David Knight - 19th Mar 2021

Kris R heads down the pub - yes, a real pub - with Liverpool indie band Courting for their fiercely polemical Grand National.

The fourpiece are down the local for an afternoon session, with horse racing on the TV, and racing forms being scanned as pints are supped. But lead singer Sean Murphy-O’Neill is soon railing against the biggest steeplechase of them all (and gambling per se), that happens to take place in their home city.

Shot in a celebrated Liverpool city centre boozer The Denbigh Castle, Kris R and his small crew, including DoP Jed Darlington-Roberts, have recreated a classic midweek afternoon pub atmosphere that may well put a lump in your throat. Your correspondent was actually forced to stifle a sob.


There were people knocking on the door for a pint throughout the shoot...

"For decades, the Grand National has been treated by most as an excuse to drink pints and gamble. But as our knowledge evolves, so do our values, and we now know that horses die in the name of entertainment nearly every single year. The event that takes place at Aintree Racecourse (one of the world's most dangerous tracks), is considered by many to be seriously unethical.

"Around the same time we shot the video, images of jockeys posing on or with dead horses were leaked - making horseracing even more difficult for the industry to justify.

"I wanted to create a video that was so intense it almost makes you feel uneasy. The lyrics are laced with sarcasm, but the statement is screamed in your face, so it was vital that we captured that emotion. It’s brave for a Scouse band to go there, given the race takes place in Liverpool, and I hope this helps get this gets their point across.

"Seeing Liverpool in lockdown was a bit heartbreaking, so it was nice to create our own (socially-distanced) private bubble of chaos. I say private, there were people knocking on the door for a pint throughout the shoot and sadly had to be turned away."

PRO Credits


DirectorKris R
ProducerLaura Cotter
Production CompanyScuffed Media
Director of PhotographyJed Darlington-Roberts
Focus PullerJoshua Gwynne
CommissionerKevin Baird
LabelNice Swan Records

David Knight - 19th Mar 2021

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