Last night we attended ‘An Evening with Alan McGee’ at the British Music Experience in Liverpool, the perfect setting for one of the most important names of the British Music Industry. The evening included an exclusive screening of the re-edited version of ‘Upside Down: The Creation Records Story’.
Originally released in 2010, if you haven’t yet seen the film, it is an entertainingly riotous insight into one of the world’s most successful and influential, independent record labels and it’s main protagonist, Alan McGee. This is the story of the rock and roll dream and it’s accompanying tribulations. McGee is as raw and visceral as ever and pulls no punches in this honest and entertaining story, focusing on the rock and roll side of the record business.
“One of the most rock n roll films ever made’’
The film also includes many of Creations names who were catapulted to the forefront of the music industry by the vision and passion of Alan McGee, including Jim Reid of The Jesus And Mary Chain, long time friend of Mcgee’s Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, and Noel Gallagher of Oasis. All throughout the film tell their story very vividly and have an incredible memory of the Creation years, which is quite surprising after how many class A’s were taken. The tales of the crazy office parties that lasted for days and the brutally honesty of the chronic drug taking are always entertaining to hear, but also act as a warning. This is put across very honestly and sincerely by McGee who despite having the time of his life, eventually ended up drink and drugs free after stints in rehab.
“The first day going into Creation, scrawled on the wall behind Tim Abbott’s desk in big black felt pen was ‘Northern Ignorance’ and I thought, ‘That kind of describes me, fucking love this place already, I’ve not been here two minutes’.”
The evening got started with a stellar set from The Jade Assembly, a four piece band from Bolton. They played a brilliant acoustic set which included tracks Feel The Reign, Letting Go, Nothing Changes, Take Me Home, One Last Time and a very well received Beatles cover ‘Come Together’.
After the screening, and a short interval the charismatic Glaswegian took to the stage with Robert Fiddaman. Robert is a music historian, author, broadcaster and the founder of the Britpop Store and Britpop TV. All eyes are on McGee as Robert leads McGee through the interview focussing on his the rise and fall of Creation. The floor then opened to the public where various members of the audience got the opportunity to ask Alan questions.
Alan laughs away as he tells his countless stories to the audience who literally hang of his every word. Alan McGee has an indefinable charm and you can’t help but be drawn to him. He’s witty, a fantastic story teller and a man responsible for creating the sounds of a whole generation. In all honesty, two and half hours was not enough, like many others who I spoke to afterwards, we all agreed we could of sat there all night. If you did miss last night, I highly recommend keeping your eye out for hopefully, another evening.
Alan McGee is currently keeping busy with Creation Management, his show on Boogaloo Radio and his new record label Creation 23. When asked why he started another label Alan’s response was simple ‘I want to put out records again, I’ve missed it’.
To find out more about Creation23 and to buy first signing ‘Rubber Jaw’ vinyl visit: creation23.tmstor.es
You can read more about Creation in Alan’s book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Creation-Stories-Riots-Raves-Running/dp/1447225910
Listen to Riot, Raves and Running A Label on Boogaloo Radio here: https://boogalooradio.com