A funny wee film about music and death, Paul Fegan’s beautiful documentary is a warm-hearted journey through Scottish landscape, culture and music with cult-pop raconteur Aidan Moffat (formerly of Arab Strap) as your guide.
When Falkirk indie songwriter Aidan Moffat sets out to explore Scotland’s past by rewriting and touring its oldest folk songs, he doesn’t count on running into 79-year-old force of nature Sheila Stewart. The last in a line of travelling folk royalty, balladeer and traditional-music pioneer Sheila (who, in her heyday, performed for a president and a pope), it’s safe to say, does not share Moffat’s belief that the old songs are ripe for updating. So with Stewart’s wrath ringing in his ears, Moffat embarks on a musical road trip. And what was meant to be a tour that celebrated communities and lore, instead finds himself swimming against a tide of everything from casual indifference to outright hostility – not that Moffat has ever been one to care too many hoots about what people think of him. All of which will culminate in a climatic hometown gig at Glasgow Barrowlands and an unlikely final showdown with Sheila, his new-found friend and quasi-nemesis.
Humorous, moving and an occasionally cringeworthy experience (that serves both Stewart and Moffat wonderfully well), this clash of cultures tale demonstrates that both the old and the new will always be concerned about their legacy. And the sad death of Stewart in the wake of the making of the film gives an added poignancy to what is is already a touching, wry and enlightening depiction of two of Scotland’s most distinct and vital voices.
Followed by a Q&A with director Paul Fegan and Live set by Aidan Moffat.
Into your music docs? Why not check out The Sad and Beautiful World of Sparklehorse + Director's Q&A (Thu 30 June 20:30) and One More Time With Feeling (Thu 8 Sept 21:00)