WHILE it may be true anyone can play guitar, it takes luck as well as talent to cut it in the world of music.
That is the message of Anyone Can Play Guitar, a new independent film about Oxford’s music scene – a scene which has seen scores of chart-topping bands including Radiohead, Foals and Supergrass catapulted into stardom.
The real stars of this film, though, are the ‘also rans’ – the bands which started to play gigs around the city at the same time but never quite reached the same heights.
The film, which takes its name from a track on Radiohead’s first album Pablo Honey, has been three years in the making and manages to cram more than 300 hours of footage into a one-and-a-half hour feature-length documentary.
Film-maker Jon Spira said although he self-funded the making of the documentary, it was costing £30,000 to release it professionally – the bulk of which has been donated by music fans.
He said: “We have had generous donations from all over the world. This is the way the industry is going in the future. When you go to big studios you hand over control of your film. But the minute I started doing this film I knew I had to do it my way to make it work, to make it right. “ The film is narrated by cult comedian Stewart Lee, who was a regular Oxford gig-goer, and features unseen footage from many local bands.
Now Mr Spira, owner of the former Videosyncratic independent film rental store in Cowley Road, has appealed to Oxfordshire music fans to donate the remaining £6,000 so they can see the film released.
It will be premiered in Oxford in March and then Mr Spira hopes to have a national cinema release.
He said the ethos of the film was reflected in the way he planned to release it. He said: “I have seen huge bands dragged down by the industry.
“The best music I have heard hasn’t been what is played out on the radio, it has been in the upstairs room of some backstreet pub. That is what this film is about.”
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