on 9 April 2012
`Sound It Out' tells the true story of the last record shop of the same name in Teesside, North East England, situated just three miles from where the director Jeanie Finlay grew up. It is a fantastic look at people, passion, and an industry striving to survive in an ever changing environment. Throughout the film you will meet a wide range of crazy characters from simple music/vinyl lovers to complete obsessives. Dance D.J.s, metal kids, local celebs and a fair share of nutters will all come and go through the doors of the shop as their stories intermingle with those of the owners whose overenthusiastic love of music keeps the shop alive and kicking. The film exposes the hard work of the staff and the faith of the fans as well as the hopes of a community. It will certainly make you laugh and cringe in equal measure and it's in these juxtapositions that director Finlay gets the best out of her interviewees, with one simply placed question she can make you go from feelings of ridicule to sympathy. That's not to say the film is without poignancy, there are some genuinely moving moments that will make you realise that `Sound It Out' is more than just a shop, to some it is actually a lifeline. When you consider the fact that over the last five years an independent record shop has closed in the UK every three days it is an amazing testament that they fight on. But fight on they do and as this great little documentary shows there are people out there that care and against all odds will continue to do so.
on 9 June 2012
The first decision is do I give it four stars or five stars. If you reserve five stars for the classics- American Beauty etc, then its logical to plump for the four stars. This is a documentary, it is not a fictional story. It covers a record shop in a town struggling in the recession and general malaise of the North East (Stockton). The DVD is split into scenes featuring the owner and his two staff and the "randomn people" that come in - all with different tastes but generally with the
the similar passionof collecting and listening to music (all genres). They all have a story to tell about their vinyl collections (eg the guy who has been to 400 status quo gigs and would "physically cry" if the shop got closed. "I don't smoke or drink, haven't got a girlfriend so I buy vinyl records and follow Quo; before a concert I listen to Quo for about two weeks , non stop, to get in the mood" Others are the young heavy metal pair- "I dont want to go to London- its safe round here"; The guy who does the gay discos, the guys who have an internet radio station from their garage.
The striking thing about this DVD is that though all the customers are "randomn people" and quite wierd they are likeable decent folk- and as the film keeps reintroducing them during its course, they become the more likeable as you get to understand them. Its good interesting stuff- well filmed (on a low budget)and well presented. A little classic in its own right. A bit of a feel good movie really; of interest to music lovers; any collecters; especially vinyl collectors and people from the north east or those who study the sociology of the north east. People in niche businesses trying to keep them afloat will also find the dvd well worth watching. And lastly, what human beings need - some form of escapism in their lottery of life.
Good stuff- well done!
on 3 July 2014
Forget Hi-Fidelity and that awful celebrity filled Last Shop Standing documentary, this is the real deal with real people. I suspect Jeanie Finlay sees some of herself in the people that she features in her film, I know I did, which is why it makes you laugh out loud one minute and suppress the tears the next. She should have got a BAFTA for this. Having recently seen The Great HIp Hop Hoax on BBC4, looks like Ms. Finlay is on a roll! Buy, Beg, Borrow or Steal a copy as soon as you can.
on 18 February 2015
I loved it - it was beautifully crafted and resisted the (very easy) temptation to make fun of the characters, instead it was a moving and sympathetic portrayal of a wonderfully quirky record shop and its customers, both tiny and small as well as being universal and instantly recognisable to anyone who has searched through a record bin from Sydney to New York to London.
on 26 March 2014
..that explores the last independent record shop in Stockton on Tees. Heart-warming, well-observed, hilarious. So real it's surreal :P Highlights include - two metal kids singing the songs of Skindred, female folk artist with a lovely voice and a beige mac guy talking about wanting to be buried with his vinyls.