The Maccabees - Toothpaste Kisses

They seem to have put up a little too much mistletoe at this office party. Will she regret snogging the health and safety officer in the morning?

A gentle hubbub of pubby voices. The soft strumming of a guitar. A young woman, looking nervous, enters.

Pickard - entrance

We are in a north London boozer. I know that mainly because I read it on the YouTube page, which says that this, the second video for this beautiful track by the Maccabees, planned for the post-mobile-phone-advert re-release of the song, was filmed in a north London boozer. I'm just assuming YouTube is telling the truth. That's investigative journalism for you.

The woman edges her way through the crowd. Stopping by the bar, she looks around anxiously for someone she knows. Anyone. Her eyes alight on someone.

Pickard - someone you know

You know, it's like you've just started a job, and the Christmas party rolls around, and you have to go because it would look impolite if you didn't, but you don't actually know anyone very well, so you search the crowd until your eyes catch that person who gave you the health and safety demonstration on day two, and...

Pickard - old friends

Oh! Apparently, they know each other rather well. Or at least I hope they do, for they have just launched into a full-bodied, enthusiastic tongue sandwich, lips locked, hands roaming. Gosh, this is either a (terribly thorough) recreation of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, so important to health and safety talks, or the lanky young lad is very well-acquainted indeed with our nervous new girl.

Pickard - two kiss

Or at least as well acquainted as the person who's just come up behind her kissee, grabbed him, and begun his own set of tonsil tennis. Is it another boy? It is. New balls, then, ladies and gentlemen. Quiet on court, it's...

Hang on a second, someone's just grabbed the boy that grabbed the boy that was kissing our girl. It's a girl, I think, and she's bending him over backwards with kisses on the table.

Pickard - the cheek

What the hell kind of bar IS this? I mean swinging is, you know, whatever, but that lady had to move her glass to accommodate these hormonal young turks and their lip action, which is frankly not cricket. OR tennis.

Pickard - three kiss

Luckily, she does not have to move for long, as someone grabs the kisser kissing the kisser that was kissing the other kisser from the kiss chain, and starts kissing. The sex of this kisser, however, is uncertain. A boy? A girl? You can't bloody tell with these young people nowadays.

Interesting. Apparently the new Maccabees video has turned me into my granddad.

Pickard - sofa so good

This new pair are kissing so passionately they end up on the sofa. Before one of them us grabbed, of course, by a strong pair of hands and kissed by someone else. Moving into an other room, this new kisser us kissed by a whole other kisser and the kissing continues frenetically. And even, in some cases, acrobatically.

Pickard - legs

See, for anyone who's studied performance art and modern dance, this would clearly smack of contact improvisation and postmodern improvisational dance theory, and they would sit here going, "Blah, blah, blah, balletic grace, upper-body strength, reminiscent of Liam Steel and DV8, etc, etc."

Pickard - contact impro

But I imagine that's not likely to be the first response from your average wonky-fringed indie fan. And even if it is, it should not detract from the story being conveyed by these young people through the medium of lip-locking. It is the story of Christmas.

Pickard - it's that woman again

Or at least of a Christmas party. These young attractive people are, I'm guessing, from some kind of hip, young PR firm, and they've all come out for the work do, got alcoholically over-excited, and someone, by mistake, suddenly ended up kissing someone else. Suddenly, realising if they only snog that person all night it'll look like a "thing", they've realised they have to kiss someone else to distract from it, but sadly, that's started a process of tonsil dominos. And our young woman, being at the beginning of it all, has had to reinsert herself into the chain to make sure she has some excuse.

We've all done it.

Though rarely with so much gusto.

Pickard - caught between

So, let us recap. Girl meets boy, girl and boy kiss, then are interrupted by boy, who meets girl's boy, and kisses until boy two meets girl, who meets girl who then meets boy, boy, girl girl boy. Boy, girl, girl and... boy. Bloody metrosexuals.

But at last, the chain reaches an end: It is kicking-out time at the most saliva-splattered Crimble party of the season. The woman in ridiculous braces who started this whole farce loses her fifth kissee of the evening in the very last seconds of the game.

Pickard - lost final minute

And, kicking the door open with their feet, the last couple leave the bar, disappearing into a future of romantic sunsets and almost certainly herpes.

Pickard - sunset and herpes

Tomorrow, they will all return to the office and pretend this never happened. Drunken snogging: It's all fun till someone gets the first coldsore. Just say no. At least to that nice little be-braced woman. Put her down - you quite literally don't know where she's been. You can watch the video here.


Anna Pickard

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

The Maccabees | Pop review

Brixton Academy, LondonGiddy energy, brassy outbreaks and heroically bad dancing marked the Maccabees' graduation to playing big arenas, says Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

05, Oct, 2009 @10:00 PM

Article image
No 15: The Maccabees

Riotous Brighton-based quintet offering their own quirky take on aggro-pop, and a biblical name that has nothing to do with Paul McCartney or bees.

Paul Lester

02, Jan, 2007 @4:05 PM

Article image
Where there's Maccabees there's brass | Laura Barton

Laura Barton: The Maccabees sing songs about Lego and toothpaste. They are also being hailed as the saviours of indie. So why have they joined forces with a brass band?

Laura Barton

07, Jul, 2009 @8:30 PM

Review: The Maccabees

6 out of 10: Reading, Sunday, 4.05pm. Are they genuinely loved by this overflowing crowd, or are they just the only alternative to Funeral for a Friend and the Cancer Bats?

Rosie Swash

26, Aug, 2007 @5:28 PM

Article image
New music video: The Maccabees – Pelican

Tim Jonze: The Maccabees are back with the stop-start riffs of Pelican – and here's the premiere of their new video

Tim Jonze

14, Dec, 2011 @5:10 PM

Article image
Alt-J / The Maccabees – review
Tricksy Mercury prize favourites Alt-J try a little too hard, while rivals the Maccabees have matured heroically, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

27, Oct, 2012 @11:17 PM

Article image
The Maccabees at Glastonbury 2009

The sheer size of the crowd that Orlando Weeks et al drew turned out to be a blessing and a curse

Paul MacInnes

26, Jun, 2009 @4:58 PM

Pop review: The Maccabees, Wall of Arms

No prizes for guessing which band have been hogging the Maccabees' stereo, says Tim Jonze

Tim Jonze

30, Apr, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
CD: The Maccabees, Colour It In


Caroline Sullivan

04, May, 2007 @10:57 PM

The Maccabees and Roots Manuva to team up
The Brighton indie rockers and the south London rapper are, apparently, 'perfect bedfellows'. So expect nervy anthems mixed with wonky boom bap

Sean Michaels

02, Jul, 2009 @10:55 AM