Hard Rain

Screened at:
Tribute Artiste, Waygood Gallery, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, September 2001



Hard Rain
(with The Black
Market Clash)

  5 min 35 sec
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In the work Hard Rain (traditional),2001, Harris paid further tribute to the role that music has played in his life, combining his own ancedotal song lyrics with multiple references to protest songs, personalising them in order to vent his pent up frustrations with the bourgeois commercialism of the post-YBA art world. Bob Dylan’s origional A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall, 1963, was written in protest of the  Cuban Missile Crisis, at a time when Dylan and many others felt that they were about to witness the end of the world, concentrating as much material as possible into one song.  Harris’s version is similarly condensed, although lacking Dylan’s time pressure – he wrote his over six months – it conjures up experiences from this period in a rambling semi-diaristic manner.  Borrowing the chorus of A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall and further lyrics from The Clash, Harris sets his own song to the music of The Clash’s 1977 anthem White Riot.  In true DIY style, Harris painted a mock Clash backdrop of flags and his hybrid song was performed by The Clash tribute band (Black Market Clash, before a hot, sweaty, pogoing crowd of screaming fans, held in the secret venue of a friend’s spacious front room).  Harris’s low budget film of the proceedings attempts to replicate the authenticity of the punk endeavour.  The cameraman jumps up and down with the fans coming in and out of focus in a private homage to The Punk Rock Movie, Don Letts’s 1977 directorial foray into the punk scene.