On Video are a quartet who have been stirring up the scene around their East London locale with a string of singles released in 2019, which culminated in an unruly cover of Paul McCartney’s “Temporary Secretary”. They’re now back for 2020 with the news that they’ve been snapped up by taste making label Permanent Creeps, and have shared a new song called “Bête Noire”. A fantastic song title on its own, it gets even better once put in context by On Video’s front person Hassan Anderson:
“Bête Noire” is a song inspired by our bassist George Williams, who was very misbehaved in his early days at school and was told by a teacher: “you, boy, have a Bete Noire inside of you”. The teacher issued young George with a card that read “Bête Noire” and instructed him to keep it in his bag to always remind him of who he was. George later found out that the phrase “Bête Noire” translates to “Black Beast” in French. Since then George has made minimal improvements. This song aims to document that.”
On Video embody the untameable spirit of their black beast bassist George on “Bête Noire” with emphatically onrushing guitar and unstuttering percussion. Atop this dynamite driving force, Anderson’s vocals are characterful as a classroom jester, glazing the song with cheeky humour. Far from a bunch of drop-outs, “Bête Noire” displays a group of guys with laser-focus on how to write a razor-sharp pop rock song, without losing any charm or humanity – and even with a few French phrases dropped in for a little special seasoning. I’m sure their teachers would be proud.