Lost in France
Director: Niall McCann
Talent: Stuart Braithwaite, Stewart Henderson, Alex Kapranos, Emma Pollock
Released: 3rd March
Niall McCann’s Lost in France is part history of Chemikal Underground, the iconic Scottish indie label begun in the 1990s, part document of several members of its bands (Mogwai, The Delgados, The Karelia) returning to the French town of Mauron eighteen years after a tour that, it turns out, is memorable for reasons beyond the immediately obvious.
The documentary, comprised of interviews, concert tapes and footage of the present day journey to France, is equal parts wistful and angry, with a real political consciousness simmering just beneath its surface. It’s refreshing to hear Alex Kapranos (of The Karelia and Franz Ferdinand) speaking with considered indignation about the wearing away under contemporary British Toryism — with obvious parallels to conditions in our own country — of the social welfare system that bore so many fledgling bands, but the future implied is bleak. ‘It feels like we’re at the end of one epoch and the start of another’, says Stewart (of Chemikal Underground and The Delgados), somewhat ominously, and it’s hard to argue with him. McCann’s film will please fans, fans-to-be and the cosmically pessimistic alike.
Words – Oisín Murphy-Hall