The other day, my mate Paul recommended I check out the music of Baxter Dury, son of pub-rock legend Ian. And I’m very glad he did because that’s how I came across the video for I’m Not Your Dog, a lyrically-sparse song delivered in spoken Cockney with a haunting chorus sung by a woman in French.
From what I gather, the song is actually about social media, not that there’s anything in the video to suggest this. Rather, as dawn breaks over a deserted city-lined beach, we see Baxter lying on a bench, clutching his stomach. Looking and acting like he’s on the back end of a night out with Tom Waits, he pulls himself up and spits out the opening lyrics: “I’m not your f–king friend. / Trying to be, though.”
Got a Light, Mate?
Clearly, something is seriously amiss with a relationship somewhere, but what and with whom? Walking onto the sand, he puts a phone to his ear but whatever he’s hoping to hear is not forthcoming and he hurls it away in disgust. Then, after faltering towards a tree, he slumps down to smoke a cigarette. However, rather than being white like most coffin nails, the lung-warmer he pulls out is pink like a Cocktail Sobranie. We then see a possible reason. He is bleeding.
Not that we ever learn why, though, because as he stumbles off to the water that we never see him reach, credits roll and this wide-angle clip ends as enigmatically as it begins. “I watch a bit too much / You show too much,” Baxter growls before the blood reveal. Meanwhile, excellently colour graded in a moody mix of pinks and blues, this video by Tom Haines shows us a lot but tells us little.
We are never told how the story began nor how it ends. Instead, we have to fill in the gaps and in making us do so, the video perfectly mirrors the song it supports. Quite remarkably, it was also filmed in a single continuous take: a one-shot, or possibly a two-shot if that’s why Baxter was bleeding. Either way, nice one, Paul. A top recommendation.
Notes and Credits
Picture credit: Baxter Dury in a screen grab from the video to I’m Not Your Dog (source).