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Song You Need to Know: Private Function, ‘Give War a Chance’

Made by budding filmmaker Lauren Hester as part of a uni assignment, the clip sees Private Function transformed into puppets as they corrupt a children’s TV show.

More than six months after the release of their second album, it seems that Private Function still have plenty of give thanks to their ARIA top ten record Whose Line Is It Anyway?, with Melbourne uni student Lauren Hester offering up one of the year’s best videos for the enigmatic “Give War a Chance”.

Released back in August, Private Function’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? has turned into one of their best-received efforts to date, spawning admirable chart-placings, intense live shows, and even some attention from commercial radio thanks to their single “Albury Wodonga”.

Now, as a sense of normalcy returns, and with tour dates on the horizon, the group’s latest film clip has arrived, and it’s arguably one of their best to date.

Lauren Hester with puppets made in the likes of the members of Private Function

Courtesy of Lauren Hester

As explained in the opening title card, the origins of the video stretch back to early 2020, when Swinburne University student (and “budding filmmaker”) Lauren Hester reached out to the group to make a music video for one of their songs. Created as an assignment as part of her Bachelor of Film and Television (Honours) degree, Private Function provided Hester with the audio to the then-unreleased “Give War a Chance” (and promptly forgot about it).

Hester soon got to work, taking heavy inspiration from classic shows such as Play School to create a surreal children’s television program featuring the members of Private Function as puppets. Featuring Alanah Parkin, the end result feels like Sesame Street hosted by Eric Andre, with Hester herself taking an incredibly hands-on approach to the process.

“I actually made all of the puppets and their instruments myself, from scratch,” she explains. “I’d never made a puppet before, or even thought about how a puppet would be made, so there was a lot of improvising and YouTube tutorials involved. But it was a lot of fun and I’m really happy with how they turned out!

“Myself and my production designer, Scott [Di Stefano], also constructed all of the sets ourselves – we were hoarding cardboard for months in preparation!”

Behind the scenes of the Private Function 'Give War A Chance' video

Photo: Tiana Mighell

In much the same way that clips from groups such as Weezer and Supergrass adopt the use of puppets (and in the former’s case, actual Muppets) to showcase a sense of childlike innocence and nostalgia, the concept of Hester’s video sees such a notion turned on its head, with the members of Private Function soon corrupting the video’s host (as well as her teddy bear co-host and the set itself) thanks to their intense performance.

“I’m not really sure how the idea came to me, to be honest,” Hester admits. “We did start pre-production for this video during lockdown last year, so it’s entirely possible I was experiencing some sort of regression into my childhood; but I think I just wanted to make something fun and silly.

“Private Function are such a fun band and I always have the BEST time whenever I go to one of their shows, so I think I wanted to make something that reflected that specific brand of chaotic fun I experience whenever I see them perform – and puppets were the perfect way to achieve that!”

With each member of the band (including guitarist PJ Russo, who is currently stuck in America) depicted as puppets, decked out in their own t-shirt designs, the resulting clip is one of the most chaotic, mesmerising, and – ultimately – fun music videos that will likely be released this year.

Behind the scenes of the Private Function 'Give War A Chance' video

Photo: Tiana Mighell

“As a director, however, I also wanted to do something different and take myself out of my comfort zone, and I’m glad I did,” Hester adds. “I’d never worked with puppets or puppeteers before, but it was such an amazing experience to work alongside such a passionate group of puppeteers and learn about this wonderful craft.

“There’s quite a tight-knit and talented puppeteering community in Melbourne that I never knew existed, so I’m really glad that this project gave us all the opportunity to learn more about it!”

While it currently remains to be seen whether or not Hester will be sharing any further music videos in the future (though considering the success of this one, we certainly hope so), Private Function are set to hit the road next month for their long-awaited album tour. Kicking off with an appearance at Wollongong’s Yours & Owls Festival in a few weeks, the group will be kept busy until July, when their trek culminates in a pair of shows in WA in mid-July.

Behind the scenes of the Private Function 'Give War A Chance' video

Photo: Tiana Mighell

Private Function – Whose Tour Is It Anyway?

Sunday, April 18th
Yours & Owls Festival, Wollongong, NSW
Tickets: Moshtix

Saturday, April 24th
Meadow Festival, Bambra, VIC
Tickets: Meadow

Saturday, May 8th
Pelly Bar, Frankston
Tickets: Live At Your Local

Saturday, May 15th
Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Tickets: Oztix

Friday, May 28th
The Eastern, Ballarat, VIC
Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, May 29th
Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide, SA
Tickets: Moshtix

Thursday, June 3rd
Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, VIC
Tickets: Oztix

Friday, June 11th
La La La’s, Wollongong, NSW
Tickets: Moshtix

Saturday, June 12th (Sold Out)
Crowbar, Sydney, NSW

Sunday, June 13th
Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Tickets: Oztix

Thursday, June 24th
Miami Marketta, Gold Coast, QLD
Tickets: Oztix

Friday, June 25th
Solbar, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Tickets: Oztix

Saturday, June 26th
The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD (Early show)
Tickets: Oztix

Friday, July 2nd (Sold Out)
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Friday, July 16th (New Show)
Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Free Entry

Saturday, July 17th (New Show)
Amplifier, Perth, WA
Tickets: Oztix