“Bottom line, it was fun,” says self-declared Glaswegian ginger bastard Alan McGee (Ewen Bremner). Poolside in LA, the music executive reflects on his label, Creation Records, which ran from 1983 to 1999 and produced acts including the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and Oasis. Suki Waterhouse plays a journalist profiling McGee, a framing device that should, in theory, allow the film to rollick through his formative moments and skip over any boring bits.
It’s not unfun, exactly, to watch McGee going on an ill-advised coke bender with a sleazy film producer played by Jason Isaacs, ingratiating himself with Tony Blair (James Payton) and taking advice from an occultist (Steven Berkoff) he hallucinates at a house party. Yet the frenetic pacing, intended to sweep the audience along, can’t draw attention away from Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh’s platitude-riddled script. Their key message, to “be a rebel, always”, as underscored in a Trainspotting-lite speech that closes out the film, feels oddly generic.