Words and pictures combine in Dead Men’s Emmeline

The Dead Man's Waltz - Hector MacInnes, Leighton Jones, David MacLeod and Mangus Graham.
The Dead Man's Waltz - Hector MacInnes, Leighton Jones, David MacLeod and Mangus Graham.

BLINKING their hollowed eyes in the summer sun, Isle of Skye’s Dead Man’s Waltz return with a clutch of dates and a captivating new single, Emmeline.

Relating the tragic story of a U-Boat commander and his betrothed during WWII, the new track whirls and flutters with glockenspiel, accordion and brass and is at once an affecting narrative and a tankard-raising sing-a-long.

And complementing the sound is the wonderfully simple, yet stunningly graceful animation by fellow creative mind, director/illustrator/animator Thomas Hicks.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the finished video,” said Dead Man member Hector Macinnes, (guitar, percussion and vocals) commenting for fellow Dead Men Leighton Jones (vocals, accordion, piano), David MacLeod (bass) and Magnus Graham (vocals, guitar).

“It was a real unknown quality through as we basically just handed over the song to Tom with no real direction for ourselves and waited to see what he’d come back with.

“I’d first met Tom about a year ago and the previous work I’d seen before had involved a lot of hand-drawn works so it was a surprise when he came back with the wire-frame animation.

“It’s quite an unusual choice and with that type of music it would have been easy to go down the retro route with lots of visuals, but we’re delighted with Tom’s unique take on it.”

To enjoy both song and film, you can see the Dead Man’s Waltz ‘Emmeline’ video at www.thedeadmanswaltz.com/press/

The thirst for creative challenge runs deep in the Dead Man’s gurgling blood; from their inception they have worked across genres and disciplines, devising musical theatre pieces and collaborating with film-makers and visual artists.

The Dead Men materialised from multi-genre band and eccentrics Injuns when asked to conjure a musical theatre piece for Aviemore’s inaugural Outsider festival in 2007.

Two years on and the Dead Men presented their Glasgow live debut, part-gig, part macabre theatre piece in a disused ice cream factory, once again melding song, storytelling and film.

For the Dead Men, no two shows are ever the same, and their appearance at this year’s Insider Festival (a graduation of the 2007 Outsider event) in Aviemore, June 15th to 17th, will bring yet another captivating and intriguing Dead Man’s Waltz performance.

At the 2011 Insider, the creative quartet presented a typically idiosyncratic show to run with the festival’s ‘Victorian’ theme and inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins and the inventor of the gramophone.

“This year the theme is the Olympics, so there’s some intense brainstorming going on in the Dead Men’s camp at the moment,” chuckled Hector.

“We’re really looking forward to the Insider Festival though,” he continued. “We’ve played there every years and it’s always been great. They give us a licence to do what we want which is perfect Dead Man’s style. “We always feel that the Insider is where the Dead Man’s Waltz came from, so it’s great to be going back once again and if the weather holds, it’s going to be a tremendous weekend!”