Nostalgic For The Elephant And Castle Underpass? You Will Be After Watching This Maccabees Video

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By M@ Last edited 7 months ago
Nostalgic For The Elephant And Castle Underpass? You Will Be After Watching This Maccabees Video

A man emerges from a puddle. He tours the mosaics of Elephant and Castle underpass for one last time. The man returns to the puddle. The underpass is demolished.

Fans of the built environment: prepare to welcome a lump to your throat. The unsettling video to The Maccabees' Spit It Out is a bittersweet love-letter to the Elephant and Castle pedestrian underpass. Yes, really.

The 2015 video was almost entirely filmed in the subways beneath the former roundabout. It captures the exceptional mosaics that once lined its walls, and finishes with their jackhammer destruction. A finally obituary note dedicates the video to the memory of the murals, which were created by David Bratby.

Mosaics in the elephant and castle underpass as seen in the Maccabees Spit it Out

If you've never felt nostalgic for the vanished underpass before, then you will do now.

The video is bittersweet in other ways. It would be the final single from The Maccabees — a churning, plangent swansong that screams "You don't know what you've got till it's gone," without actually saying it. The band's recording studio was in the Elephant area, and the Michael Faraday memorial (home of Aphex Twin, according to urban myth) was featured on the cover of their final album, Marks to Prove It.

Album cover of the Maccabees' Marks to Prove It, featuring the Michael Faraday memorial at Elephant and Castle

The Elephant murals were also captured for posterity by their creator, who's uploaded them into a Flickr album.

Last Updated 17 September 2023

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