Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Nicola Roberts: A Life in Videos - Part 4 

So, Nic-mas has finally arrived and the ever lovely Miss Nicola Roberts has now turned 21, which not only means she gets the key to the door, but also means she's also eligible to stand for parliament, which we're sure she'll be keen to do if only so she can have some input in sorting out the Irish problem, something which has vexed her for a few years now.

It's clearly a great day today, but despite it's wonderfulness we don't wish it was Nic-mas every day, mainly because this would mean she'd age horribly rapidly, a bit like that scene at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and would be a wizened, hackneyed, terrifying looking old crone by the time Christmas arrived, and one Madonna is more than enough.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Nicola! And to celebrate we can muster up nothing more imaginative than continuing our look at Nicola's performances in GA videos past and... well, just past, really, and today our look back brings us just a hair flick away from the Chemistry era, but first, this:

I'll Stand By You

Urgh. Not only is it a) a ballad and b) a cover, it's c) a charity single, and the only thing more likely to turn pop music from a maelstrom of excitement and creativity than doing it for the kids - in a Children in Need sense, that is, not in an Art Brut one - it's being in the same room as The Stereophonics. The director here isn't so much afraid to rock the boat, more so terrified of the boat even vaguely wobbling that he's pulled the boat up on to dry land and cemented it firmly to the pavement where not even a hurricane will make it tremble even slightly.

The Girls stand, wearing some quite nice dresses, in the middle of a desert wasteland, where only some stones, a dead tree and, for some entirely unexplained reason, a rope, which Nadine feels the need to pull upon incessantly, stand to break up the monotony. A charitable soul - and given that it was for a good cause we'll assume there were some around - may consider it a metaphor for the way that Girls Aloud have stood out amongst the wasteland that pop had become before they stepped on to the scene and reignited the scene with the sort of energy and excitement normally seen when throwing a bucket of petrol into a bonfire, but it's probably more likely that the director had just built a new patio and had over estimated how much sand he was going to need.

Once again this is mainly an ensemble piece, with Nicola's solo spots mainly arising with her solo lines. There's a lovely moment after she sings the "Nothing you confess could make me love you less line" where she closes her eyes and an entire nation sighs as one. Or we sigh enough for an entire nation. One of the two, anyway.

The director eventually realises that some girls lounging around in the sand isn't the most visually arresting of images, and decides to arrest this drought - arf - of imagery by making it rain. Unfortunately for him, giving the brevity of this sequence - about 10 seconds, tops - and some slightly poor editing, it mainly succeeds in making it look like Nadine has just pissed herself, so for that alone, we salute him.

Finally, it ends with all the Girls sat in what is either a tent bedecked with fairylights or the chill out room in a particularly cheap club. Well, we say "all the Girls sat", in actual fact there's only room for four of them on the nasty looking sofa. We wonder if you can guess who has to lie on the floor, all uncomfortable as she lays amongst the traipsed in sand. That's right. Nicola. :( .

Wake Me Up

What a bunch of bikes! Yes, the Girls have gotten all motorised, riding a convoy of choppers, something which we're sure is an entirely new experience for them. Quite where they're driving too is never revealed, but given that the backdrop for their entire journey is an unchanging, unconvincingly coloured sky with an entirely straight road heading off into the middle distance with ne'er a junction or curve in sight, we can only assume that the destination they have in mind is the Road Rash high score table.

It is perhaps for the best, however, that the road they're driving along doesn't appear to actually exist at all in the real world, given their motorbike skills leave a lot to be desired. Nicola, however, despite being perfect in all other ways, seems to believe that riding along one handedly, or even treating the powerful machine like a chaise longe sofa are entirely consistent with the highway code and continued ownership of her license. Though were the police to actually catch up with them, they would probably ignore her misdemeanors which are relatively minor compared to Sarah, who applies nail varnish - foolish both in terms of road safety and smooth coverage, and Kimberley, who decides that driving along at a ridiculous speed on a vehicle which is all to easy to lose control of if you're not paying full attention is the perfect time to start blow drying her hair.

Incidentally, lovers of subtle conspiracy messages may like to note that in this video Nadine is quite literally flying the flag for Girls Aloud.

It's not all cycling, though, as the Girls get fed up with having a throbbing machine between their legs and get off to shake their bits around to the middle eight. Our heroine uses this as her opportunity to shine, ending her own personal dance routine by blowing a kiss to the camera and giving a little wave, before they all hop back on their bikes and start throttling for all their worth. The engine, that is, we don't feel the group's animosity and jealousy towards Nicola's talent has yet extended towards trying to murder her - though there was the time where Nadine tried to push her off a roof - so we'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

After a few more hair flicks - they should really be keeping their eyes on the road, if this was their test they'd so be getting failed - the girls eventually ride off into the vanishing point of the entirely featureless highway, all five of them reflected in Nadine's sunglasses, a feat which is simultaneously impressive and impossible. Unless, and this a worrying thought, there are two Nadine's, something we desperately hope isn't true. She's barely got enough clothes to keep one of her covered up.