Hackney art duo create more than 100 Rolling Stones’ videos

15:41 16 November 2021

A Hackney couple who started making low-budget videos as “a fun side hunt” are now the proud creators of more than 100 Rolling Stones lyrical videos.

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

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

“I was like that’s a lyrical video – so then I had to go and do some research.

“And so, because it was for the Rolling Stones, you wanted to do it. So we fell into it by accident to be honest.”

The opportunity has meant the couple could quit their daily jobs and turn their 10-year venture Yes Please Productions into a full-time business.

Tom met Lucy while studying art and animation in Bristol. Lucy was a graphic designer and print designer, but inspired by Tom, she returned to college to study film.

She said, “It was a kind of lucky meeting between minds, and we were both big music fans, that’s how we met.”

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

Tom said, “Once in a while, we made the weird music video together next door, for quite a bit of 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 thanks Productions

The couple’s lyrical videos are an expression of a song’s era and could be described as vintage animated record covers.

Lucy said: “That’s often what we go for, especially for catalog artists like Sam Cooke. We based many of our designs on old 60’s soul and R n ‘B covers and that.

“A bit like wanting to make a visualization that fits the time the track was recorded.”

Tom added: “Especially when we started doing things for the Stones.

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

“Who discovered artifacts from the time,” Lucy said.

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

The team’s most recently released music video is of George Harrison’s previous bootleg demo Cosmic Empire
– Credit: Yes thanks Productions

The first video the couple made for the Rolling Stones was She’s A Rainbow. Lucy says the video has “fooling people” who have thought it was made back in 1967 when the track was released.

Lucy, whose favorite Stones’ album Their Satanic Majesties Request was the first the couple worked on, says her appreciation for the band’s music has grown

“They really wrote some great tunes and some real bangers,” she said.

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

“Those are the psychedelic things we really are into. They give us a little more fun to have with the videos.”

A still image from the lyrics video for the Rolling Stones 'number Troubles A' Comin

A still image from the lyrics video for the Rolling Stones ‘number Troubles A’ Comin
– Credit: Yes thanks Productions

The couple, 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 want to look at the history of the time and the art and design that was going on at the time the song was produced.

“Mature, film everything that binds the visual from that era and the font and style at the time others are recording – really immerses us.”

“The great thing about us is that we want the videos to look like the songs sound.”

The couple say they moved to Hackney for the culture, adding that the area has large study space

“We just really like the area, it’s our favorite area, the culture and everything that belongs to it,” Tom said.

“There’s so much live music, there’s so many venues here, little pubs have always had concerts,” Lucy added.

They hope to hold live visual music evenings in Hackney in the future.

“We’re eager to reach out and do other things,” Tom said.

“And collaborate more because apparently so many other creative people live in Hackney here.”


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