Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream *****

  

UK/ Director Grant McPhee/ 94mins
 
Synopsis: After the Punk explosion of 1976 shockwaves were sent throughout the United Kingdom’s youth. In Scotland, Fast Product and Postcard records would herald in the birth of indie music sounds and fashion and build the template for BritPop. This would all begin from two small tenement flats in opposite coasts of Scotland.

After making an impressive debut with Sarah’s Room, Director Grant McPhee returns with an informative and interesting documentary about the Scottish music scene from 1977-1985.
 
In a tenement flat in Edinburgh Bob Last and Hilary Morrison through their record label FAST Product, would go onto sign the Fire Engines, Scars and Boots For Dancing.
 
They would go on to produce acclaimed DIY releases including The Mekons, Gang of Four, Joy Division and the Dead Kennedys.
 
Fast Product would later expand into publishing and management and eventually be responsible for the 1981 Christmas No.1 ‘Don’t You Want Me’ and parent album ‘Dare’ by The Human League.
 
Meanwhile on the west coast, Glasgow based Postcard Records run by the enigmatic Alan Horne with Edwyn Collins would release Orange Juice singles.
 
With Postcard the music press would travel to see them. While it was claimed that every London based A&R representative was travelling to Scotland to sign anyone with a guitar.
 
Audiences may not be aware of all or any of the bands, but after watching this extensively researched and compelling documentary there senses will be enlightened to this interesting time for Scottish music.
 
Although the film is full of information, at 94 minutes never feels dull or dragged out. The overall structure is completely well balanced with a equal amount of screen time for both sides to convey their recollections of past events.
 
The film is compiled ofinterviews, music videos and stock footage. The interviews range from Fast owner Bob Last to colour characters in the bands to music critics to legends like Joy Division’s Peter Hook. Unfortunately there is no new interview from Orange Juice’s Edwyn Collins, only archived footage. Even the present day footage is given an aged effect look which gives the film an authentic feel.
 
It does not really matter whether audiences are Scottish Indie music fans or not, this fascinating documentary has something for everyone with great music to tap your feet to.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

  


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