family tree
press releases
mailing list
site map

videos | war babies

Michael Geoghegan

Louise Knight

production company
Moonlighting / Why Not Films

Film Lab South Africa / Soho IMA

Outdoor Performance

War Babies [Bascombe Mix Single Version] (4:19)

The idea was formulated by Andy Earl and Stuart Mackenzie who were pencilled in to shoot both promotional videos for Neapolis. Unlike the Glitterball video, the concept was a little more vague, and still being discussed during the Glitterball EPK shoot:

SM: Well, the next one, for War Babies, which Andy and I are doing.
JK: But you and Andy are drinking with Charlie about it tonight.
SM: Exactly. We've got an idea nailed. And it'll probably be even bigger than this. But in a more simple form.
AE: And sunshine.
SM: And sunshine. A bit of climate. In fact, we were thinking of going to Nice because it would be handy for you.
AE: Or Mexico.
SM: Nice or Mexico. Whatever's more convienient for you. [Laughs]

AE: We're planning on doing this in Cape Town - the next one.
JK: Any reason why Andy?
AE: Because of the women really. And the surf. That's the main two reasons.

Stuart MacKenzie and Andy Earl
Glitterball EPK (Unused footage)

The overall concept was kept, and the band and team assembled in Cape Town, South Africa on the 21st March 1998. However, neither Andy Earl and Stuart Mackenzie were there; instead seasoned video director Michael Geoghegan was behind the camera.

A walkabout video, where Jim and Charlie explore the outer reaches of Cape Town, before returning home. It doesn't feature the usual tourist traps, but instead features deserts, forests, railway tracks and high-tech satellite installations.

Is Jim a ghost, rising from the dead in the opening seconds? Although he doesn't seem to interact with many of the people in the video, just being a detached observer, he does exchange looks with the young boy on the railway tracks. But the whole video does have a dreamlike, ghostly quality to it, shot in soft focus with lots of blurring at the edges.

One of Simple Minds' best videos, thanks to the amazing imagery (particularly the sequence around the satellite dishes or the children attempting to outrun the plane), but its connection and interpretation of the song remains elusive.

The video was widely available as it was a bonus track on the War Babies eCD. It was also included on the Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD several years later.

War Babies promo video War Babies single CD Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD

collectors' information
Chrysalis distribed videos in custom colour picture sleeves. The videos themselves just had simple artist and song title stickers:

War Babies promo video

The video was shot in late March 1998.

The logos and text displayed on the monitors in the final parts of the video were animations from the band's first website (which ran from 1998 to 1999).

Twelve reels of the original 16mm film exist in the Universal vault. This is around six hours of the 'walkabout' footage which was used to create the video. It was all shot on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of March 1998.

It was all transferred to ten Digital Betacam tapes on the 24th March.

The final video was created on the 4th April 1998 with a master and two protection copies. One of the protection copies had new audio dubbed onto it in August 2003 as part of the Seen The Lights project.

previous video | next video

Charlie (blurred)

Jim (blurred)

Jim (blurred)

Charlie (blurred)
Race the plane

At home with the website