Saturday 12 November 2011

Sound It Out review (The List, Issue 690)

The tagline for this affectionate record store documentary is ‘High Fidelity with a Northern accent’, and it is a rare case of the marketing being bang on the money. A labour of love for director Jeanie Finlay, who also produced the film and did most of the camerawork, Sound It Out is as low-budget as professional filmmaking gets, but Finlay’s passion for the subject is evident in every frame; the film resonates with the soul of a music lover.

The subject in question is Sound It Out Records, Teeside’s last surviving record shop, and something of a haven for Northern England’s record-lovers, music completists and social misfits. Through interviews with employees and customers, as well as plenty of in-store footage, Finlay builds up a picture of the community this store, and more specifically it’s devoted owner Tom, has cultivated and in many ways cared for for over 20 years in Stockton. It’s touching, at times very funny and also surprisingly moving. As well as crafting an insightful portrait of a specific place, Finlay effectively captures the moment of transition that record collectors worldwide are in, as the physical, tangible aspect of owning music gradually disappears. Highly recommended.

Showing at Glasgow Grosvenor on Weds 16th November, 6.30pm and Edinburgh Cameo on Thurs 17th November, 9pm, with a post-screening Q&A from director/producer Jeanie Finlay at both screenings. More info at This review first published in The List.