When I’d finished my first watch-through of the new Saturdays video for 30 Days, I had to sit back for a moment and just think. There was one thought above all others, one lingering notion of ‘Wow – they’ve actually done it’. But done what? Well, as I addressed in detail in a previous post, for quite some time now, it feels like The Saturdays’ chart success has been impacted on by something I like to refer to as the boyfriend-stealer principle, a subconscious worry felt by girls towards girl-bands that are perhaps ‘too hot’ for them to fully associate themselves with on an empathic level. And so, something had to be done, the issue had to addressed, the overall ‘image’ of what The Saturdays are – and stand for – had to be ever so slightly changed to re-welcome all those disaffected fans back into the fold.
And this is what the video for 30 Days does. No space-age lakes of black water or impossibly-white office blocks for The Sats any more – no, the setting for the new video is a humble American diner where that wonderfully quaint component of modern life is taking place – speed dating. The girls could have so easily followed the futuristic rave-athon vibe of their previous videos, but by bringing 30 Days firmly back to earth and grounding it within the cramped confines of a food outlet, they completely shift the focus of what 30 Days is about. Listen to the track alone and it sounds like a natural successor to All Fired Up, but combined with incongruous setting of the diner video, 30 Days strikes a far deeper emotional chord.
The video feels like one long series of interconnected in-jokes, of which we, the viewer, are in on. The Sats speed-dating their way through a plethora of guys is custom-tuned to show the girls’ personalities at their best, and allows them to be more than just the unreachable Pop Princesses of their other recent videos, but something far more relatable to the average fan. A very pregnant Una even gets to show off her tummy (giving baby Aoife a very early introduction to the Sats world!) and if that doesn’t go some way to elicit empathy, then I don’t know what will. Equally, when Rochelle flashes her engagement ring around, there’s a wonderful blurring between The Saturdays of the fictional-fantasy world they inhabit in their songs and videos with The Saturdays as real women that have their own individual lives. Here, they’re remade as the girls out on the lash (albeit where the only drinks are brightly coloured milkshakes), larking about and pulling funny faces. It’s universal.
Those facial expressions – well, I could watch them all day long. But the key thing here is that these expressions show of the Sats’ personalities in a way the impassive HyperBabes of All Fired Up never could. They’re now the girls you could know, the girls you do know, the girls you one day might know – all wrapped up into a right royal knees up where, despite the apparent failings of the speed-dating, everyone ends up dancing about and going home as friends. 30 Days – both song and video – become a moment of communion, of shared enjoyment and a bringing together of friendship so perfectly wrought in the longing of the lyrics: ‘each second I’m here thinking what I want to do when I get to you... one month, four weeks, too many hours...’
Sure, it doesn’t have the instant neon-flair of the All Fired Up or Notorious videos, but in terms of marketing The Saturdays to who they now so crucially need to be marketed to, 30 Days is spot on.