An acid marching band stars in new Chemical Brothers video

Taking inspiration from an eclectic range of sources, including the quirky movements of marching bands, Smith & Lyall capture the lively spirit of the music duo’s new track

Adam Smith and Marcus Lyall (Smith & Lyall) have released a new eye-catching visualiser for The Chemical Brothers’ latest single No Reason. Having collaborated with the electronic music duo for over 25 years, helping to create their live shows and working across stage design, lighting design and movie-making, Smith & Lyall were once again called upon for their unique vision.

For this latest track, they drew inspiration from the military-style drum rolls that feature throughout. Using this as a jumping-off point, they extensively researched the choreography of marching bands, honing in on any unusual or unique movement.

They then merged their findings with other key influences such as the musical film Sweet Charity, Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks, and the jerky movement of David Byrne in early Talking Heads videos.

The result was a dynamic piece of choreography that they took to their long-time collaborators Gecko Theatre to bring to life. The latter enlisted the help of theatre and dance performers, as well as professional drum majors, to star in the video. However, the video itself is more than just a clever dance routine — it also features an acid aesthetic that lends it a certain trippy quality.

The performers’ costumes, which were designed by Smith & Lyall’s long-time collaborator Kate Tabor, are transformed into vibrant displays of form and colour that complement their off-the-wall moves.

“The final look was inspired by a stylised 60s solarised technique,” explains Smith, “similar to The Monkees’ 1968 film Head but with the ‘video’ look of [American artist] Nam June Paik.”