Upside Down Danny O'Connor

Upside Down Danny O'Connor
It's fitting that Alan McGee and Bobby Gillespie first bonded at a Thin Lizzy concert; despite its cache as one of the UK's most respected and successful indie labels, Creation Records' acts often comported themselves as rock stars, even when public interest dictated otherwise. Upside Down chronicles Creation's rise and inevitable fall. It's a familiar tale for anyone with a passing interest in rock's business end, but few labels can boast a roster as era-defining as Creation. Members of the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine (director Danny O'Connor managed to score a coveted interview with Kevin Shields, who might be the world's most mild-mannered, reclusive genius), Oasis and McGee, along with friends and former staff, all appear to help make sense of the label's drug-fuelled history. Inspired after seeing Television Personalities, McGee, along with Biff Bang Pow! bandmates Dick Green and Joe Foster, founded the label to put out records from their group and other like-minded acts. But McGee hit gold when he signed, and went on to manage, fledgling noise-pop act the Jesus and Mary Chain, the profits from which he funnelled into early releases from Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine. But the discovery of acid-house and ecstasy by McGee and virtually everyone associated with the label changed everything. Andrew Weatherall's reworking of Primal Scream's "I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have" into scene anthem "Loaded" brought the band and Creation to new heights of fame and excess. McGee admits he was off his head for the first half of the '90s. A drug-fuelled breakdown mid-way through the decade ensured that he missed Creation's highest of (natural) highs when Oasis managed to (fleetingly) conquer the U.S. Most of the people involved say McGee was never the same after the breakdown. Having already given up much of the label's autonomy to Sony, Creation shuttered its doors just before the end of the century. O'Connor certainly does nothing to dispel the legend of Creation. As such, many of the label's lesser lights – Felt, the Weather Prophets, the Boo Radleys – get scant, if any, mention, in favour of bigger acts and personalities like Gillespie, Noel Gallagher, Jim Reid and Irvine Welsh, for some reason. There are also only bare bones of extras. But in upholding the myth, Upside Down manages to dig up enough dirt to make this a worthwhile flick for anyone with a passing interest in British music. (Alliance)