Ever Young Edit by Andy McGregor

Hear from Theatre director, composer and writer Andy McGregor on his new film Ever Young - a short film about the hope of youth and the joy of music.

In this edit, enjoy a nostalgic Britpop run through of all musical references - a great reminder of those classics to update your playlists!

Watch Ever Young on Beacon Connect and Facebook from Friday 12 March!

 

Pictured left: filming at the Beacon February, 2021.

A Beacon Arts Centre and Sleeping Warrior Theatre Company co-production. A film by Andy McGregor.

I recently wrote, directed and composed a short theatre/film hybrid called EverYoung. It is about a 21 year old student meeting her idol - a washed up almost famous Britpop songwriter, who now finds himself living in Greenock with a bleak outlook on the world. 

I was keen to have the script littered with musical references, so that people could relate and also to entice the viewer to perhaps check out some music they may not have heard. This blog here is a quick breakdown of all the mentions... there are a lot so strap in!

First up are Dogs Die In Hot Cars. The band were featured in the NME alongside fellow Scots Franz Ferdinand, under the headline 'Jock Rock'.

 

 

Talking of Franz Ferdinand, 'Take Me Out' still has the capacity to thrill - the slow down... the subsequent build-up, the riff that sticks in your head - a perfect pop song. 

 

 

In the film the character Lucy tries to describe the sound of Dogs Die. She goes for XTC mixed with Talking Heads. Here is the wonderful XTC with their no-punches pulled song 'Dear God'.

 

Talking Heads created the greatest live film ever with Stop Making Sense, if you haven't seen it then I can't recommend enough. Not only are the visuals brilliant but, for me, the songs sound so much better than their studio counterparts.  Frontman David Byrne hasn't slowed down in his old age either, American Utopia is an excellent almost-sequel to Stop Making Sense. 

 

When the character Lucy explains to the somewhat cynical Tommy that she loves Britpop because of all the female led bands, she mentions Atomic, Echobelly and Elastica as examples (PJ Harvey would also be a good one to go to) although she is not quite so kind about Kenickie.

 

 

Tommy reminisces about the time Supergrass played a massive gig in Greenock. I think their first two albums (and a lot of the third) are absolute classic, brilliant song-writing throughout. I love the energy in this performance.

 

No story about Britpop would be complete without Oasis. There are various mentions of them throughout the film, but the song that the imaginary band Battery Park sing in the film is said to be a rip off of Live Forever - surely one of the crowning achievements of the Britpop era. 


Tommy explains how, after the loss of his brother, he struggled to write anything that wasn't self-hating and depressing, and seeing as Radiohead already cornered that market... then why bother. I'll never forget my first listen to OK Computer - I wasn't all that interested in Radiohead until then, but that album totally changed my life, a record that was verging on a theatrical experience, it led me to Pink Floyd and then to Kate Bush... people that make albums that are their own little universes. 

 

Lucy then explains how music is not old to her. When you listen to a record sung by a young person, that person is still young. She mentions two classics - Yesterday by the Beatles and Space Oddity by Bowie. The writers were 22 and 21 respectively when they penned these tunes.



The two bond over their hate of mainstream radio (poor Lewis Capaldi comes in for a verbal beating) and end up with a mini rendition of 'Panic' by The Smiths. It seems like not much has changed since Morrissey penned this classic.

 


There is a short discussion about how so many bands now are middle to upper class. That poor people simply can't afford to take a risk to make music for a living. "Would Jarvis be in a band now?" asks Tommy. Jarvis being, of course, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp. There's no doubt in my mind that their song 'Common People' is the absolute crown jewel of the Britpop canon. A catchy, witty takedown on class warfare that is as British as an incompetent Prime Minister. 

 


The couple reckon that Damon Albarn of Blur would still be alright - he was fooling nobody with that mockney accent though!

 


Tommy asks where the young artists making socially aware music are now. Lucy has an answer for him. Stormzy is a massive star who is not afraid of making political points in his music. 

 


Or Dave. This performance from the Brit Awards is breathtaking.

 


She also mentions the poet/musician Kae Tempest.


There's a wee joke about one of the catchiest Britpop bands, Dodgy. They made a successful comeback a while back - it is top tier feel-good melodic pop.


Tommy talks about how he remembers the Stones posters on the walls of his pal's bedroom where they used to rehearse. We are so obsessed about the celebrity of Mick Jagger and the lifestyle of Keith Richards that it frustrates me how we rarely talk about their musicianship. They are truly legends of songwriting and performance, the number of instantly recognisable Rolling Stones songs is staggering - truly giants of British music. 

And then goes on to talk about how his brother's guitar playing is like The Edge mixed with Johnny Marr. To finish off here are two guitar classics from those most distinctive of forces. 


I hope you enjoyed my little trip through the musical landscape of EverYoung! Here's a Spotify playlist (with a few more tracks and bands that are mentioned) for you to listen to!

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