Monday, February 18, 2008

Caledonia Dreamin'

This Friday (22 February) BBC4 is airing a documentary, Caledonian Dreamin’, about Scottish pop:

Caledonia Dreamin' reveals the hidden history of Scottish pop music, including how a small record label inspired bands like Orange Juice, Altered Images, Wet Wet Wet and Franz Ferdinand.
Fri 22 Feb, 22:00-23:00 60mins

An hour’s programming does seem a little tight; given the amount of free airtime on that channel, a four-part series could easily have been accommodated in the schedules and given Scottish pop a closer analysis.

Still, treats in store include Justin Currie of Del Amitri (bear with me) saying:
If you saw Edwyn Collins from the top of the bus it was like seeing Elvis. I had 'I love Edwyn' written on my school bag in 4th year and got called a poof.
Stuart Murdoch says:
The spirit of Postcard affected everything that we did. We wanted to be the sons of Postcard.
Hilariously, author Christopher Brookmyre claims that Wet Wet Wet suffered at home because
In Scotland there's an enduring hatred of people who are too successful.
Silly me, I thought it was because they were cunts who made shit music.

Edwyn Collins mentions that he’s fallen out with Alan Horne, who “hates nostalgia” so won’t appear in the programme. His wife Grace doesn’t think that Horne:
…behaved any worse than before. He got in touch when Edwyn was unwell [having suffered two brain haemorrhages]. I miss Alan: he could be very funny, and when I think back, the pair of them were arrogant so-and-sos.

"Ach, I suppose we were," Edwyn says.

Straight after that programme, you can watch more Edwyn in the Edwyn Collins: Home Again documentary:
Edwyn Collins, former lead singer of Orange Juice and a successful solo artist in his own right, suffered a brain haemorrhage in February 2005 and almost died.

Miraculously he pulled through, despite contracting MRSA after undergoing a risky operation, but had to face a lengthy and arduous rehabilitation programme to learn how to walk, speak and play the guitar again. This programme follows him through therapy and back into the recording studio as he completes the solo album - Home Again - that he began before falling ill.
Fri 22 Feb, 23:00-23:35 35mins


harveyw said...

Given that BBC4's Pop Britannia series manage to cover (though with no depth, obviously) the entire history of British Pop (50+ years) in 3 hours, 60 minutes is actually pretty generous for today's blipvert generation.

Gosh, didn't that make me sound like a miserable old codger?

FireEscape said...

Yes, I did think of the Pop Britannia comparison; still, given that this programme features footage from the 1981 BBC documentary Jock and Roll, there is a suspicion that this might be a bit flimsy and has been done on the cheap.
There is scope for a series here; is it really too much to ask for the BBC to treat pop music with the anaylsis and rigour it merits?

harveyw said...

Maybe, but if it didn't include archive footage (let's hope The Firengines' appearance on Riverside is in there too), we'd be the first ones shouting "b...b..but..!!!".
A tv show about archive pop which doesn't include archive pop footage is insane, surely?

As for your second point, yeah. I think there was an attempt by BBC4 during January to take an in-depth look at pop (the Paul Morley show, those asinine Maconie-hosted round-table discussion progs as to "which was the best pop decade?", Pop Britannia itself), but much of it was deeply unsatisfying. Sometimes analysis & rigour is the last thing pop needs. I just wanna see a 1967 edition of TOTP (which they also showed yay!). Good to see that Stiff Records documentary again too. Now that was a great bit of programme making.

Most tv these days is done on the cheap because no-one watches tv anymore.

FireEscape said...

That 1967 TOTP was great, wasn't it? Brenton Wood! I had at least 7 records in that top 20; I wonder when I most recently had that many singles of the top 20...

Fair enough about the archive footage point; I'm thinking, though, that they could've aired the Jock And Roll documentary as well as a new documentary. It's not too much to ask, is it?

I take your point about analysis and rigour; I have very little time for Morley and agree that it was unsatisfying. What I do want, however, is for pop music to be acknowleged as being at least as important as other forms of high culture which are given their due regard by the BBC.

Given the number of fans, the amount of programming - serious, flippant or simply repeats of TOTP from 1967 - is too small.