Video Explain 5 – Chainmale ‘Schizophrenic Breakdown’


The singer is at the top of a yacht. He’s wearing tight stripey pants. He takes a huge jump into the water. Riots in Brixton. A man in the crowd is stealing a television set. The singer starts singing in front of a surreal painting. He dances and sings in a mime-like fashion. He signals to the right and left of him. Eight people start dancing around him to the beat.

In a smoke filled room the singer runs from pole to pole with agility. He sings out of the window to the people at Salamanca Market below. The singer hits the chorus with the eight dancers singing along. The singer leans on a table that isn’t really there.

The singer is singing and dancing through Salamanca Market. The eight dancers continue to groove on. Close up of one of the dancers in a suit. Footage of a man being arrested by police. Riot police in front of a fire. More singing and dancing with the eight people as the chorus hits.

It’s definitely the 80’s as the singer sings, walking through the crowd at Salamanca Market. It’s a sunny day. A woman sings along with the singer as the crowd looks on. More singing of the chorus with the dancers. The singer is at Salamanca again and joins in on a group rolling dice. He rolls two fives. The group take his winnings. They sing  the chorus to him. He sings and walks, flipping his hand and dissing them.

The singer and the eight dancers sing the final chorus in front of the surreal painting. They stop dancing for a second and look upwards. They continue dancing and singing then all jump into the air. Freeze frame. The End.


  • The origins of Chainmale and this song are rather mysterious. There is a theory that the singer moved from Cape Town to Hobart, as indicated by the lyrics.
  • What is known is that the singer’s name is Michael Freeland and he was a performance artist.
  • There are few other videos of Chainmale on Youtube. In one he discusses the Brixton riots in 1981.




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