East London couple's Rolling Stones lyric videos are a lesson in visual history

Hackney's Yes Please Productions first lyric video was for the Rolling Stones' song She's A Rainbow

Hackney's Yes Please Productions first lyric video was for the Rolling Stones' song She's A Rainbow - Credit: Yes Please Productions

A Hackney couple who started making low-budget videos as "a fun side hustle" are now the proud creators of more than 100 Rolling Stones lyric videos. 

Tom Readdy and partner Lucy Dawkins were "very surprised" after their pitch to make lyric videos for the band was accepted. 

Lucy told the Gazette how she did not even know what a lyric video was when they took on their first Stones' job in 2017.

"I was like what's a lyric video - so then I had to go and do some research.

"And then, because it was for the Rolling Stones you wanted to do it. So we sorted fell into it by accident to be honest."

The opportunity has meant the pair could quit their day jobs and make their 10-year venture Yes Please Productions a full time business. 

Tom met Lucy while he was studying art and animation in Bristol. Lucy was a graphic and print designer but, inspired by Tom, went back to college to train in film.

She said: "It was kind of a lucky meeting of minds and we were both big music fans as well, that’s how we met."

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And Tom's first introduction to the world of music videos was when he got a placement at a company called Collision Films best known for creating Radiohead's There, There video in 2003. 

Tom said: "We would occasionally make the odd music video together on the side, for fairly little money, for fun really because we liked doing it."

Tom Readdy and Lucy Dawkins from Yes Please Productions

Tom Readdy and Lucy Dawkins from Yes Please Productions - Credit: Yes Please Productions

The couple's lyric videos are expressive of a song's era and could be described as vintage animated record sleeves.

Lucy said: "That’s often what we are going for, especially for the catalogue artists like Sam Cooke. We based a lot of our designs on old 60s soul and R n' B covers and that.

"Kind of like wanting to make a visual that suits the time that the track was recorded."

Tom added: "Especially when we started doing stuff for the Stones.

"We had an idea in our head that we wanted [the videos] to look like they could have been made at the time."

"Like discovered artefacts from the time," said Lucy.

The team's most recently released music video is of George Harrison's previously bootleg demo Cosmic Empire

The team's most recently released music video is of George Harrison's previously bootleg demo Cosmic Empire - Credit: Yes Please Productions

The first video the pair made for the Rolling Stones was She's A Rainbow. Lucy says the video has "fooled people" who have believed it was made back in 1967 when the track was released. 

Lucy, whose favourite Stones' album Their Satanic Majesties Request was the first the pair worked on, says her appreciation for the band's music has grown

"They really did write some great tunes and some real bangers," she stated. 

And Tom says making the videos has meant discovering "those little album tracks and b-sides: "They are some of the best songs really.

"It's the psychedelic stuff we're really into. They give us a bit more fun to have with the videos."

A still from the lyric video for the Rolling Stones' track Troubles A' Comin

A still from the lyric video for the Rolling Stones' track Troubles A' Comin - Credit: Yes Please Productions

The pair, who live on the border of Hackney and Tower Hamlets near London Fields, say deep research is an essential part of their method. 

Lucy said: "So we will look at history of the time and the art and design that was going on at the time the song was produced. 

"The fashion, film anything that ties the visual of that era and type face and typography at the time other records – really immersing ourselves."

"The big thing with us is we want the videos to look like the songs sound."

The couple say they moved to Hackney for the culture and add that the area has great studio space 

"We just really like the area, its our favourite area, the culture and everything that goes with it," Tom said.

"There's so much live music, there's so many venues here little pubs have always got gigs on," added Lucy. 

They hope to put on live visual music nights in Hackney in the future.

"We're keen to stretch out and do other things," said Tom. 

"And collaborate more because obviously living in Hackney there's so many other creative people here."

www.yespleaseproductions.com


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