On The Road
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Cast: Wolf Alice - Ellie Rowsell, Joff Oddie, Joel Amey, Theo Ellis
Genre: Drama Documentary
Country of Origin: UK 2016 122 mins.
Released by Lorton Distribution
North London band Wolf Alice (Ellie Rowsell, Joff Oddie, Joel Amey, Theo Ellis, who take their collective name from an Angela Carter story) have had a rise to prominence that might have been bends-inducing were it not for their tightness as a group. In summer of 2015, the deliciously dark, hook-and-riff-filled sound of their debut album, My Love Is Cool, inspired the NME to crown it: “the debut of the decade”.
As a measure of their impact, BAFTA-winning filmmaker Michael Winterbottom joined the band on the road, capturing 16 different gigs and daily life backstage. Winterbottom’s resulting tour film – which records the tour from the point of view of a new member of their crew – is a refreshingly unusual one with unexpected twists; it reveals the relentless, sometimes unglamorous graft of playing loud, hot, physical music, night after night. But the film also mesmerises, offering a structure that reveals more, at every stop on the road, of the nuanced musicality of the full band, and the bewitching talent and charisma of front woman, Ellie Rowsell.
Michael Winterbottom, director says:
“The starting point for the film was a long time ago in a bar in New York when we met up with a band called Ash. They told us all about their life on the road – an endless string of festivals and gigs. It sounded romantic and terrible at the same time. I was curious to try and make a film about that sort of life.”
2016 London Film Festival.