Discussion about the band and related projects.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by Blurcast » 24 Nov 2022, 16:43

r_mccann23 wrote:
24 Nov 2022, 15:06
Blurb #2’s news section says ‘two possibilities have been considered, B-Roads and The Great Escape’. Agree with all of your points though. I’d love to see a finished version.

Interestingly I’ve just noticed in Blurb #1 it says that footage meant for Showtime that they didn’t have room for was meant to be in the documentary, which I find interesting. Perhaps Showtime was supposed to be a bit more like Starshaped/TGE rather than a straight concert film

Ah, thank you! No wonder, as #2 was the one issue I don't have - I didn't join BFC until after that and it was always sold out as a back issue for some reason. Had a look in the PDF version and had a bit of a chuckle at the 'Internet' section on the next page:
Much has been said of the internet, of how it will revolutionise our education, means of entertainment and communication processes. However, the most important aspect of the world-wide net is rarely touched upon. The greatest asset that the net has to offer is that it's de-Nerding computers. To take advantage of this great technological advancement, you don't have to have a side-parting, a green tartan thermos and an interesting fascination with all things locomotive. It's so hip now, that fashionable bars in the coolest parts of town are installing computers so that you can drink and surf. You don't have to be a boffin to use it either. Compared to using the Net, boiling an egg is a round of the Krypton factor. You simply click on "Net Search" and type in the subject matter you want to investigate, e.g. "the wit and sophistication of Bruno Brooks" and hey presto! - you'll find nothing. But, by simply typing in "Blur" you'll come across a whole host of interesting pages...
How little did we know!! :lol:

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Re: B-Roads

Post by Blurcast » 24 Nov 2022, 17:07

Also, just rediscovered this interview with director Ceri Levy from Blurb #30. He gives a little background information on the film and why it was shelved...

Blurb: After you made the Showtime concert film with them, there was an attempt to make another on-the-road film. Often I see it referred to "The Great Escape" and "B-Roads". Did it ever have a title?

Ceri: It was around The Great Escape time, but we never gave it a title. The working title was always The Great Escape. B-Roads is a new one to me.

Blurb: It had a very different structure to Starshaped. Can you just explain how the film was constructed and how you came to film it like that?

Ceri: Erm, we were very consciously aware that the next thing we did together should not be another Starshaped. The film was an exploration of Britain in many ways - although that sounds very pompous. It was having a look at what was going on around us, where we lived and where we came from I suppose. I think the problem with it was that it ended up becoming a very dark picture. Everyone was having a very tough time with several people having a few problems. Matthew had just lost his father, I had just contracted cancer, and it was all a very dark time. It just became a very heavy film I suppose - not deliberately. The subjects that we were interested in were heavier subjects. All sorts of things were in that film.

Blurb: As you say, you focused on modern Britain at the time, and almost half of the film is documentary on subject matter other than Blur. Whose idea was that?

Ceri: Well, it was all of our ideas. Again, it just came out of things we were talking about and we ran those by the band and they were up for it. I mean, Blur quite like it when they aren't even in their promo videos - so maybe that was the beginning of that kind of attitude as well. We always had this idea that it would be great to set up something that would be called Blur TV, which would be things that interested us and would be our own TV channel - so maybe it was an extension of that little idea we had.

Blurb: The creepiest part of the film is the little piece about the wifeswappers. What was that like to film?

Ceri: Well, for an awful lot of the time I was away from filming as I was having radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I was like Dr. Xavier in the X-Men, running everything from my bed pretty much, so I was arranging everything and overseeing things. I don't think it was a very happy time filming for most of that time, for everybody.

Blurb: So why was the film effectively shelved once completed?

