Vinyl

Vinyl
Based on true events. When a new record by an old band is turned down by ageist record companies, the veteran punk band assemble a group of youngsters to stand in for them, and fool the music industry.

Reviews

John Chard
Anti Social Behaviour Order. Splendid slice of British Rock Rock Rockery. Vinyl is based about a Rock "N" Roll Swindle perpetrated by Mike Peters and his band The Alarm in 2004. With the record companies only interested in imaged driven bands with which to cash in the coin, Peters recorded a single and got some pretty youngsters to pretend it was their song. The record company bought it wholesale, with Peters and chums chuckling away until the reveal caused much mirth in the industry. So a sort of Milli Vanilli meets Blue meets The Sex Pistols! Film is based in Wales and features Phil Daniels, Keith Allen, Perry Benson and Christopher Roy Turner as the middle aged punkers who meet up at a friends funeral. Their band The Weapons of Happiness is a long distant memory, gone are the days when they opened for U2 and toured with The Buzzcocks. Hooking up for drinks after the service, the men, in spite of having different ideals in life, get drunk and lay down a jam session, that amazingly in the morning sounds rather ace. But with the record company only interested in image based bands like The Jammie Dodgers and Bling Bling, Weapons of Happiness can't catch a break, that is until lead singer Johnny Jones (Daniels) hits on novel idea... The whole film pulses with a sense of fun and vibrancy, the cast having a great old time of it acting up as a rock band past their prime but still carrying around a torch for the glory days. Their hangs ups and past differences are still there, and much of the comedy is derived from these scenarios. Once the youngsters arrive to be the fake face of the band, fronted by a superb Jamie Blackley, the age divide also provides scope for humour that is utilised fully. A running thread of Johnny and his frustrated partner (Julia Ford) trying to start a family, also provides mirth, while there's one or two surprises in the story as well. It's no rocket science movie, it's very lighthearted and directed breezily by Sara Sugarman. However, the caustic asides inherent within the narrative (prejudices of the music industry/hanging on to the past being good or bad?) do strike the right chords. The soundtrack is kicking, the "band's" song "Free Rock and Roll" beautifully catchy, the comic performances mightily strong, and the serious undertones never cloy the frivolity. From a Ramones/Buzzcocks/The Saints inspired hit single, to Daniels' ass! Vinyl is a winner and worthy of seeking out by music fans of all ages. 9/10

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