Sheppard’s Tale of Two Video Clips

Sheppard – Bombs Away. Photo: SuppliedBrisbane band Sheppard is the latest in a long line of music acts to shoot a second video clip for a hit song.

Geronimo went number one in Australia in May and its official Australian clip has recorded over 750,000 YouTube views.

The Les Miserables-inspired mini love story featured the band members leading a rebellion with the help of cardboard armour and a giant cardboard soldier.

But frontman George Sheppard said their UK record label Decca wanted something different.

“Because it was our first single that was going to be released in the UK, they needed a video clip that was going to establish the entire band properly,” he said.

“Over here, we had Let Me Down Easy, which featured the band a bit, so that wasn’t as much of an issue for the Australian version of the Geronimo clip.”


Sheppard said there was a big difference between the first video, shot at Parramatta in Sydney’s west in April, to the second one filmed in London.

“We funded the first video ourselves, so we had to try to make it as fancy as we could with a small budget,” he said.

“It was nice to go to the UK and have Decca backing the new one… we had a really seasoned director come in and achieve what we probably couldn’t have done back in Australia.”

The international version features the band members playing instruments amidst flaring coloured lights and cleverly placed props.

It has racked up 81,000 YouTube views since it was posted two weeks ago.


Sheppard said while he couldn’t choose between them, he was happy for fans to pick a favourite.

“The first one is a bit more dramatic and filmic… I used to be an actor in Sydney so I have a soft spot for that one,” he said.

“But the other one is just so much fun to watch, and the colours are so pretty.”

Sheppard is not the first band from Brisbane to have two video clips for one song.

The more famous version of The Go-Betweens’ Streets of Your Town featured the band members spliced in amongst scenes of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, while the second version had them performing the much-loved 1988 track.

And Savage Garden recorded a second clip for the American release of 1996’s To the Moon and Back.

English chanteuse Kate Bush made two film clips to accompany the release of her 1978 hit Wuthering Heights.

The UK version saw her dancing in a dark room in a white dress, while the US version had her dancing in a field in a red dress. The heavy eye make-up remained.

The original clip for Tori Amos’ 1994 smash Cornflake Girl was a lyrical take on The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy goes to hell. It was considered too strange for American audiences, so Amos’ co-directed a reshoot which saw her driving a pick-up truck full of girls around an American desert.

More commonly, artists have a “dirty” and “clean” version of the same video clip, such as Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.

In the unedited version, Thicke, Pharrell and rapper T.I danced with topless models, while the tamer version had them in scanty underwear.

Miley Cyrus’ infamous clip for 2013’s Wrecking Ball, in which she rode naked on said wrecking ball and licked a hammer, was also accompanied by a director’s cut clip which was a close-up of the singer’s teary face.

Sheppard’s debut album, Bombs Away, is available now. The band plays the Eatons Hill Hotel on July 25.

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Unemployment rate either fantastic or disastrous

Campbell Newman has backed his state government’s performance on employment growth. Photo: Ken IrwinIn a changing world, there is still one thing Queensland can count on.

Completely different readings of the Australian Bureau of Statistics monthly unemployment figures.

While the government was concentrating on job creation – 65,000 in the last year – the opposition was focussing on full time jobs lost – 10,500 (seasonally adjusted) in the past month.

Part-time positions, which Opposition treasury spokesman Curtis Pitt was quick to point out included “jobs of only one hour”, put the state’s job creation figures in the black.

The 12,700 part-time jobs bumped Queensland into the job growth category, by 2200 positions.

The official June rate, 6.3 per cent, is a slight rise on the 6.2 per cent from May.

The government counted it as a win.

“Today’s result again shows the government’s plan to grow the economy and make it easier to do business in Queensland is working,” Treasurer Tim Nicholls said in a statement.

“More than half of all jobs created in the last 12 months, on both trend and seasonally adjusted measures, were created right here in Queensland.

“Trend employment grew by 5700 jobs in June, however the unemployment rate remained steady at 6.3 per cent due to a strengthening participation rate. This represents the 14th consecutive month of trend employment growth.”

Trend unemployment is based on the raw data.  The seasonally adjusted rate takes into account the time of year and the variables it brings.  Economists tend to look at trend figures, while most others take their lead from the seasonally adjusted numbers.

The government had set a “stretch” target of 4 per cent unemployment in six years.  It still has three and a bit years to meet its promise, but Mr Pitt has already declared it a broken vow.

