A new entry into the 'gritty British film' category comes this early 70s set drama. Set in a town near Bolton (figured out because they say Buzz instead of bus in the film), it focuses in John who is drifting aimlessly at school, no thanks to the likes of his parents who just think he's weird and his teacher who embarrasses him in front of the class and calls him names. On a first trip out to a youth club he comes across the local wannabe DJ Matt who wants to play American soul music rather than the chart hits. These two outsiders share the passion for the Detroit musicians and come together to get the music played in the clubs, an antidote to the sounds of the 60s, a new way of moving on the dance floor before disco.
The film looks authentic and is set, like other good British films, in a town that looks like it's about to be bulldozed. The tag line for the film is 'if you were there you'd know, if you weren't, you'd wish you had been. Though the music sounds good the drugtaking is shown to the max, with lots of pill popping and injections, leading to inevitable tragedy near the end of the film. I'm certainly glad I wasn't there!
Good acting from the fairly unknown leads, they definitely look the part, but the listings of Steve Coogan, Ricky Tomlinson and Lisa Stansfield in the cast list are the light relief and no more than cameo roles. The only humour in the whole film revolves around Coogan's evil teacher.
It's not going to have a mass appeal but can easily claim it's place amongst other 'period' movies and sits well alongside Pride as one of the better British films out this year