Last night I left the safety of north London to go see new(ish) British Indie flick 1234. Based around the lifespan of the fictional London based indiepop band 1234, not a great deal happens in it, but I think that helps to capture the mundanity of small band existance, working in crappy call centres and unrequited love with pretty girls in pretty dresses. OK let the indie review commence, you know the score, now how well will this one score in cardigan points?
I jotted down a few good quotes in the cinema, I got a bit tipsy in the pub round the corner from the cinema before the screening tho so I could've got some a bit wrong...
"You've got an unsual bass sound, it sounds like The Yummy Fur, Nation of Ulysses, The Pastels..."(and prob some other bands probably but I write slow) Stevie trying win over Billy the guitarist.
Stevie goes on to describe the future band as sounding "a bit Postcard, Jeepster, Chemikal Underground" and also uses the choice line "if I wasn't in this band, they'd be my favourite band", we've all said that once, normally when we're very drunk.
"I remember the car I was driving when I first heard Her Jazz by Huggy Bear" Stevie again in one of his overly indie and emotional speeches, he also remembers where he first heard Tigermilk (don't we all?)
The one piece of good luck for the band was that Kill Rock Stars wanted to hear a second demo,
Hella indie, 5 cardigan points!
2. Music Parapanalia
The film starts well with a close of shot of Plan B magazine (RIP) but after that the film lacks the indie product placement that other films excel at, a lot of the posters were for made up bands and the band members stuck to wearing those Canadian vintage tee shirts you can get from Rocket instead of a suitably cool band tee. Though I'm pretty sure I spotted an Evens poster in Stevie's bedroom and Giles Borg (Director innit) wearing a Urusei Yatsura teeshirt.
Only 3 cardigan points, could try better.
3. Band Cameos
This is where the movie excels in the indie-est of cameo's featuring the lovely Betty and The Werewolves and Comet Gain both playing live. As can sometimes be the case with Comet Gain shows, not all of the members turned up to the gig, this version of 'Comet Gain' features Rachel and Jon from the band joined by Matthew Sawyer (The Ghosts, The TVPs), Steve Dore from The Casual Dots and James Canty (Nation of Ulysses/The Make Up/French Toast). What a line up, why on earth did they play a show to just six people? Sack the promoter, you'd never get that at Basement Scam!
The film also features a live performance from Director Giles Borg's own band, the catchily named Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element, props to him for featuring his own band, if I was making a movie I'd feature my own band in it, you better believe it.
Sadly none of the cameos have any lines so the film loses one point.... four cardigan points.
Hella indie.... as well as the live performances, the soundtrack included Bikini Kill, Stereolab, Belle and Sebastian, My Sad Captains (the lovely Great Expectations plays during the end credits) and some.
5 cardigan points
5. General indieness
Skinny indieboy who looks like a cross between Rob Price (Airport Girl) and Mark Monnone (The Lucksmiths) who doesn't have a girlfriend living in indieboy dreamworld, pained over unrequited love and no one understanding him or his band, a popular narrative for any true indie film. I think the attempt to catch the grim reality of being skint in London stopped it from being hella indie though, there's no real cutesy cinematography or quirkiness that makes a true indiekid film, so yeah sorry, only 2 cardigan points.
So that's a total of 19 out of 25 cardigan points, hella indie but still could do better.
Oh yeah, a props to the film for featuring the Finsbury Park job centre, Finsbury Park reprezent!
The film is on tour the next few weeks, why not see whether it's playing in your town here
The Movie Website
And finally, let's end with another video, I don't think the band were named after this song, but it's awesome and doesn't Feist look lovely in her shiny jumpsuit?
Hope you're well