Review: ‘Sound It Out’

Anyone who misspent their youth loitering in record stores will find much to enjoy in this affectionate docu tribute to Sound It Out Records, the only independent music outlet in the north of England.

Anyone who misspent their youth loitering in record stores will find much to enjoy in this affectionate docu tribute to Sound It Out Records, the only independent music outlet in the north of England. Wryly philosophical staff and overwhelmingly male customers at the titular shop provide an entertaining focus for this crowd-funded labor of love.

Although not in the same maladjusted league as the Gotham cinephiles celebrated in 2002’s “Cinemania,” the vinyl junkies from Stockton-on-Tees certainly rep a diverse set, fairly described by the store’s chief employee as “not the ordinary people.” Largely content to lurk near the racks and catch what comes her way, multi-asking filmmaker Jeanie Finlay makes the odd foray into customers’ homes, offering poignant insights into the likes of lonely shelf-stacker Shane, a cerebral palsy sufferer and obsessive fan of Status Quo. Overall, no big revelations emerge, beyond the fact that, “Men like to collect. Men like music. Men like collecting music.” Pic won’t win any awards for creative innovation and makes no persuasive case for significant theatrical exhibition, but as a niche ancillary item for fans of alternative music, it does the job nicely.

Sound It Out

U.K.

Production

A Glimmer Films presentation in association with Sideshow. (International sales: Pipoca Pictures, Nottingham, U.K.) Produced by Jeanie Finlay. Executive producer, Dunstan Bruce. Directed, written by Jeanie Finlay.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Finlay, Steven Sheil; editor, Barbara Zosel; music supervisor, Graham Langley. Reviewed on DVD, London, June 12, 2011. (In Sheffield Doc/Fest; Edinburgh, SXSW film festivals.) Running time: 74 MIN.

With

Tom Butchart, David Laybourne, Becky Jones, Chris Smith, Shane Healey, Daniel Lettin, Sam Howard, Gareth Williams, Kelly Laybourne, Aaron Frankey McGlade, John Taylor, Dave Weedall, Richard Weedall, Malcolm Bowen.
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