Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Supersonic: Film Review

Supersonic: Film Review

Directed by Mat Whitecross

For some, the Oasis boys were the be all and end all of 90s music culture.

The boorish Gallagher brothers, along with their bandmates, defined a lot of the 90s music scene and set the style for their raucous behaviour and top tunes.

But it was always Liam and Noel whose attitudes set the scene, and their clashes caused plenty of tabloid headlines and were the stuff of copy-writers' dreams. They were the yin and yang to each other, or as Noel puts it in the doco, he's a cat, Liam's a dog and never the twain shall meet. In fact, one early piece of footage talks of them as Cain and Abel, a comparison that speaks to their arrogance and belief in more ways than one.

So, this doco with its rather succinct use of voiceovers looks to explore the mythos and the inevitable car crash that Oasis were after they burned so bright and ultimately, imploded under the weight of their own legends.

Assembling pictures, footage and soundbites (that tend to favour Noel Gallagher, perhaps one of the perks of being an executive producer), Whitecross does a perfectly good job of capturing their rise from the council estates of Manchester to the echelons of performing at Knebworth. Injecting the whole proceedings with the lads' laconic humour proves to be a big boon here and gives the piece a pace that's matched only by the band's blistering performances which are scattered throughout.

From unsigned act to where they jumped on with Creation Records and their charts takeover, the doco's strengths lie in the music that's so iconic of the time and so evocative of the Manchester scene that will be so familiar to so many.

Following family spats is par for the course with the Gallaghers, though outside of the Liam / Noel fracas, there's little here that Oasis afficionados won't already know - there's no Amy style smoking gun. Though, perhaps interestingly, the revelations that Noel refused to let the Gallaghers' abusive father define either their music or their perception speaks volumes to where their swagger came from and why their defiant attitude was so successful.

As Liam so succinctly puts it at one point, Oasis were "Like a Ferrari, great to look at, great to drive and would spin outta fucking control", and this doco captures some of the anarchy of the group and the resultant ripples their music caused.

At its heart, Supersonic is about nostalgia for the band - any true fan will already know most of their history - and Whitecross and team assemble the pieces in a perfectly perfunctory and viewable manner. With the music speaking volumes and the doco making you feel like one of the lads as the hedonism and heated rows hit, it's a doco that speaks more to fans as well as anyone with a passing ear for their tunes.

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