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Even though we’d never want to actually deal with Ricky Gervais’ brilliantly aggravating David Brent on a daily basis, it certainly is a discomforting pleasure to have him back in our lives every so often. Above may be our first peek into Brent’s upcoming transition to the silver screen, and there’s arguably no better way to experience this self-inflated buffoon than in song. At least, it’s something that resembles a song. There’s music and singing involved.
This is the official “studio demo” of “Slough,” courtesy of Gervais himself, and it’s a love letter to Brent’s hometown, which is where the two seasons of The Office mostly took place. Part of the show’s humor is based on Slough being a real shit place to live as compared to other cities, at least in terms of excitement. And as you can hear Brent sing again and again, it’s his kind of town and he doesn’t know how anyone could put it down. Am I wrong in thinking having Brent in its corner is its own putdown of the city?
The intentionally terrible video is basically a bunch of signs that say Slough on them, mixed in with different locations within the city. Of course, there are a few shots of Gervais as Brent as George Michael thrown in there, which are genuinely horrifying. (“What’s white and slides down toilet walls?”) Not that the song sounds like a George Michael song. I really don’t know what genre this fits into. Rock ballad? Pop lamentation?
The feature version of The Office is set to go into production early next year. Gervais himself described it not as a big screen version of his classic series, but rather “a documentary film about David Brent trying to be a rock star.” So it seems safe to think that “Slough” will be one of the failed singles that get him to whatever stage of life he’s at in the movie. Let us all recall one of Brent’s (and Gervais’) finest moments with the music video for his cover of “If You Don’t Know Me by Now.”
Gervais brought David Brent back out of obscurity last year as well for a video on guitar lessons. So learn a little something from him, pick up a geetar and write a song about your own hometown. We promise not to laugh.