Watch + Listen: A Certain Ratio’s New Single/Video ‘Keep It Together’ is the Cathartic Release We Need Right Now

Fifteen months on from the first lockdowns, our previous lives have gotten a bit hazy, and it’s almost become difficult to remember the feeling of a full-on night on the tiles. And let’s be honest, outdoor cocktails spaced six feet away from everyone else just isn’t quite cutting it.

But cleverly, Manchester post-punk legends A Certain Ratio have used the occasion of their latest video to take us out on the town again, while ultimately sticking to the new safety protocols, which remain our reality for the time being. Indeed, for the accompanying visual for new single ‘Keep It Together,’ Luke Logan (director) and Joe Vickers (producer) recreated a night out in the late 1970s at the historic Stockport Plaza theatre, just outside Manchester. In centers on a girl extravagantly decked out in her finest disco attire – complete with feathery cape – stumbling about tipsily near the front door. But rather than go in (or back in), she hops in the back seat of a shiny red retro ride, and departs for a socially distanced dancefloor (flashing lights and all), which may very well just be in her mind.

She then unleashes the sort of unfettered, cathartic dance that feels exactly like what we all need right now, after a year of being stuck inside.

“We wanted it to be set in the ‘70s,” explains the band’s Martin Moscrop, “so we invited ACR fans to dress up and become part of the video. Among the extras that turned up were Calder Valley’s finest The Lounge Society and Lee from Manchester’s Heavy Salad. They arrived as funkateers, punks, soul boys and girls, hippies, post punks and prog rockers – and everyone looked amazing. The video is about overdoing it on a night out and trying to keep it together.”

The song itself, a masterstroke of cool, disco-punk-funk, features one of the last recorded vocals of Manchester singing legend Denise Johnson, who passed away suddenly last July. It’s take from the upcoming ACR:EPA EP, due out May 7 via Mute, and available for pre-order now. The band launch the 13-date ACR Loco tour November 3 at The Parish in Huddersfield.

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