THE intrigue that comes with watching other people live their everyday lives will be brought to life at The Paper Kites’ upcoming national tour.
It follows the theme of their Midnight video trilogy, which accompanies three songs from their latest album twelvefour.
Electric Indigo, Revelator Eyes and the recently released Renegade portray late-night stories of different people in different cities but all set between midnight and 4am.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever sat across the street and thought ‘Oh I wonder what’s happening in there’,” lead singer Sam Bentley asked.
“(The show) is a little bit of this voyeur experience.
“It’s called Midnight and we’re combining a projection element with our normal stage show.
“We’re setting it in front of an apartment building, so we’ve got four windows that are made to look like they’ve been ripped out of an apartment building… and we’re set up underneath.
“We’ve really been hung up on this midnight hours theme since we released the record and bringing people in to that experience, that was the whole idea behind the show.
“I was in New York at the start of this year and just walking around Greenwich Village at night and every now and then catching a glimpse through someone’s window and wondering what was going on.
“That feels very late night to me and I think people are always interested to watch other people just living and we want to tap in to that a little bit for this show.
“During the set, there are four separate stories that happen in these windows.
“It’s all done through projection on to the windows, so it makes the audience feel like they’re watching through people’s windows.
“We’ve set it up in a way that you’re watching these characters through the space of an evening and following their lives and what’s happening on this particular night and they’re all interlinked and characters end up in other characters’ apartments and things like that.
“It’s all done through projection and we are just providing a soundtrack to that.”
But the surprises of the show don’t stop there.
“In the middle of the show, all the lights go out, even in the windows, and we do a couple of songs in the complete dark just to force people to really listen,” Bentley said.
“You take away that visual element and it heightens everything else.
“It’s really just a journey through the midnight hours and we really want to bring people in to that.
“It’s just a really beautiful moment in the set because all you can do is sit in the dark and listen, which I think is a really nice thing to do.
“It’s just about bringing everything down to just the basics of what music is about.”
When asked if he could liken the experience to anything he had seen before, Bentley could only think of one example: Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rear Window.
“That’s one of my favourite films and I thought ‘I wonder if we could take that idea of watching across the street through apartment windows and bring that to a theatre, bring that to a live stage’ and it just burst from there,” he said.
“We all have a real love for film and the connections between film and music have always been a pretty strong thing for us.
“We love to give people a visual accompaniment to the music they’re listening to so we thought what can we do with that in this show, how can we do something that hasn’t really been done in the sense of a live show and it came from there.
“I don’t want to sound so innovative that no one has ever done it before but I’m not sure whether anything like this has been done before, at least in the music scene I know.
“There’s a bit of a theatre crossover there, which you don’t really get from a lot of gigs that you go to.
“You either go to see theatre or you got to see music and it’s rare that it crosses over in the way we’re doing it I suppose.
“I think it will be something really different and if it works and people enjoy it, then maybe it might be something we take overseas at some point.
“It’s really just trialling out something that we’ve been wanting to do for a little bit, something a bit different.”
Surprisingly, the whole process has only taken the indie folksters about a month to put together.
“We found an apartment locally and had to make a fake window so we built that,” Bentley said.
“We wanted to use the same apartment building and just dress it differently so we had to bring in four whole furnished sets for four different apartments.
“We filmed it over four nights so we did one story a night and we just brought in the characters to play out their stories.
“We had to time it all to the set as well.
“It was fun but it was a lot of work to film it all and create four separate apartment rooms.”
Who: The Paper Kites
What: Midnight tour
When: July 1
Where: Astor Theatre