Yannis & The Yaw share video for ‘Walk Through Fire’

Ya is & The Yaw press photo
Press shot credit: Kit Monteith

News of Yannis & The Yaw’s debut track Walk Through Fire inspired a wave of fascination for a culture clash collaboration between Yannis Philippakis of Foals and the late, legendary drummer Tony Allen. Launched with a first play as Jack Saunders’ Hottest Record on Radio 1, it was further magnified by in-depth conversations with NME and Dork, as well as news coverage which included The New York Times, Rolling Stone, DIY and The Line of Best Fit.

Now Yannis deploys a similarly unorthodox approach to creativity as he unveils the art installation / music video for Walk Through Fire. It further amplifies anticipation for the release of the ‘Lagos Paris London’ EP which follows on August 30 via Transgressive.

The Walk Through Fire visual is the result of an art installation held earlier this month in east London. A wall of 75 old school CRT televisions was constructed in a shop front, each of which displayed different footage inspired by and related to both the song and the wider themes of the EP – also complemented by classic archive footage of Tony, as well as two teenagers who represent young versions of both him and Yannis.

Passers-by were given a copy of the song to listen to on cassette while images from all 75 screens vied for their attention – effectively providing them with a unique video experience which they had subconsciously edited themselves. The concept was completed by a camera which also reflected footage of each listener’s reaction as they participated in the installation: a creative feedback loop creating a triangle of collaboration between Tony, Yannis and each participant. Watch the video for Walk Through Fire via YouTube below.

The project also offers another engaging interactive element as the Walk Through Fire website provides viewers with a unique experience to create their own bespoke version of the music video – their webcam virtually immersing them within the wall of images.

The visual was directed by regular Foals visual collaborator Kit Monteith, whose other credits include Everything Everything, Mogwai and Jon Hopkins.

Kit says, “The idea for the “Walk Through Fire” video came about from not really wanting to make a music video, or at least mainly wanting to make a work of art that would somehow find its way into video form, something inclusive and fun that would make them question their role as a listener. The video is a record of the artwork, the physical interactions people had with it and a space for its themes to be shared further afield, so too with the interactive digital website version which I also see as a key component to the artwork as a whole.”

Yannis will further honour Tony’s life and creativity by playing some select Yannis & The Yaw live shows. He says, “The show will be free-flowing and on the edge, improvised passages will meet with hard-worn grooves. It will feature some collaborators from the project and other musicians in our extended family.

“It will be an emotional release to finally play these songs live: bittersweet and poignant without Tony here, but important to allow the music to be played live, to give it oxygen and to release the music properly into the world. It’s been a labour of love.”

A pre-sale for all shows can be accessed by signing up for the Yannis & The Yaw mailing list here. London tickets then go on general sale from 9am UK on Friday, May 10. The dates are:

Tour dates

Sep 10 – Amsterdam, Paradiso, NL

Sep 11 – Paris, La Cigale, FR

Sep 13 – London, KOKO, UK

Yannis & The Yaw Lagos Paris London EP cover artwork

‘Lagos Paris London’ track list

1. Walk Through Fire

2. Rain Can’t Reach Us

3. Night Green, Heavy Love

4. Under The Strikes

5. Clementine

The five-track ‘Lagos Paris London’ EP is a celebration of the man who inspired it; a communion with the past that provides an escape in the present day. It is available to pre-order / pre-save here. Formats included limited signed black and red fire vinyl editions with embossed sleeves, as well as a CD.

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