24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
About The Music
With the focus of the film so heavily
on the music, it was essential to recreate the live atmosphere that had put
Manchester on the map. To achieve this Eaton and Winterbottom brought in Martin
Moscrop, guitarist with A Certain Ratio, to oversee the live sets and teach the
actors how to play the tunes note for note — some of whom had never picked up
an instrument in their lives.
"They first sent me a script
because A Certain Ratio are in the film" says Moscrop. "They
sent me a script and a release form, and I wrote back saying I'd love to make
a cameo appearance, and at the bottom I added a bit about how I could help the
film musically. I forgot all about that letter, but that might have been what
planted the seed with them." Moscrop was working at a studio at a local
college when he first met Winterbottom. "Michael came down to the
studio," he says, "and just started chatting to me about the studio
and stuff. Then Mike and Nic (1st
and 2nd AD's) came to my house to ask me if I could help recruit musicians. So
from a few little meetings with
people, it just seemed to escalate."
Moscrop's role was to ensure the
pseudo-bands looked like the originals in their mannerisms and playing
techniques. He also had to teach them to play the real thing, to look like they
were hitting the right notes, playing the right chords, basslines, drum beats,
etc. "There is nothing worse than seeing a film about music when the sound
coming out of the speakers bears no relation to what the actors are playing on
screen," says Moscrop. "When musicians watch films, they just pick
holes in it" he adds. "I know it's really petty, but if it's a
film about music, then that aspect of it should be correct."
Among the live recreations Moscrop
oversaw was the Sex Pistols' first gig at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade
Hall, New Order and Happy Mondays gig at Manchester Apollo, Stone Roses and the
Mondays in Battle of the Bands at the Hacienda, and Joy Division at The Russell
Club. "I really liked working with Joy Division because all the actors were
excellent. They were really hard workers, and would do a lot of research and
take it very, very seriously. I liked working with the Mondays team, too. And it
was great doing Siouxsie and the Banshees, because the gig we were recreating, I
was there as a 16 or 17-year-old, so it brought back loads of memories."
Another strange feeling for Moscrop was working with the actors to recreate the
live performances of his own band, A Certain Ratio. "That was quite an
emotional part of the process," he says.
Sean Harris, who plays Joy Division
vocalist Ian Curtis, studied his counterpart in depth up to and during
production. He also perfected Curtis' infamous freaky dancing from watching
video footage of Curtis on stage. "You just kind of soak yourself in all
the videos and watch them," he says. "Of course you can't do what he
did, really you can't, but you just try and be as close to it as you can. You've
just got to let yourself go, even enjoy it in a way, which I have done. I
enjoyed losing myself — moments of it were just fantastic, actually. As an
actor you don't get many opportunities to do that."
Having never played guitar, Ralf Little
took on the challenge of Joy Division and New Order bassist, Hooky. "I was
a bit worried," he says. "The bass lines were simple enough. I mean
â€˜Love Will Tear Us Apart' — anyone that plays the guitar will just laugh
at how un-diff
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