Big Gold Dream is the new talking heads style documentary by cinematographer and director Grant Mcphee. The film focuses on the life and times of the characters who created and surrounded Scotland’s Fast Product and Postcard Records. Spanning from their humble beginnings in bedrooms to their pop ambitions for mainstream success and MTV, the narrative created is about infiltration and subversion of the music industry.
A fascinating time, we glimpse into the minds riding the wave between punk ethos and ‘80s Thatcherism. What you get is a medley of conflicting ideals and confusion as people try to follow the money and mix it with their subversive dreams. A conflict that has left scars in many of the relationships, and perhaps lives, but also created some of pop music’s most enduring records.
With the absence of Allen Horne, Bob Last seems to have the last word on literally everything, so it can start to feel like a Bob Last film. Not to mention there is almost no mention of Aztec Camera, which seems pretty odd considering they were one of only four bands on postcard — and the ones to reach their “Big Gold Dream”. That said, there are some really great bits: Davy Henderson saying things like “That’s so radical!” on entering Bob Last’s bohemian flat the first time; Alan Rankine just being a great lovable man; and to see all the video footage of The Flowers and Scars is always a wonderful thing.
If you can put aside Bob Last’s overbearing smugness this is a must see for any post-punk and indie enthusiast.