Sound It Out

Directed by Jeannie Finlay
FACT Cinema
10th November 2011

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is an affectionate documentary tribute to the last independent record shop in Teeside, featuring vinyl junkies, madcap music fans - one oddball had seen Status Qus play live over 400 times - and a garden shed DJ!

Filmed and directed on a very low budget by Jeannie Finlay over a matter of a couple of weeks, she vividly captures the life affirming role of music to a varied bunch of people living in Stockton-on-Tees. One heavy metal fan admits he could not deal with life without hearing music every day - I know what he means.

The vast majority of record buyers at the Sound It Out shop, where most of the filming takes place are male. One explanation given by Tom, the owner of the place, is that men are compulsive collectors and in a sense never progress beyond their youth.

I was pleasantly surprised how thoughtful and emotional the film was in dealing with a dying breed of people. HMV has taken over big style, sweeping away local record stores by the hundeds throughout the country. Liverpool still has two- The legendary Probe Records and Hairy Records.

The only annoying aspect of the film was the elderly Dire Straits fan who constantly popped up in the film. He kept retuning to the shop purely because he knew filming was taking place. But this is only a quibble.

Finlay has asked BBC4 to screen her film, ideally on Record Store Day in April 2012.

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