Here’s another instalment in the series I’ll call “Cocteau for Cocteau’s sake”, where I’ll just throw some Cocteau Twins material out there because doing so makes the world a marginally better place.
Wikipedia says that the band had two videos before this one, taken from 1984’s The Spangle Maker EP, but I can’t find it and the band hasn’t included them in their otherwise comprehensive website so I’ll believe it if/when I see them and until then, I’ll call this the band’s first promo video, featuring the band alternately wandering a church or exploring a forest. Hey, I never said it was a great video.
As Raymonde recalls, the music video for ‘Pearly Dewdrops’ Drops’ was set in The Chapel in Holloway Sanatorium in Virginia Water, and then all the outside locale stuff was filmed in Virginia Water Park in the same area: “I think Nigel Grierson [of 23 Envelope] discussed it all with us and we trusted him to just get on with it, but on the day the reality kicked in.” The band didn’t like the end result much, and at this point they were trying to reject the Pre-Raphaelite-cum-goth stylings that they had been encouraged to adopt post-Garlands. The band had never made a music video before, and as they hadn’t planned prior to filming they were going on gut instinct here. Though despite this, the Pearly Dewdrops’ Drops music video has become somewhat of a memorial to the The Chapel – which no longer remains – with Raymond saying that he thinks “it became badminton courts, which is entirely mad given how beautiful it was.”The Strange World Of… Cocteau Twins @ The Quietus
As it was also the band’s first hit – 29 on the UK charts and number 1 on the UK indie chart – they got invited to the country’s pop music TV circuit. And while they passed on Top Of The Pops with Raymonde reflecting:
“We said ‘No’ to a lot of things, and people don’t like the word ‘No.’ We should have done TOTP [Top of the Pops] when ‘Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops’ was a hit. We were offered it but we said no. It was too scary. We didn’t talk about the fear, but the bravado side of it was, ‘This is bollocks—people dancing with balloons.’ We just weren’t comfortable in that world.”Simon Raymonde, Cocteau Twins
The Spangle Maker @ CocteaTwins.com
They did still perform the song on The Old Grey Whistle Test in February of 1984:
And though the origin of this performance is unspecified, it’s probably from the same year as it favours the same multi-exposure camera effects as the other one.