Ween and the Wolfgang Press: Party On, Dude!
A still from the video for Mama Told Me Not to Come by the Wolfgang Press. (c) 4AD


When it comes to party-themed music videos, you'd be hard pushed to beat these two classics from Ween and the Wolfgang Press.

NB. This article was originally published in Point Blank Teesside shortly after the relaxation of UK Covid restrictions this past July 19.

Many readers will no doubt be relieved that live music is no longer verboten under the country’s Covid regs. Of course, whether it’s too soon, too late or all just a psyops anyway is something I’ll leave for you to decide. After all, you are also now free to debate such things while standing at the bar, a basic human right that has been denied us since March last year. What’s more, there are now no longer any legal limits on how many people can gather indoors together, which can only mean one thing… Party on, dude!

And when it comes to pop vids, there are certainly plenty of party-themed clips to pick from. Sadly, most of them are crap. You know the sort of thing: inane offerings in which a load of one-eyed sludge merchants show off their wealth in some gaudy American mansion while wannabe soft-porn stars wiggle their wotsits round a swimming pool full of mouth-breathing morons.

Mama Told Me Not to Come

Not so, though, the video to Mama Told Me Not to Come by the Wolfgang Press. Directed by guitarist Andrew Gray, this nicely lit vid is laced with elements of dry humour that together paint a far truer picture of party reality. These range from vocalist Michael Allen’s initial awkward entrance to shots of him standing out like a sore thumb, duffle coat still on as people jostle and dance about him. Then there’s Gray scrambling up the stairs to sick up his guts in the khazi, a fact later confirmed by a locked door when Allen and others need a slash.

However, the thing that really makes this vid stand out is the ending. Rather than climaxing in some backslapping orgy of how cool the band are, it instead finishes with the three of them in a back room far away from the main party, clearly unintroduced and looking decidedly bored while keyboardist Mark Cox tries and fails to open a bottle of beer with his belt buckle. Yeah, beat that, Snoop Doggy Dog.

We Had the Best Time at Your Party

A more successful shindig, meanwhile, is captured in the possibly unofficial yet nevertheless excellent YouTube video to Your Party by Ween, a song which itself raises the bar when it comes to rock-lyric excellence. I mean, what could possibly be more rock and roll than the song’s chorus, viz “We had the best time at your party / The wife and I thank you very much”?

But I digress. Lacking either Gene or Dean Ween but featuring an array of slightly oddball characters you might find in a Wes Anderson movie, the vid essentially acts out the song’s sublime lyrics as they are sung. As a result, we are treated to an unfolding mix of actions and emotions, not to mention “tri-coloured pastas”, all relayed via some beautifully shot visual imagery that never strays far from the Cliff of Repulsion, an aesthetic that the Japanese call kimo-kawaii, or adorably gross.

Full of nice touches and slick camera work, this Gerry Thomas-directed clip also boasts some of the best cheesy sax scenes ever recorded, including one in the bathroom while a woman pops in for a piss. Yes, sex, rivalry and mouths full of cake, this vid has everything and judging from the titles it was also put together in Final Cut Pro. But fortunately, you don’t actually need any editing software yourself to get your hands on a top-notch vid for your band or venue. Just swing by Ninjin Art instead. All budgets and genres considered, yeah?

Notes and Credits

The original version of this article first appeared in issue 30 of Point Blank Teesside, which you can download as a free PDF here.

Picture credit: Andrew Gray of the Wolfgang Press in a screen grab from the video to Mama Told Me Not to Come (source).


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“It’s kawaii, Jim, but not as we know it.”

WEBP t-shirt model
WEBP t-shirt model