Lost in France

I watched the wonderful Lost in France recently. A documentary about the mid to late 90s Scottish indie music scene and more specifically, the record label Chemical Underground.

Growing up in a sleepy corner of Devon meant that I didn’t really have music scene to call my own and for reasons of four boys in there corduroys, I was drawn to be something of a fan boy for what was coming out of Glasgow at the time. The film was interesting in reminding me how much music can trigger memories. Just seeing the artwork for a collection of 7” singles and the opening bars of a Delgardo song took me back to my university days in Leicester and an immense sadness that I could not remember where my ‘every good cyclists takes drugs’ tshirt that I lived in then has now gone. (The Delgardos really stood out to me in playing with the imagery of cycling way before it was seen as a trendy thing to do)

The other thing that stuck with me from the film was how the contributors had a differing take of the past and future. For some it was a magic moment in time to look fondly back on, for others a cry into the void about why the here and now couldn’t still be like those late 90s First Big Weekends of the summer. It struck me that the kind of scene established then, with a group of bands geographically clustered is less and less likely to happen now. In part (and maybe only a small part), because of the web. This could be seen as bad in taking away some of the energy from a core group of people being in the same place at the same time, but also (from my point of view) positive, in that the web is a wonderful, democratic concept that means defining by geography is less and less of a way of defining a creative process.

Maybe the past works because it is the past. It is not a model to apply to the future