This year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival is awash with primo rock documentaries. Amy purports to get beyond the public profile and under the skin of the late Amy Winehouse, while former KLF man and all-round cultural mischief-maker Bill Drummond asks us to Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared (must we, Bill? must we?).
But the one we’re saving our pennies for is Big Gold Dream.
Director Grant McPhee’s entertaining dissection of punk’s vibrations in Edinburgh and Glasgow follows the intertwined grassroots scenes which sprang up around two influential independent record labels – Glasgow’s celebrated Postcard Records, founded by botany student and Warhol wannabe Alan Horne and its predecessor, the lesser sung Edinburgh-based Fast Product, run by Bob Last and his partner Hilary Morrison.
This rocking yarn features testimony, analysis and fond/not so fond reminiscences from the players and commentators of the day, including Malcolm Ross of Orange Juice/Josef K, Robert King of The Scars (in massive rock god sunspecs), Fay Fife of The Rezillos, Davey Henderson of The Fire Engines, Jill Bryson of Strawberry Switchblade, the ever dapper Vic Godard, Paul “the Oracle” Morley and, our favourite, Ian “Stoddy” Stoddart of Win in a very nice shirt.
And the heroic saga doesn’t end with those labels. Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream 1977-82, to give it its Sunday title, is the first instalment of a two-part series entitled The Sound of Young Scotland. Still to come, Songs from Northern Britain – The Country That Invented Indie Music will pick up at the dawn of Scottish indie as we know and love it – The Pastels, right? – and follows through with tales of the notorious Jesus & Mary Chain and the Bellshill indie triad of Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits and The Soup Dragons.
You can read more about Big Gold Dream here.