A brand new take on the most transformative force in British popular music history.
Documentary following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesiser from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage. In the late 1970s, small pockets of electronic artists including the Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Volatire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Ballard and dreamt of the sound of the future against the backdrop of bleak, high-rise Britain. The crossover moment came in 1979 when Gary Numan's appearance on Top of the Pops with Tubeway Army's Are Friends Electric heralded the arrival of synthpop. Four lads from Basildon known as Depeche Mode would come to own the new sound whilst post-punk bands like Ultravox, Soft Cell, OMD and Yazoo took the synth out of the pages of the NME and onto the front page of Smash Hits. By 1983, acts like Pet Shop Boys and New Order were showing that the future of electronic music would lie in dance music. Contributors include Philip Oakey, Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, Bernard Sumner, Gary Numan and Neil Tennant.
Documentary exploring the rise and fall of the most visionary period in British music history: five kaleidoscopic years between 1965 and 1970 when a handful of dreamers reimagined pop music. When a generation of British R&B bands discovered LSD, conventions were questioned. From out of the bohemian underground and into the pop mainstream, the psychedelic era produced some of the most ground-breaking music ever made, pioneered by young improvising bands like Soft Machine and Pink Floyd, then quickly taken to the charts by the likes of the Beatles, Procol Harum, the Small Faces and the Moody Blues, even while being reimagined in the country by bucolic, folk-based artists like the Incredible String Band and Vashti Bunyan. The film is narrated by Nigel Planer with contributions and freshly-shot performances from artists who lived and breathed the psych revolution - Paul McCartney, Ginger Baker, Robert Wyatt, Roy Wood, the Zombies, Mike Heron, Vashti Bunyan, Joe Boyd, Gary Brooker, Arthur Brown, Kenney Jones, Barry Miles, the Pretty Things and the Moody Blues.
Documentary tells the story of the emergence and evolution of the British music festival through the mavericks, dreamers and dropouts who have produced, enjoyed and sometimes fought for them over the last 50 years. The film traces the ebb and flow of British festival culture from jazz beginnings at Beaulieu in the late 50s through to the Isle of Wight festivals at the end of the 60s, early Glastonbury and one-off commercial festivals like 1972's Bickershaw, the free festivals of the 70s and 80s and on through the extended rave at Castlemorton in 1992 to the contemporary resurgence in festivals like Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Reading in the last decade. Sam Bridger's film explores the central tension between the people's desire to come together, dance to the music and build temporary communities and the desire of the state, the councils and the locals to police these often unruly gatherings. At the heart of the documentary is an ongoing argument about British freedom and shifts in the political, musical and cultural landscape set to a wonderful soundtrack of 50 years of great popular music which takes in trad jazz, Traffic, Roy Harper, the Grateful Dead, Hawkwind, Orbital and much more.
Programme two looks at the 1960s folk boom, when the hippie generation repackaged folk music to appeal to a wider audience.
Documentary telling the story of what happened to blues music on its journey from the southern states of America to the heart of British pop and rock culture, providing an in-depth look at what this music really meant to a generation of kids desperate for an antidote to their experiences of living in post-war suburban Britain.
The first programme explores politics, ownership and the birth of the British folk revival.