“On a seasonally adjusted basis, there are 1100 fewer full time jobs than at the election,” he said in a statement.

“A sad indictment on a government elected on a promise to lower the unemployment rate.

“Campbell Newman has no plans to create jobs and drive down Queensland’s unemployment rate.”

But Mr Newman said that wasn’t true. He said the construction and mining sectors were continuing to grow and “over the next 12-18 months”, job seekers “will have greater opportunities to get work across a variety of sectors”, including tourism.

“Jobs will be created in this State at a much greater rate than any other Australian state,” Mr Newman told 612 ABC Brisbane on Thursday.

“That’s what’s been happening in the past 12 months, and I just assure Sarah and other job seekers that I am always in this role thinking about you. That is one of the main reasons I get out of bed every day and do this job is to look after your interests.”

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The one travel insurance mistake you should never make

When you think of travel insurance claims you tend to think about dramatic accidents or illnesses that happen overseas, but sometimes things go wrong before you even pack your bags.

When a friend’s mother got sick recently, my friend told me she’d need to take out a travel insurance policy in case she had to cancel her upcoming holiday.

I had to explain to her that it was already too late; she should have taken out a policy when she booked her trip (although I hope I put it more sensitively than that).

It’s the simplest and potentially most galling mistake you can make with travel insurance: thinking you can book your trip now and sort out travel insurance later.

Insurance is designed to protect against the unforseen and once you know about something, you’ve missed the boat.

I’ve written often about the complexities of travel insurance and how you can get stung by the fine print but this is an easy one: as soon as you have parted with any money you should get your insurance.

Insurance is priced for the amount of time you’re going to be away and there is no extra cost to take out a policy early, so you’re insuring the time before your trip for nothing.

The executive general manager of SureSave Travel Insurance, Michael Callaghan, says travel insurance can not only cover you if you or a close relative gets sick but also if there is a natural disaster – provided there were no warnings about it prior to you taking out the policy.

Insurance can even cover you if your employer is rotten enough to cancel your leave (providing you are in full-time employment) or if you get called up for jury duty.

However, Callaghan warns that not all insurance policies including cancellation cover, so it is important to read the coverage details carefully.

Callaghan says Australians are slowly getting the message about buying insurance early, with an independent survey of 1000 travellers showing 62 per cent are now buying insurance at the same time as their trip; a 13 per cent increase since 2013.

Those who book through travel agents are most likely to be covered, with 80 per cent of these travellers buying insurance straight away.

Now that we’ve got that one sorted – online travel insurance provider InsureandGo says there are many other basic mistakes that travellers make with insurance.

For some, it is as simple as not getting the claim in on time: claims have to be lodged within 30 days of returning from your trip.

Others make the mistake of not buying cover for all the destinations they are visiting, including stopovers.

“If you travel to a destination that is not included in your cover, any claims made during that entire trip will be denied,” says the claims and operations manager for InsureandGo, Julius Paramour.

Many avoidable mistakes relate to loss or theft of personal belongings, which is the most common (but not necessarily the biggest in dollar terms) category of claims, accounting for 38 per cent of all claims processed by InsureandGo in 2013.

Paramour says one of the most common reasons claims are rejected is that travellers fail to get a police report from a local police station.

“Without this official documentation, your claim will not be valid,” Paramour says.

Another common reason for claims being rejected is travellers failing to provide relevant documentation, such as proof of purchase for goods.

While these are simple mistakes and easily avoided, a more contentious issue is the definition of “unattended” goods.

I think we all understand that if we leave our wallet in the back of a taxi, our travel insurance is not likely to cough up.

However, a colleague had her claim for stolen luggage rejected because she left it “unattended” by handing it over to a hotel staff member, without personally checking that the room it was to be stored in was locked and secure.

The people I have no sympathy for those who just don’t bother.

The survey commissioned by SureSave found almost a third of Australian travellers did not see travel insurance as a necessity for every trip.

Nearly a quarter said they purchased travel insurance “only sometimes”, while eight per cent said they “never or rarely” took out a policy.

Predictably, older travellers were the most likely to take out insurance, with Gen Y the most likely to take their chances.

Of those who “sometimes” took out insurance, deciding factors included whether they considered the destination to be “risky” and whether they would be away for more than a week.

Now that … is just stupid.

