Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Many rock musicians don't need much help to appear stupid. (The court calls Nikki Sixx.) But there has been a long line of films and television shows which parody or poke fun at musicians and their apparent lack of smarts, or even a sense of reality.
Bad News, The Rutles, the classic Spinal Tap, Hunting Venus, Fear of a Black Hat (which parodied rappers), any number of Frank Zappa albums, Flight of the Conchords, Steve Coogan's character in Saxondale . . .
This short flick by Shane (This is England) Meadows -- filmed over five days on the fly and therefore largely improvised -- owes a little to the Coogan character: Le Donk (Paddy Considine) is a slightly deluded roadie working for the "Arctical Monkeys, a new kids band, fresh out of school" and his discovery is the rapper Scor-zay-zee who is overweight and insecure.
Meadows and his small crew -- named and seen in the film -- follow Le Donk and Scor-zay-zee over a few days before a Monkeys gig at Old Trafford, and observe Le Donk's attempt to get Scor-zay-zee a spot on the bill. Then him almost hijacking it from the hapless rapper who can't find a place to plug his keyboard in.
Le Donk also has a heavily pregnant ex-girlfriend (one of the best scenes comes early when he struggles with her having a live-in boyfriend). His attempts to be cool with this while resenting her new man are both uncomfortably edgy and funny.
Considine carries this and is a natural as the dozy, self-conscious and charmingly hopeless character who veers between cocky and depressed, but Scor-zay-zee (an actual rapper, from Nottingham) is largely underdeveloped. Comments about his conversion to Islam only make sense if you know that this was an actual rumour about him in the mid-2000s.
This slight mockumentary has a few great scenes -- Le Donk exploding in a hotel room is fearfully accurate and disconcerting, as is his return to apologise -- and the Arctic Monkeys who appear as themselves are in on the joke (check Considine's hilarious out-take as the credits run).
But Le Donk and Scor-zay-zee is a minor entry into the catalogue of films which turn the spotlight onto those in, or on the periphery, of the rock world.
Le Donk does roadies no favours.
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