Chance would be a fine thing for the 100 or so people who don’t have anything approaching a front row view of tonight’s proceedings. I’m thankful almost to the point of disbelief that I do have such a view, though I start to panic when a seven-foot tall guy (no kiddin’) dressed all in leather pushes his way past my left shoulder. Luckily, he’s heading for an empty, recently vacated seat (the girl who was previously sitting there having decided to move to a spot where she could get a more photogenic view of Dregen) and I breathe an audible sigh of relief. But yeah, the Kashmir Klub could certainly do with a stage – though, with a ceiling this low, it’s really not possible.
Velvet Goldmine, Todd Haynes’ new film set in the early 1970s’ UK glam-rock scene, seems to have polarised opinion amongst rock and movie hacks like no other film in recent memory. The reviews have either been glowing like the brightest star in the galaxy or reeking of musty old second-hand record shops. Oddly, the most scathing reviews have come from the music press, or are at least – as in the case of one popular film mag’s review – written by part-time music journalists.
Having finally seen the film myself and fallen in love with almost everything about it – the performances, the story, the music, the look – the music press’s failure to get to grips with the movie worries me slightly. Well, it worries me a lot actually – enough for me to have spent the last week seriously mulling over the relationship between fans and press. There’s a delicious irony in the music press slagging off Velvet Goldmine – an irony that I’m sure isn’t lost on Haynes, its author and director. But we’ll come to that a bit later. To begin with, I’d like to tell you why Velvet Goldmine is one of the best rock ‘n’ roll movies I’ve ever seen.