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Good vibrations: plants respond to sound of caterpillars chewing

Plants are smarter than you think. Not only do they grow towards sunlight and respond to rock music, but they can also learn from the sound of their predators, according to new research. Two University of Missouri scientists recorded the miniscule vibrations made by caterpillars feasting on thale cress leaves. Using special technology, they replayed the sound to the plants, and discovered those which were “primed” with the recording were better able to fight back against a caterpillar attack than those which remained in silence. The treated plants produced higher levels of key chemical defences, the study found. Sydney University biologist Robyn Overall said she was not surprised by the results. “Plants are very clever. People always seem surprised by that,” she said. “Unlike animals, they have a lot of mechanisms where they’re finely tuned to respond to their environment.” Plants exposed to the recorded vibrations produced more glucosinolates (mustard oils) and anthocyanins, which give colour to flowers and red wine, and provide health benefits in dark chocolate. In a second experiment, researchers exposed the plants to similar environmental vibrations made by light winds and the mating song of a common treehopper. But neither of those elicited the same chemical defence as the sound of a caterpillar’s chomping. “Plants thus respond to herbivore-generated vibrations in a selective and ecologically meaningful way,” concluded the study, which was published in the peer-reviewed ecology journal Oecologia. Professor Overall said the research demonstrated an artificial version of the learning process which plants naturally undertake – more experienced plants resist attack better than less experienced plants. But she said the study could have implications for the agricultural industry, perhaps reducing the need for artificial pesticides to keep bugs away from crops. Plants have complex defence mechanisms, both chemical and electrical. Some can even emit “volatile compounds” – small molecules released into the air to repel insects or attract natural predators of those insects. They can also communicate with each other. The study noted that under the right conditions, “vibrations generated by a chewing caterpillar could alert nearby plants to the presence of a herbivore”. For Professor Overall, it is a testament to the work she has performed her entire career. “Plants fight back!” she said.          

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Asylum seeker attempts suicide after being returned to Christmas Island

A woman who is in hospital on Christmas Island after attempting suicide was returned to the offshore detention centre against the advice of mental health professionals after being transferred for treatment in Australia.

Fairfax Media has been told the woman was transferred to Perth earlier this year but discharged from hospital and sent back to Christmas Island against the advice.

It is believed the woman, who was not a mother on the island, tried to take her own life this week and remains in Christmas Island Hospital.

Sources have told Fairfax Media a number of asylum seekers continue to be held on Christmas Island despite advice that they be transferred to Australia to be treated for mental illnesses. ”This is not manipulation [of the system],” a source said. ”It’s widespread and it’s getting worse.”

It comes as Christmas Island Shire President Gordon Thomson said the number of asylum seekers on suicide watch had increased from 11 on Wednesday to 14 on Thursday.

”They are on constant watch,” he said.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison this week denied Fairfax Media reports that up to nine women had attempted suicide, saying multiple suicide attempts by women on Christmas Island were ”not correct”.

Mr Morrison has refused to provide information on self harm in detention, citing privacy and the risk of copycat behaviour.

On Wednesday, Fairfax Media obtained advice from the Department of Immigration showing that following a meeting on Christmas Island this week, there were ”seven individuals who made threats of self harm, four have actually self harmed, and one woman attempted suicide”.

But an International Health and Medical Service employee said the categories of ”self harm” and ”attempted suicide” were often hard to differentiate.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists president Dr Murray Patton said it was not surprising to hear of reports that women on Christmas Island were harming themselves.

”The college is extremely concerned that people are finding themselves in such a desperate situation that they are considering such measures as attempting suicide,” Dr Patton said.

Senator Eric Abetz described the incidents on Monday night as ”minor self harm”. But Greens senator and immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said that response was ”callous and insincere”.

”Suicide attempts are not ‘minor incidents’, as so ignorantly described by the Abbott government,” she said. ”The Department of Immigration’s own contract with Serco defines attempted serious self harm as a critical incident.”

The Department of Immigration declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

“The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is advised by its contracted health services provider, IHMS, regarding appropriate placement of detainees with health issues,” it told Fairfax Media.

“On Christmas Island, health care and support, including mental health care, is provided onsite by medical practitioners, mental health nurses, psychologists, counsellors and visiting psychiatrists.

“For privacy reasons, it is not appropriate for the Minister to comment on a person’s individual circumstances.

“It is longstanding government practice not to confirm or comment on reports of individual acts of self-harm.”

For help call SuicideLine on 1300 651 251 or Lifeline on 131 114, or visit

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