IF only one good thing has come from those long weeks of lockdown, it is the myriad of creative ways we have found to keep life interesting.

And few people know more about being creative – and keeping life interesting – than rabble-rousing Oxford band The Deadbeat Apostles.

The hedonistic, hard-partying and even harder-paying blues, soul and country-rockers are among the most exhilarating, if chaotic, things to have emerged from the Oxford music scene for some time, and have kept us amused with punchy tunes, lively gigs and their acclaimed series of Day of the Deadbeats all-dayers.

This was set to be their year – starting this month the launch of a double A-side single Viva La Evolution and I’m A Man, and a showcase night at The Bullingdon. But while the show was cancelled, the launch has gone ahead with a live video for Viva la Evolution featuring the whole band of frontman Mike Ginger, singer Michelle Mayes, guitarist Garry Richardson, bassist Hugh Garrety and drummer Alex Ogg – even though they are in isolation not just from the world, but from each other.

The result is a glorious piece of ramshackle rock, filmed separately by band members singing and playing along to the finished track, and with friends and family contributing their own lockdown clips. It can be admired on the band’s website, Facebook and Youtube.

Read more: Who on earth are the Deadbeat Apostles?

“We wanted to create something that would fit with the band’s ethos and be entertaining,” says Michelle.

“Anyone who has been to a Deadbeats show will know that we’re entertaining if nothing else, and we think the results are fantastic. It was a real boost in lockdown to have so many people send in their own clips. We are incredibly social people, so we miss seeing and interacting with people an awful lot.”

The video, stitched together by Ryan C. Quarterman of The Future Human Design Co, showcases the band’s love of theatrics and their ability to dance on the crazier side of life. The song, meanwhile is hard hitting and political.

“It’s a punch in the face to the establishment, sat on a bucking bronco of great rock& roll and riding it for all it’s worth,” says Mike with customary understatement.

Banbury Cake:

“The video is well worth at least 20 views as there is so much going on and the song is worthy of any playlist.”

They also put together a video to accompany their soulful belter, I’m a Man, made up of excess clips from contributors.

“We didn’t want to repeat ourselves and make another similar video,” says Mike. “There’s only so much craziness you can record while stuck in your house.”

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Michelle adds: ‘Little did we realise that we had created a monster! Garry took on the editing and I was tasked with contacting a vast amount of people and collating more clips from the great and good of Oxford’s fantastic music scene.

“I was absolutely blown away with the positive response of the people I spoke and wrote to. It’s rather sentimental for me, but it warmed the cockles of ‘me’ heart!

“With Garry’s hyperactive imagination running wild, Mike making me film him prancing around at every opportunity, and clips coming in thick and fast, we realised that it was going to be impossible to reign this wild beast into anything under 15 minutes and so our first short film was born.

“Having studied film at university, it was a return to doing something I am incredibly passionate about. Garry and I became a bit Howard Hughes about it as we had so little time to complete, just over two weeks, but looking back it was an amazing, if pressured experience.

“It became an all-encompassing task as Garry realised, he was pushing the software he had to the absolute limit and both of us were pushed quite close to the brink of insanity at times. Trying to make sense of the craziness that was in front of our eyes without being able to meet up and discuss was very strange. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of those that sent in clips – we really hope that everyone loves it.”

Mike agrees, saying: “The finished short film is just over 16 minutes in length, and we are really delighted with the result. We are somewhat apprehensive however that the world will get to see what really goes on inside the heads of The Deadbeat Apostles!”

It’s all been a welcome diversion from the repetitive strain of lockdown.

“Like for everybody else, it’s been tough,” says Mike.

Banbury Cake:

“We are just trying to take every day as it comes, I suppose. It’s been very difficult not being able to meet up as a group as we’re a very close-knit unit and we all really miss being able to play music together which is one of the great pleasures in my life.

“We have weekly calls but it’s not the same as being in a room together. But we are all safe and well at the moment, so we are incredibly thankful for that.

“Just like everyone in the country, we are concerned for the future and how this will affect people. The thought of getting back together when this is all over is something to look forward too, though.

“The hardest thing though is staying off the booze; the acceptable time for it being ‘okay’ to take a drink is growing wider by the week!”

  • Watch Viva la Evolution and I’m a Man on Youtube, Facebook or at thedeadbeatapostles.co.uk