Chris Sullivan takes a trip down memory lane at the LFF with the documentary Upside Down – the story of Creation and the label's star acts Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Oasis.
And so we’re in the last weekend of the LFF and, as the finishing line beckons, I guess the cracks are starting to show: on my way to a screening yesterday I bumped into a PR who told me I looked as if I needed a weekend away at a detox spa.
“I suppose so,” I said in a non-committal way and less than an hour later came the invitation to attend the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain that offers ‘a macrobiotic system of diet, fusing ancient oriental disciplines and revolutionary western techniques that will completely relax and de-stress’.
My reaction was to decide I needed a lie-in. Thankfully the wife took our child out for the day and I arose at the ungodly hour of 3pm. Then I toddled off to the West End but delays on the train meant I missed the big LFF premiere of Upside Down: The Creation Records Story.
Luckily, I’ve not only seen Danny O’Connor’s documentary at a press screening last week, I saw the whole thing at first hand back in the day.
I’ll admit that I can’t recall the tales of near-bankruptcy, feuding, so-called hard partying, heavy drug use and nervous breakdowns but that’s because I thought that was how we did things. But I do remember staying up with Alan McGee and Primal Scream for about two days back in the early 90s.
The movie’s one priceless clip finds the Creation Redcords boss in Manchester at a time when he was a constant presence at any acid house gig – being interviewed by Factory Records boss and ace twat, Tony Wilson.
Forever the Mancophile, Wilson asks McGee why he’s moved up north (expecting him to wax lyrical about the cultural supremacy of Manchester over London). "A better class of drug, Tony," says McGee.
It’s a fine film that tells of a music label who made it up as they went along, which in this age of corporate branding, focus groups and anal retentiveness is a breath of fresh air.
“It was all about the music and the clothes and the drugs and the football – who wouldn’t want to be a part of all that?” says Noel Gallagher in the movie while the enormously down-to-earth McGee testifies ‘It was the ultimate fucked up family. I thought I was up there with Beethoven or Shakespeare creating metaphysical history by running Creation Records.”
As the countless millions of records sold by Creation testify, many might believe that his initial take was entirely correct. But this film ably demonstrates that they just don’t make record labels like Creation anymore.