York pub transformed into a 1930s jazz joint for music video

Rachel Croft in a still from the video. Photographs: Dave Thorpe / YouTube
6 Mar 2016 @ 6.42 pm
| News

Two talented buskers swap the 21st century streets of York for a 1930s Speakeasy in this great new video.

Singer songwriter Rachel Croft can often be seen in King’s Square, and pianist Karl Mullen has been wowing visitors for many years by playing a bright red piano outside the Minster.

Now they’ve teamed up with local award-winning filmmaker Dave Thorp to shoot a music video.

The atmospheric video sees them covering the Duke Ellington and Irving Mills jazz classic It Don’t Mean A Thing.

“We wanted to produce more than just a straightforward song, so we decided to make a short film that would hopefully capture an audience’s imagination”, says Karl. “Dave shot it with a real 1930s feel.”

The pair harnessed the talents of some of their favourite musical collaborators, and a whole team of people came in as performers and extras too.

These including dancers from a nearby school who helped choreograph the action and also appeared in the film.

Beautiful, unspoiled pub

The brass section in full swing
The brass section in full swing
Pianist and arranger Karl Mullen
Pianist and arranger Karl Mullen

Much of it was shot at The Phoenix pub on George Street.

Dave Thorp said:

The Phoenix is beautiful, and unspoiled – a gift to a cameraman like me.

The staff were really helpful and the shots looked great.

I really like the fact that it’s a pub with no sports TV, no juke box, no games machines – just loads of atmosphere!

Although the pair are experienced musicians this was the first time they had embarked on a film project.

Rachel said: “I feel pretty lucky to be in York because it’s such a supportive environment, full of amazing, talented people to work with.

“Filming was amazing, I had so much fun playing a character and feel really proud of our work.”

Karl agreed:

Working on the film has been a fresh creative exercise.

When I was developing the story and the soundtrack, and writing and recording the arrangement I discovered a passion for this kind of work. I’m inspired to do more!

Since the completion of the video, Dave Thorp has been in Hollywood shooting scenes for a forthcoming music documentary.