This is purely a British film steeped in nostalgia for the short-lived British glam rock movement that spawned the likes of David Bowie, T. Rex (“Bang a Gong“), and Sweet (“Little Willie“), and to a lesser extent — at least for U.S. audiences — Mud (“Tiger Feet“), Slade (“Cum on Feel the Noise“), and Suzi Quatro (of the recent document retrospective, Suzi Q).
Like any Beatles flick or British Invasion film romp starring the likes of Cliff Richard and the Shadows (1966’s Finders Keepers), Herman’s Hermits (1966’s Hold On!), and Freddie and the Dreamers (1967’s The Cookoo Patrol), a rock band on tour finds itself in hijinks — with rock ‘n’ roll under attack by the establishment and a rock ‘n’ roll club in danger of being closed down.
To that end: In a “future” set in late 1970s, the establishment has banned rock ‘n roll from television. So a young rocker (British television acting mainstay Peter Denyer) leads the charge against the ban by organizing the biggest rock groups in England to perform at a benefit concert.
Of course, David Bowie, Marc Bolan (of T. Rex), Sweet, Slade, and Suzi Quatro will have none of this amateur cinematic foolishness, so we have to settle for the lesser “stars” of the glam era with the likes of Mud and the Glitter Band (Gary Glitter’s backing band, out on their own), along with the Rubettes — and guest appearances by Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits (trying to eek a living in a post-British Invasion world) and Midge Ure (later of Ultra Vox) with his glam band, Slick.
This is the type of film with nary a plot, the “action” consists of the old slap stick standby of a food fight in a roadside diner, and lots — and LOTS — of musical numbers padding out the film for its whopping one hour fifty minute running time. The cast is rounded out by members of, get this, the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company — and beware the bushy mutton chops and sharply-cut side burns — and of the outdated vaudevillian comedy groans presented by British comedians Freddie Jones and Max Wall (insert sad trombone “wah-wah-wah” sfx here.)
However, if you want to trip down the ’70s glam rock memory lane of your youth, or you if want to first educate yourself on the era with a glam primer, there’s not another film quite like this glittery mess of a train wreck of a film.
To say I love this movie is an understatement.
Overseas readers can stream this via Amazon Prime U.K., but we found you a free, three part upload on You Tube HERE, HERE, and HERE. Ha! It’s infectious! I got Sam the Bossman to watch: here’s his take. Yes, it depends which print you watched and where, back when: this came out in 1975 and 1976. Glam, of course, was out by 1976, and punk was on the rise. . . .
About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.