Noel Gallagher: ‘The first day going into Creation, scrawled on the wall behind Tim Abbott’s desk in big black felt pen was ‘Northern Ignorance’ and I thought, ‘That kind of describes me, I fucking love this place already, I’ve not been here two minutes’
Following the death of Factory records founder Tony Wilson in 2007 praise was correctly lavished on both Wilson and the effect his bands had on the musical landscape. There is an argument that Creation Records have been just as instrumental. The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Ride, Super Furry Animals, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub and of course Oasis all found their feet on a record label that was mostly run out of a tiny office in Hackney by ‘President of Pop’ Alan McGee and a bunch of other lunatics. Upside Down is their story…
When you have such charismatic talking heads as Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream), Noel Gallagher, Jim Reid (Mary Chain) and McGee himself it would be impossible not to mine some interesting stories. Danny O’ Connor does a brilliant job in piecing all the interviews together to tell what is an incredible story.
One minor criticism is it would be interesting to have more of an outsiders perspective as Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook only have very brief moments on camera. The flipside to this is having read Alan McGee’s excellent book Creation Stories it becomes clear that Upside Down only tells half the story in nearly an hour and three quarters so to expect even more interviews is perhaps a bit unrealistic.
I must admit I didn’t know a huge amount about the early Creation bands until I watched Upside Down upon it’s release in 2010 but I have discovered so much great music from this documentary and it is safe to say the main draw of this project is the quite frankly astonishingly brilliant soundtrack. Which is how it should be with a film about music.