Music Documentary: The Undertones – Here Comes The Summer

Unlike music documentaries, truly great music biopics are hard to come by. If you don’t believe me then try being subjected to ‘True Movies music weekend’. Music documentaries usually allow those involved (sometimes in the loosest sense) to reveal something to fans, while biopics have to compete with the excitement of the myths and reputations built by fans themselves, and that’s before we even get into the reproduction of the music.

Good Vibrations was released this weekend to a flurry of critic and fan praise alike, and looks set to be this year’s ‘Control’. The film follows Terry Hooley and his journey to becoming the musical messiah of Belfast during The Troubles. The most known band to feature in the film are The Undertones, and although everyone thinks they know about the band behind what John Peel called ‘the most perfect pop song ever written’, there’s a lot more to the Tones than that one song. Exactly what their success meant to the people of Derry, their influence on music in Northern Ireland and their attitude to going on tour with The Clash in America is all detailed in the doc below.


Music Documentary: Mark Linkous is Sparklehorse/The Sad and Beautiful World Of Sparklehorse

As total music nuts here at Needle Hits The Groove, we get as excited about a good music documentary as we do about a great album. It’s always interesting to the inner workings of a tour or the creative process, the relationship between band members, or simply gaining an understanding of the social context that inspired the music.

As this week was the three year anniversary of the death of Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous, what better way to start off our weekly documentary recommendation, than a piece than allowed an intimate glance into Linkous’s home life and writing process, as well as his account of the incident that almost left him paralysed. The full documentary is available on youtube in several parts, the first part is below.



However there is another documentary  on the aloof genius currently in production by his two friends Alex Crowton and Balwant Dassentitled called ‘The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse’. This documentary will explore the link between mental illness and creativity using Linkous as an example of an artist of extremely high talent who also suffered from bipolar disorder before taking his own life in March 2009.

A funding campaign to complete the film is currently running and so far the interviewees include Gemma Hayes, Emily Haines of Metric and Mercury Rev.

Donate to the film and watch the trailer.