title) which is entirely filmed by 50 audience members at the show. And it is brilliant.

The deal was that the cameras must be kept on at all times during the gig, so while someone is always filming the band on one of the 50 cameras, you also get bonus footage of people going to the toilet and buying drinks. Excellent.

If ever there was a way of capturing the true atmosphere of a gig without actually being there, this might well be the closest we get. At least until a 3D version of this comes out. 

Also, this also features one Adam Yauch, who has sadly passed. Hip hop will never be the same. RIP MCA.

4) Arcade Fire - We Used To Wait

Okay, so this is DEFINITELY cheating, but the idea is pretty exceptional.

Simply go over to www.thewildernessdowntown.com and follow the instructions there. Type in your postcode of your childhood home, or a place where you grew up, and let the magic unfurl.

It's such an evocative idea - that you, the music lover, have a video dedicated to and created from the area you used to run around in and ride your bike around as a kid - all soundtracked by one of Arcade Fire's better songs. It has more power from being viewed once than any normal video played hundreds of times.

Yeah, so it's just clever Google maps footage being used, but if you do it now, it's even better than it was in 2010 thanks to faster broadband speeds and other technology. It's definitely worth it.

5) I can only think of four. Help me think of more!

I've totally ruined the game now. Throwing the rules out of the window by not having infinite knowledge, I open it up to you, humble Hub reader (Hubber?). Give us some of your favourite fan-featuring videos, and we can all hi-five and agree. We'll put them here and put your name next to them, like they're yours. Get at us on Twitter or Facebook. It could be fun. Or it could not, it's really up to you isn't it?

Our very own Chris T-T confesses: "I didn't talk about it much but 'A Beaten Drum' vid is 'fan assisted' too – all the book burning footage was sent to me by fans." So, that's a thing we didn't remember. No excuse either because it's a compelling video, even if book burning is tantamount to watching torture for me.

6) Chris T-T & the Hoodrats - A Beaten Drum

In arty black and white mostly, the fan contributions of book burning jars against the colour technological building of a 3D printed Chris. The most fun is in the various ways of flaming printed words to death - print is dead! long live computer generated physical products! - as they get thrown off balconies or fried by flamethrowers or burned on beach campfires.

Of course there's plenty of memorable and potent imagery, as if book burning wasn't enough. With Thatcher's face being slowly melted and a book about fascism thrown on as kindling, it suits the maudlin melody and pace of the single. And it's another example of fans being able to get inventive with how they interpret the original instructions. We like inventive fans.


While you're thinking of more for me to add there, here's a couple of suggestions that come from Valerie Gritsch, leader of the XMR Street Team and our social media expert.

7) Patent Pending - Second Family

It's a simple idea - get fans to send in photos, and make a slideshow of them to your latest song. It's so simple that we're ALSO doing it for Oxygen Thief. But yes, this is a pretty nice snapshot in time for fans - happy times dressed in band merch and being shifted along to light-hearted pop-punk. It's also the cheapest way of making a visual accompaniment to the song. I'm sure both trains of thought had equal influence on deciding this was the way to go. Pleasing fans on the cheap is, perhaps, the holy grail of independent bands trying to make a living, but also while creating unforgettable moments (OT's will be better of course, and no we didn't steal the idea, as much as it looks like we might've). 

8) 30 Seconds To Mars - Do Or Die

The best bit about this song is that it's also the title of a Super Furry Animals song, which also had a great video but doesn't feature fans, so we can't show you that one here without pretending rules don't exist entirely, and we're only interested in bending them slightly.

Instead, have a far less lo-fi video than any of those that have come before. Here we have a slick, mainstream, major label band fronted by an actor making a film of fans telling us what the song means to them, along with tattoos and concert footage.

It's easy to be really cynical about this, but however pretentious it may appear at first, it clearly means so much to some of these people to be featured in this video. And that shared experience is really the whole point of doing these, right? Yeah. So stop being a dick about Jared Leto and his music, and let it sink in for a bit (or take the piss, s'up to you, I don't wanna tell you what to do actually).

BONUS TRACK: Koo Koo Kanga Roo - Pogo