Gay Dadwere forced to halt filming the video for their new single in Beirut after being held up at gunpoint by the local police and army.
The band were in the Lebanese capital to make the promo clip for ‘Oh Jim’, the third single to be taken from their album ‘Leisure Noise’, when the police and local army surrounded them, aimed sub-machine-guns at them and ordered them to stop the cameras.
Lead singer Cliff Jones said: “We were filming by the bombed Holiday Inn when the police and army turned up and ordered us not to shoot another frame. They carted off the producer and four of the crew to interrogate them and threw me in a police van for a few hours.”
Although the production team had ensured that they had the right permits to film before arriving, the authorities claimed they hadn’t. The matter was finally settled the next day with a few extra payments to the relevant people.
Jones said: “It was really scary, they were really serious and they had these fuck-off guns and we didn’t know what we’d done wrong. But it was all OK in the end after a few greased palms, thank God.”
Jones explained they chose the Middle Eastern country as they wanted a landscape that had a post-apocalyptic feel. Jones walked around in a spacesuit to give the idea that an alien visitor was trying to make sense of it.
“‘Oh Jim’ is a personal song, but we wanted to broaden it out so it had a really universal vibe, to give it a link between someone being in pain personally and a whole civilisation being in pain,” he said.
Years of war between Lebanon and Israel have left Beirut riddled with bomb damage and bullet holes. Lebanon was bombed again by the Israelis the day Gay Dad flew back to the UK.
‘Oh Jim’ is released on July 26 and is backed with three new B-sides, ‘UVA’, ‘Lieb Ist Fur Immer’, ‘Bingo Nation’ and a demo version of ‘To Earth With Love’.