Preview by Matthew Forrest
The Bank holiday weekend is upon us once more and with the inevitable heavy bank holiday traffic threatening to spoil our precious long weekend, it may be worth avoiding the jams and going for a different sort of ‘jam’ by taking in some great films packed with killer tunes.
From the 29th May through to the 2nd of June the great city of Manchester will host the Doc ’n Roll film festival for the second time. This is a film festival like no other as it highlights some tremendous music documentaries from across the globe, regardless of your taste in music, the festival promises something for everyone.
Boasting 11 premiers at Home and Gullivers, the festival will provide music lovers not only with a chance to see some insightful and ground-breaking films, but also offer opportunities to quiz the musicians and directors behind the projects with several post screening Q & A sessions.
Unlike most music festivals, there are no headliners here, just an eclectic mix of films and artists spanning various musical genres: from Chilly Gonzales to Velvet Underground, Detroit Techno to Trojan Records, the festival promises to leave you informed and entertained. There are also films looking at the vibrant strong revolutionary women of the 1970’s punk scene, with Stories from the She-Punks. Then there is Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records, which does exactly what it says on the tin with contributions from, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Neville Staple and Pauline Black.
Mantra: Sounds into Silence takes a look at the practice of Kirtan and its healing properties. There is also a portrait of Canadian musician, Jason Charles Beck, better known as Grammy award winning artist Chilly Gonzales, who has relocated to Cologne. His story is showcased in Chilly Gonzales – Shut Up and Play the Piano.
Tonight was the festivals opening night which provided a flavour of what to expect from the festival with documentary shorts that we’re as varied and eclectic as this years Glastonbury line up. We had We Are All Here, a look at the life of Glasgow rapper, Lumo, who tragically took his own life. That was counterbalanced by You Are Here: an insight into the life Charlatans’ keyboard player Tony Rodgers wo marries his life as rock star with a more tranquil life as a farmer in Ireland.
Animation got an airing tonight with an account of the Velvet Underground’s shambolic first gig with the short-animated feature: The Velvet Underground Played at my High School. There was a brief portrait of Nigerian drum legend Tony Allen a pioneer world music, with film, Birth of Afrobeat
Finally, there was To the Front: Scenes from a Women’s Rock Camp, a short about a group of women with no musical experience, but plenty of heart and determination who will form and a band, learn to play and perform live.
Everything on display tonight was unique and had a different fascinating story to tell. It was the perfect snapshot of what this unique, innovative festival has to offer, regardless of your musical tastes this festival will have something for everyone.
For more information on the festival visit https://www.docnrollfestival.com/manchester/