Louise Distras: Behind the scenes for the making of her new music video

Ian Critchley was “on set” with Louise Distras as her new video for the track ‘Love Me The Way I Am’ was filmed. The video is for a double A sided single due out on the 12th May, both tracks of which come from last years album Dreams from the Factory Floor, Louise’s critically acclaimed debut. A trailer for the video can be found below along with tour dates.

I took the bus towards Manchester centre and felt awful. I was tired, hungry, and severely depressed. I considered getting off, crossing the road, and taking a bus back home where I would dance through the cliché defensive methods of hiding myself away in a small room with a locked door, turning the lights off, and hoping to hell I could simply sleep away the dull feeling. But I stayed the course and was soon outside the studio where I was meeting Louise Distras on the set of her latest music video. I anxiously rang the producer, Penny, and was let in.

The building was the decaying ruins of what seemed to once be either the offices for a small business or perhaps some semi-successful bed and breakfast. It was impossible to determine exactly what the place had been used for as over the years the place had begun to crumble and decay, with all décor having eroded from its walls. This aesthetic was the perfect set up for the music video of one of the UK punk community’s leading artists as her aggressive musical sound and lyrical content that details the struggles of the working class in a country dictated by the rich, women belittled by an archaic attitude of masculinity, and an alternative culture being abused both physically and emotionally, is well suited to an image of the walls literally having been torn down.

I was greeted warmly in the freezing building by every member of the crew, and within minutes I was enveloped by an atmosphere of intense positivity and professionalism that kicked most of my earlier negativity to the gutter and left me bouncing with energy about being allowed into this experience. Which is what I believe most of the people, including (or perhaps especially) Louise, were feeling. Each person involved had a different accent and it seemed as if an enthusiastic team had been assembled by taking members from each corner of this island. As far as I know the majority hadn’t really met face-to-face before, but due to the dedication and personality of each team player conversation flowed like old friends meeting again over a drink. I had arrived with only a few hours left to go of the shoot and everyone told me that I’d “missed all the action”. I wasn’t sure exactly what had gone on, and they wouldn’t tell me, but their silence was accompanied by sly grins which made me wonder if I was the punchline to a joke I had missed the back story to.

The song itself is as close to a “tear-jerker” as Louise will ever get to, and even through the melodic piano backing the fury of her dedication blasts through like an explosion. So many within the “punk” world seem to stand tall on the soapbox and preach of equality and fairness, but so few do this with the genuine ferocity of Louise. Her beliefs are exactly that, they are not a badge of honour so as to take the moral high ground, they are the things that drives her to keep pushing herself as an artist. And as she walked the halls of this skeleton building blasting out the lyrics over the studio backing track while cameras flash and film, expressing the emotional turmoil of the song subject with such authenticity that is seemed to be an almost painful process, I saw this complete dedication in her beliefs more clearly than ever.

But it wasn’t just Louise as the entire team had exactly the same gusto about the project. From Producer Penny to Make-Up Artist Heather, who strived for perfection with such tenacity I was certain that each individual hair of Louise’s fringe was in the exact place it had been at the end of the previous shot. Everyone pulled together not as individuals attempting to further their standing in their respective fields, but as a team, a unit, a group of like-minded people, spending an entire Saturday in a freezing cold shell of a building, making art and working together to create something beautiful, not for financial gain, but purely for the sake of loving what they do and believing in a great message.

The trailer for the video is below:



Tracklisting for upcoming single:

Love Me The Way I Am  –  2:54
  • Bullets – 2:45
  • Love Me The Way I Am (Unplugged Piano Version) – 2:52
It can be pre-ordered here: louisedistras.co.uk/shop.

Louise is preparing to go out on tour and has the following dates lined up:

  • 19 April Endless Pain Tattoo Festival @ Markthalle, Hamburg (Germany)
  • 20 April Endless Pain Afterparty @ King, Hamburg (Germany)
  • 22 April Kulturbrucken Jungbusch, Mannheim (Germany)
  • 24 April ISC Club, Bern (Switzerland)
  • 25 April Prokontra, Hohenems (Austria)
  • 26 April Bar Irreal, Aulendorf (Germany)
  • 27 April Cross Club, Prague (Czech Republic)
  • 28 April Club Pamela, Torun (Poland)
  • 30 April Subway To Peter, Chemnitz (Germany)
  • 1 May Myfest, Berlin (Germany)
  • 2 May Gladhouse, Cottbus (Germany)
  • 8 May Mello Mello, Liverpool (UK)
  • 9 May Wharf Chambers, Leeds (UK)
  • 23 May Strummercamp Festival, Manchester (UK)
  • 24 May Bearded Theory Festival, Derby (UK)
  • 25 May Nice & Sleazy Festival, Morecambe (UK)
  • 30 May Ruhrpott Rodeo Festival, Hunxe (Germany)
  • 20 July Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, Tolpuddle (UK)
  • 24 July Le Bonk, Helsinki (Finland)
  • 25 July Työväen Musiikkitapahtuma. Valkeakoski, (Finland)
  • 26 July Karma Rock Festival- Harjavalta, (Finland)
  • 7-10 August Rebellion Festival, Blackpool (UK)

Louise’s website can be found here: louisedistras.co.uk. She’s also on Facebook and Twitter.

All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.

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