Can I get a rewiiiiiiiind? Behind the video // Robbie Nevil

This was a bit popular, and I liked it at the time. It’s still listenable, but is one of those awkward speed songs that require you to dance like a Spearmint Rhino employee. It’s not fast enough to throw serious shapes, and not slow enough to ‘do a Swayze’ with someone.
Unless you’re confident in your ability to shimmy like a pole dancer, don’t bother. Just sing along and think mucky thoughts about Esther Rantzen, like I do.

Robbie Nevil – ‘C’est La Vie’ (1986)

0:00 – It starts as most ’80s videos do, with a sexy lady dancing in her underwear. HOWEVER. There is a clear message in this and we should all take heed. For as the camera pans out, we discover that sexy underwear lady is actually dancing ON A BUILDING SITE. I know! Such vision!
I believe this is a serious critique concerning the lack of health and safety rules at the time. Robbie is showing us the dangers of venturing into this environment without a hard hat, adequate boots, or clothes. His message is one of common sense.  It’s quite harrowing actually, when you think what COULD have happened to her. I applaud you Mr. Nevil.

0:20 – Our first view of Robbie. If you ever went to an independent bookshop in the ’90s, there would have been approximately five clones of him in the vegan cookery section. They would smell like patchouli.

0:32 – A strange woman and man appear, seemingly from the Great Depression. She dances, he strikes a catalogue pose. They appear pointless, leading me to believe that they’re possibly ghosts accidentally caught on camera enjoying the festivities.

0:43 – A close up of Robbie. Relax, it passes quickly.

0:50 – Masculine women dancing in a bathroom, as we always did in the 80s. The echo made your dancing sexier, or something.

0:55 – Sex face. I’m so sorry.

0:59 – A lady playing a guitar, and another lady shaking her lover’s remains in a pineapple shaped cremation jar.

1:01 – Robbie sways suggestively with a guitar he’s not even playing. Pointless prop alert. However…

1:07 – …Robbie is filmed in shadow, now seeming to play the aforementioned guitar. I think this was done to hide the fact that he has no guitar skills at all. If he was here, I’d slap his face with a glove and suggest he prove me wrong!
But only if he was here.

1:42 – Eva Braun is looking well.

2:01 – The ghost again! Dancing like a right tool!

2:15 – Another bloody woman shows up at the building site in her undies. Have they not listened to anything Robbie has said? He gives the impression that he’s fairly unconcerned, but you just know that inside, he’s seething.

2:23 – The building site now appears to be a boatyard. Where the fucking hell are we?? Is marine safety being brought into the proceedings?

2:29 – GHOST!!

2:40 – Robbie develops a serious white man’s overbite, then has some kind of disturbing effeminate fit before remembering where he is and continuing to ‘rock’ that guitar.

2:59 – We are now apparently in an oilfield. Oh Christ I give up.

3:02 –Epilepsy is no joke.

The video closes with a fade out on an electricity pylon, ramming the safety message home once more.
If Robbie Nevil didn’t go on to become some kind of health and safety officer, or even a Green Cross Code man, I will be absolutely heartbroken. The man may have saved thousands of lives with his subliminal video brilliance, where’s his Nobel prize? WHERE IS IT??


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