Last April, in a piece published on VICE, a bunch of people who had moved to Britain from other countries explained what shocked them most about the culture here. One account that stuck out, for me, was when someone said that, over everything else, it was the amount of gak people were casually putting up their noses on the regular. “What shocked me most when I moved from Denmark is how normal cocaine is, and how many people do it,” they said. “People do it in Copenhagen, obviously, like in most other cities in the Western world, but it's just a whole new level in London. People talk about it more casually, like, 'Oh yeah, let's do some gak.' It's less of a taboo here."
If you’re young and like going out over here – or did at some point in your life – you’ll know the above to be true. Obviously everywhere on the planet has their own particular party culture, but the one that exists in Britain is also very specific to this area. In some ways, it’s seen as a point of pride. It’s drinking vodka on a park bench in a puffa jacket in winter. It’s popping pingers in the shape of Pokemons at UKG raves. It’s telling someone you love them while they’re puking in a kebab house. It’s bumps of coke and Wetherspoons and dancing in the living room of some bloke called Paul. But actually, all those things are really grim too, and if they happen over a long period of time, that shit gets depressing.
Enter Lily Allen’s new video for “Trigger Bang” (above), which came out today and features Giggs. On the one hand, the 3-minute clip – which was mainly shot in Peckham, southeast London – contains a multitude of stories. You’ve got some guy turning his back on violence (a young Giggs?). You’ve got some girl waking up in random people’s beds (a definite nod to a young Lily, in her requisite trainers and ballgown). You’ve got a group of teens driving in a car to some rainy field to get pissed. But even though the video flits between these characters, it all seems to boil down to the same thing, which is that weird mix of nostalgia, liberation and exhaustion that comes from leaving certain parts of your life behind AKA growing up and out of it. The final scene is of Lily and Giggs walking out a bar together and going to a caff to laugh over a cup of tea. Through the screen, you can feel the relief in both of them.
This track and video is the first from Lily Allen's upcoming fourth album, No Shame, due for release in early summer.
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