s p i k e i s l a n d
21st June 2013
17th June 2013
We caught Spike Island back in October last year at the London Film Festival and greatly enjoyed its nostalgic coming of age tale, so we thought we’d dust off the review and update it a bit.
The movie tells the story of a group of very nineties friends who fight, swear, play instruments and attempt to blag tickets in this extended Shameless-like episode of indie-rock themed growing of age nostalgia.......
I thoroughly enjoyed Spike Island. But I have to think this has a lot to do with being just about a nineties kid myself. Anyone who actually knows me needs to stop laughing now. I was there man! There were long-sleeved t-shirts! Well, maybe I wasn’t quite at the right age, but the film certainly made me wish I was that age. Or, more truthfully, I wish I’d been in the world this film was set in. This is a world where you can drink, smoke, vandalise school and generally rebel against everything because your only adult role models are the ones that stride out on to the stage.
The group of Manc friends, nominally led by Elliot Tittensor’s Gary Titchfield or ‘Tits’ (possibly one of the best nicknames in recent cinema) as he is known attempt to infiltrate the Stone Roses gig on Spike Island in 1990, failure is not an option for them. They put their faith in older brothers and older friends (naive), in each other (foolish), in their own ability to blag (optimistic) but finally and totally in the music (guaranteed). They take lots of drugs, drink heavily and deal with family issues, friendship issues and girl issues. That angle isn't particularly new but the music is obviously fantastic, the lads and lasses are accomplished and believable and the central performances by Tittensor and Nico Mirallegro (as the band’s more melancholic writer and creative mind) are especially good.
The film is beautifully shot with great use of some clever digital trickery to merge the film with archive footage and of course, the music. The style suits the material and it nicely evokes an era somewhere between the musical novelty of the 80‘s and the manufactured horror of the noughties. If you're Broken Shark's age or anywhere near, you will sit there misty eyed for the days you thought you could form a band and Ian Brown and the boys were smashing I Am the Resurrection out at full volume. You know who you are, because you're thinking about having a lager now and sticking the Second Coming on the stereo, loud. Then turning it down and putting the lager back in the fridge because it's a school night and you have a meeting tomorrow. Ah, happy days.
Spike Island’s release date surely can’t be a coincidence. The Stone Roses are back on the musical scene, partly due to Shane Meadows’ recent documentary Made of Stone, the summer is more or less here and the festivals are here. The movie is a perfect accompaniment to all of the above.
Check out the Spike Island trailer here.