Rogue Pun

Michael Legge and Tony Slattery are Rock 'n' Roll Superheros

Image shows from L to R: Eddie Argos, Michael Legge, Tony Slattery

'Art Brut's new video is like a Justice League of Comedy.

If you've ever seen one of Michael Legge's splendidly splenetic stand-up shows (and you can PWYW for the excellent 2017 one here), then you would be forgiven for never thinking 'now there's a man who's probably a costumed do-gooder offstage.'

And you'd be right. Likewise Tony Slattery, the Whose Line Is It Anyway? star who's made a popular comeback this year: he may not strike you as an obvious action hero, either.

However, Legge and Slatts as caped crusaders clearly appealed to the people behind the comically epic new music video by the much-loved indie-rockers Art Brut. Your Enemies Are My Enemies Too is out on the really rather good Alcopop label, and that vid - below - features Legge as an all-too-perfect crimefighter who's pounced on by the other two. There's also a cameo from indie queen and occasional Dave Gorman/Phill Jupitus collaborator Helen Love, as a fury-stoking newsreader.

We'll get firmly into that with Michael and Art Brut main-man Eddie Argos below - but first, a quick word with Slattery (who Argos has an odd connection with). What on earth did he make of it?

"I had one of the most enjoyable filming days of my life with Eddie Argos, Michael Legge and the team on this video," says Slattery. "Even if the costume seemed a little tight under the arches..."

Image shows from L to R: Eddie Argos, Michael Legge, Tony Slattery

It didn't cramp his style, then? "Such a joy," he insists. "I hope it's a giggle for Art Brut fans, and everybody else too!"

It is! We should point out that Art Brut are on tour with the fine Hertfordshire rockers The Subways next year, and that you can also hear Legge vent on the consistently corking podcast Do The Right Thing. Which is quite apt, for a super-type...

Michael, I imagine you were well aware of Art Brut's oeuvre already - had you done a rock video before though?

I have. I'm in Simon Love's video for his excellent song Not If I See You First. I played the part of a really cool dude. I learned a lot from that music video. Firstly, I learned that I can't act. At all. There's a point where I just have to walk into a room and it's so unconvincing. I can't walk into a room believably.

Then I was asked to do this video and my gut reaction was to say no, but I absolutely love Art Brut so I said yes. I can't act, but that's their problem, not mine. Now I'm part of Art Brut legend. That's all I care about.

Eddie, am I right in thinking that the Art Brut/Tony Slattery crossover is a bit of a long-time goal?

Yeah, well, sort of a long time goal. Ever since Art Brut started, people have been saying to me that I look like Tony Slattery and that they love Tony Slattery, and as I also love Tony Slattery this often becomes the start of a conversation about how great Tony Slattery is.

In a way I feel I've been a conduit for a lot of Tony Slattery love over the last 15 years, so it was great to finally be able to tell him that. It was Jack who runs our label who had the idea of Tony being in the video, I don't know why I'd not thought of it before, Tony should have been in all our videos.

Playing a couple of rounds of Whose Line Is It Anyway? in the garden with him between filming scenes was an especially surreal and enjoyable moment. He was great fun to hang out with. I wish it had taken more than a day to film.

Image shows from L to R: Tony Slattery, Eddie Argos

Where does this rate among your oddest career experiences, Michael - dressed as a superhero, with him from Whose Line and the bloke from Art Brut...?

The whole day was pretty surreal really. It was filmed in Twickenham and all of Twickenham's water was turned off that day. Which meant pouring nice bottled water down the loo every time we had a piss.

Despite hanging out with Eddie Argos and Tony Slattery while we wore Lycra body suits and drank cocktails, it wasn't a completely mad day. I mean, I think I kind of was the perfect choice to play the part of a hot young superhero who has come along to steal Tony Slattery's thunder. After all, I'm easily eight weeks younger than him, so it completely makes sense. I miss those cocktails though.

How did the actual concept for this video come about, Eddie: did you just fancy seeing Legge & Slattery in tights?

It was actually the idea of the director, Ben Pollard from Livid Productions, who has made our last couple of videos, and is brilliant. I read his treatment and loved it. I of course presumed I would be the young handsome superhero in the script so was surprised when it went to Michael who is ten years older than me.

I'd love to know how the video idea was actually pitched at you, Michael...

Michael Legge

It was quite an impressive pitch really. Eddie really, really wanted me to do it so he quite cleverly formed a band about 15 years ago and made a bunch of records that he knew I'd love, just to woo me into making a video he had been planning all that time. It worked.

I don't just love Art Brut though. I also love comics, so being a superhero for a day is pretty much everything I could wish for. Also, I'm a prick and my character's motivation was to undermine someone else, and I love doing that. The fact that that person was played by another comedian only sweetens the deal.

Eddie, how do you reckon the three of you would cope with superpowers?

I think we'd all cope incredibly well, it was a really fun video to make, I sort of kept forgetting that is was strange to be dressed like that. I think the costumes suited us. I can imagine fighting crime with them both and then going down the pub after.

I think it would be a good sitcom - me, Michael and Tony sharing a flat in Twickenham as Superheroes. We should have had Samuel L Jackson turn up at the end of the video to bring us into the MCU.

I'd have loved to have found a way to continue the story. I reckon Tony would be the most heroic, he really threw himself into the character, to the point where I was starting to believe he was a superhero.

And how would you get on super-heroically, Michael? Are there stand-ups you reckon would be better at it?

There are no stand-ups better than me, so no. I'd be a fucking nightmare if I had superpowers. I wouldn't be a hero, that's for sure. If I had super strength and lazer vision, I'd just obliterate anyone making any unnecessary noise on public transport.

Actually, maybe that makes me a hero?

Art Brut's album Wham! Bang! Pow! Let's Rock Out! is out now on Alcopop Records

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