Top critical review
BIG TIME Fantasy
on 4 June 2016
Don't "Laugh At Me" but this is a well made film that had all the makings of being a great one except it relied much too heavily on the make believe of one man's love and promotion of the (big) self.
Some facts to bear in mind when following the cleverly constituted fact meets fiction storyline....
No-one from Good Vibrations was in the recording studio with The Undertones.
The first time anyone from Good Vibrations actually heard the recording was when it was delivered to the shop, direct from EMI in Dublin. They had no idea want it sounded like (or knew it was a 4 track EP) until they opened the boxes that had just been delivered.
Good Vibrations issued Teenage Kicks EP but that was the only link The Undertones had with that organisation. There was no contract.
The Undertones posted out several promo copies. Undertone Mickey Bradley was the one who posted the record to John Peel at Radio 1
The actual Good Vibrations record was never touted around big time record companies in London. It was never rejected by anyone. To imply otherwise was absurd. Teenage Kicks EP was so good it promoted itself, especially after John Peel received his copy in the post. He loved it and played it (twice). After that historic occasion every the record company, music journalist & DJ were falling over themselves to get in on the action.
Whatever big time record company moved the quickest (in this case it was Sire) got The Undertones signed up, and under contract, plus they got the Teenage Kicks EP tapes from Good Vibrations for a pittance.
Sire remixed the original recordings and issued Teenage Kicks as a two track 7" for radio promotional purposes only.
To this day I have never heard anyone express dislike of Teenage Kicks, except in one of the many make believe sections in this film.
There was a Good Vibrations concert one evening in Belfast's Ulster Hall. It ended with a mini battle between some punk band members and a small number of so called security. One of the so called security got on stage, grabbed the mike and encouraged the audience to chant "SS RUC". Perfect material for any film. One thing is for sure - it certainly did not end in the harmonious way portrayed in this film. The scene in which John Peel arrived unexpectedly for the Ulster Hall concert was pure fantasy.
Good Vibrations' owner had a constant craving for self publicity and praise, and the mix of a little fact with a large serving of fantasy in this film helps deliver that his way in abundance.
Chaotic Good Vibrations did go into bankruptcy (owing different suppliers differing amounts ), re-opened as Good Vibes, went bankrupt again, re-opened with another name, closed down again, re-opened with another name, changed address, got burned down/out, re-opened once again before closing again, probably for ever,
The Big Time for the Big Ego (Self) continued on though with a book of full of fantasic tales, followed by up with his great work of fiction.
Incidentally, Davy Shannon (the man who single handedly produced the original Good Vibrations Teenage Kicks EP) lived two doors down from Chris Stewart. Chris was a member of Eire Apparent (whose one and only album was produced by Jimi Hendrix).