Maybe a month before we shot the sizzle for Slingers I was in the pub with Steve, Arran and Corran discussing among other things the kind of music we wanted for the short. This was going to be such a huge part of the puzzle that it was vital we got it right. When the Brownlee’s finished the first set of storyboards I (very roughly) cut them to Dean Martin’s ‘Ain’t That A Kick in the Head’. It worked well in that we were very much riffing on the 60′s Rat Pack, but it lacked the contemporary feel we needed and we didn’t really want a cover version.
It was Steve who suggested The Mummers.
I hadn’t heard of them at the time, but I downloaded the album from iTunes while we were chatting and listened to it for the first time on the way home. By the next meeting at Steve’s I was head over heels in love with the album. We gave it another listen and we were sold. Steve then reached out to the band to see if they’d be interested in recording something for us.
On the second day of shooting the sizzle the band popped down to see what we were up to. The timing was perfect as we had a casino full of people and DM and Frank doing their thing for the first time. I took a moment to chat with the band, talk about what we were aiming to do and what we hoped they could do for us.
And wouldn’t you know they knocked it out of the park for us on the first go. At the time the track was called ‘Mistaken Identity in the 23rd Century’ – I have a copy of the demo version and it’s bloody brilliant. It works beautifully on the finished sizzle and floors viewers whenever I show it to someone for the first time. Everyone asks about the music…
Slingers was always intended to be a 60s show that just happened to be set in space and the future. The science fiction was, of course, very important, but first and foremost we wanted to lift the rat pack vibe and concentrate on the characters. By the time we had the sizzle cast and crew I felt there was very little for me to do because they all understood the concept and worked their hearts out to bring it to life.
The Mummers’ track was the icing on the cake. Perfect. Or ‘cherry’ as Marti would have put it.
I was shocked when I heard of Mark’s death.
This evening I read a moving interview in The Guardian with Raissa and it was with a mixture of melancholy and happiness that I see that the song, now called ‘Cherry Heart’, has made it on to their new album.
I can’t wait to hear the final version and the rest of the tracks. I’ve been working ‘Tale to Tell’ very hard since grabbing it that evening with the guys. It’s a great album to write to and I’d like to think there’s something of it in the scripts I’ve written since.
Another Mike, a friend of mine, caught the Mummers live a while back and upped part of a live version of the song to YouTube:
Do buy the album if you get the chance – it’s released on Monday. And thanks to Haruka (Marti) for pointing me in the direction of the Guardian article.
“The Mummers are an adventure, with all sorts of ups and downs and twists and turns. We’re a dysfunctional, disparate family, and normal things don’t happen to us,” she exclaims. Suddenly, her face brightens. “But that just makes us want to carry on and see what happens.”