A brilliant new pop video marks the launch of York singer Bonnie Milnes’ solo career.
The three-minute film for the song, Chimpanzee, also showcases our beautiful city as the backdrop to a heart-tugging story of lost love.
Now performing under her full first name, perhaps the beguiling Ms Milnes is set to be one of those global superstars known only by her forename. And what a unique first name it is! Bonneville.
“Blame my dad for that,” she told YorkMix. “He was mad about motorbikes, and thought it would be a good idea to name me after the classic Triumph Bonneville.”
Part of a new EP
[arve url=”https://youtu.be/CdSAFZD6AL0″ title=”Bonneville – Chimpanzee – Official Music Video” /]
It could turn out to be a memorable masterstroke from her dad, Dave. For Bonneville is a one-of-a-kind performer too.
Bonnie is best known in York for her performances with The Lungs, a duo with songwriter Theo Mason Wood. They have been wowing audiences at select gigs for more than four years, first catching YorkMix‘s eye in a support slot to the Barr Brothers’ Basement gig in 2013.
Last year, The Lungs expanded into a four-piece and changed their name to Gwen, while retaining much of the Lungs’ quirky alt-country, dark Americana repertoire.
So why the solo move, just as Gwen is making waves?
Bonnie says: “Gwen is still going and we have big plans, but Theo has moved to London, and I thought I’d just do a few solo projects while I’m still here in York.
“This track is the first of three on an EP I’m recording with Young Thugs Records and releasing soon.”
‘It got pretty hot in there’
Produced by Young Thugs in-house star Jonny Hooker, musicians taking part include Dan Lucas from Bull, Michael Simison, and Bradley Blackwell of The Howl & The Hum.
The video was shot by Steve Piper, and features the forlorn figure of Bonnie clad in a gorilla suit (“it was a bargain, just a tenner to rent from Theatre Royal. But it got pretty hot in there”).
She’s pictured at the railway station, later buying a Valentine’s card, flowers and balloons for a big date at Bishy Road’s Angel On The Green.
We don’t want to spoil the plot, but you can tell it’s not going to end well, as the gorilla sits solo surrounded by happy couples out for a big night of fun.
The video also catches Gorilla Girl Bonneville in Fossgate Social, the City Screen and Tenpin York.
Family and friends
Clearly the gorilla get-up is symbolic, as the chimpanzee of the title is a reference to those lonesome primates which scientists used to shoot up into space.
Featured throughout the film are friends and family from York, rounded up after Bonnie put out a Facebook appeal for film extras.
And here, we have to declare an interest. Your correspondent responded to that Facebook appeal and is honoured with a blink-and-you’ll miss it role, sitting opposite man-about-town Sam Rowntree in the Bishy Road café.
Only as the closing credits are about to roll do we get to see Bonneville herself, as she removes the gorilla head.