Ceri: We just decided it was too dark. The way things were and the way that The Great Escape was received and things, we just decided it wasn't right and it wasn't something we wanted to put out there. Again, as I was saying about quality control, Damon isn't afraid to say no, even if it's cost x amount of money. It really got put on the back-boiler, not because of the record company, but because of Damon and all of our opinions of it. I think we all recovered a bit of sanity once it was over, and looked at it and it seemed to be a just a painful reminder of things that had happened to all of us - not necessarily the film itself but the whole process of making it. It was a time where all of us were nearly destroyed in lots of different ways. It's the kind of thing I'd like to have another look at again though.

Blurb: Do you think it will ever see the light of day?

Ceri: I've no idea. If it does come out it would still need work on it, I would say.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by murfman04 » 24 Nov 2022, 17:29

You are awesome :D

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Re: B-Roads

Post by ricj » 24 Nov 2022, 18:54

I've watched nearly half of it at this point. I won't write an essay on my thoughts as that's already been done very well by a couple of people. But yeah, I get why it was never released (although being only a rough cut, we have no idea what the finished article might have looked like).

A couple of my thoughts on what I've seen so far - being a massive fan of Reeves & Mortimer and Shooting Stars, the Matt Lucas sketch with Alex in bed was brilliant and reminded me of the character he played in this sketch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs786SYC_iQ I kept expecting them both to break down corpsing.

It was very strange to see the footage of their exploits in Dunoon, especially the evening shots of the town, as this was the night that directly influenced Damon's solo song The Selfish Giant 18 years later.

I still think it's a real shame that the Mile End gig has never seen an official release - the footage looks great.

I wonder if it was ever released, it might work as a reframed documentary about the madness of that year, cut together with present day interviews with all involved from the band to Ceri. I think that'd work really well.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by windymiller » 24 Nov 2022, 20:05

The highlight for me was the Mile End footage. Such an important moment in their history. Would love to experience it all again.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by stephen » 25 Nov 2022, 09:47

I flicked through it, felt a bit guilty for doing so.

The swingers stuff went on for a bit too long, don't think I needed 10 minutes of that :lol:

The concept of essentially introducing the characters of the songs, or what the songs are about whilst still being a bit of a toury documentary is genius imho

That girls and boys song that's being played (in a bar?)...is it an early demo/idea or do you think they played it with just the piano after the song came out? Interesting to hear anyway.

How old are they here? mid-late 20s? yeah I wouldn't want the whole world showing my 20s never mind if I was in a pop band so fair enough that they didn't want this out there.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by Pavlich » 25 Nov 2022, 11:17

I think Damon was 28 when Parklife came out, or maybe 26.

I've yet to see this. mate messaged it to me last night and I couldn't believe it.

I've been drinking every day and night for about six weeks so very much need a tea to detox and watch this... seems a good match; a good suit.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by dparrott » 26 Nov 2022, 18:16

I skipped through it.

Didn't like so much footage and interviews of random people. 10 mins of swingers? 3 mins of car making? It's fine to show origins of the songs for a minute, but not for several minutes each.

Loved the interviews and backstage stuff. Apples and bananas as Alex's bits! LOL The piano version of G&B was funny too.

I don't see how people see it as dark. At least not the band's stuff. Maybe Damon's interview yeah. To me it's goofy fun.

Seeing that country house live performance still gets me emotional all these years later!

They could have easily edited it down to just the Blur bits and made a half hour TV show.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by Moritz » 29 Nov 2022, 17:43

I guess everything importaint was told before. But yeah, nice to see a bit more of the backstage footage from No Distance Left To Run and the It Could Be You clip :D That's basically all!

Some band clips are funny, but still wasted potential for me! At least a bit more of the Seaside and arena tour gigs would have been cool, especially because of the interesting setlists from this time. Nothing would have been wrong with another Starshaped or Showtime themed film, or even a mixture with the interview/staged scenes and full live performances. They screw it up for me with the playback clips from the HMV and Eastbourne segments. I wonder if there is more unused material in void?

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Re: B-Roads

Post by MsMagicAmerica » 04 Dec 2022, 09:23


I haven’t been on here in a bit so I missed it when the link was posted. I thought I had missed out.

I can’t wait to watch it after work.

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