There will never be enough documentary to portray Manchester scenes, from Post-Punk era, Hacienda, to Madchester, Britpop and Post-Britpop scene, Manchester remains the biggest resource of cool music with their own definition of style and attitude. Here in 2013, three doccos highlighted three Mancunian icons from three different generations. If you haven’t watch it, you’d better be hurry.
1. “The Smiths: Not Like Any Other Love” (aired May 12th)
Produced by BBC as an episode of BBC Two The Culture Show, Not Like Any Other Love (NLAOL) aired for the first time in May 12th as a mark of Hand In Glove anniversary which was released on May 18th 30 years ago. Hosted by Tim Samuel, NLAOL gives a brief story of how The Smiths becomes the biggest mid-80s indie-rock act in their only 5 years of commercial career. Digging from their hardcore fans point of view, Tim interviewed the poet Simon Armitage, Camden fashion designer Wayne Hemmingway and Noel Gallagher. A glimpse on Morrissey’s lyrics writing style, which was inspired mostly by British 60s b/w films, especially pieces made by Shelagh Delaney. A superfan said those days Morrissey helped made it alright to wear glasses and be alone.
2. “The Charlatans: Mountain Picnic Blues” (released May 6th)
This probably is the last Charlatans’ work that involved Jon Brookes before his death on July 2013. Tracing back to 1997, this docco recapped the making of their highest charting album Tellin’ Stories. An album which has three top ten singles in UK Singles Chart. Made in first person angle, The Charlatans present member (when the docco was made) told their stories about their ups and downs of getting together for 25 years. Started with the glorious breakthrough of Some Friendly era in early 90s, jumped to the failure of the second album to enter top 10 UK Chart, when Rob Collins was on paper for going to jail for four months, and his fatal car crash just in time during recording period on July 22nd 1996. It was touching to see how they coped the loss by keep finishing the album and supporting Oasis in their legendary Knebworth gig. Watch how Tim Burgess breaks your heart in that scene.
3. “The Stone Roses: Made of Stone” (premiere May 30th)
Shane Meadows made a docco of his all-time favorite band that got back together after 20 years, as close and as personal as it can be. Being phoned personally by Ian Brown to make a footage of their tour following their 2011 reunion, Shane didn’t waste the chance to take every single details from their reunion press conference to the comeback gig at Heaton Park. Covering in-studio rehearsal part (amazing to see the Roses rehearsing after some times), European warm-up tour, secret gig at Warrington Parr Hall, which captured the excitement of fans running for 1000 tickets with memorabilia on their hands and their lives before and after Stone Roses (watch the part of funny young lad claiming that he knows everything about the Roses). A full length of Fool’s Gold live at Heaton Park ended the doc, leaving a triumphant aftertaste of the so-called greatest reunion in British music history. Intimate and well-tailored, Made of Stone is surely a must watch docco. (Thakis)