Grant McPhee’s ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ gives unsung heroes-musicians a voice to reclaim their significant groundwork and creation of Scotland’s launch pad for indie bands from 1977 to the mid-1980s, including Orange Juice, The Scars, Fire Engines and Josef K, whose inspiration still echoes in today’s indie-music market.

Los Angeles, CA – July 12, 2018 – A labor of love to Scotland’s music scene, Director Grant McPhee’s feature-length documentary‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ takes a trip down memory lane to recognize two short-lived Scottish labels, FAST Product and Postcard Records, who revolutionized the post-punk and independent music scene during the late ‘70s to the mid ‘80s, blazing the trail for future celebrated indie artists such as Orange Juice, The Scars, The Human League, Gang of Four and Dead Kennedys. 

Written by Angela Slaven and narrated by Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens), ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ provides the missing pieces to Scotland’s post-punk and pop history by authentically stitching together archived and now-aged footage of interviews including FAST Product’s Bob Last, music legend, Peter Hook (Joy Division) and indie bands like The Fire Engines and Orange Juice. Though “most of the world is unaware of their importance to the modern day music scene,” wrote JP’s Music Blog (Pasinski), ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ is an insightful submergence into the golden age of Scottish Post-punk, who’s “inspiration still echoes in today’s indie-market.”

“What ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ achieves with its national broadcast is finally what Fast Product, Morrison and Last deserve: mainstream recognition,” wrote KILTR.

Photo from BBC: Phil Oakey of the Human League. Bob Last’s Edinburgh-based independent label Fast Product signed the band in 1978. (Photo by Peter Noble/Redferns).

By re-creating the era with stylized tenement flats, ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ mirrored the one FAST Product grew out of, near Edinburgh Art College by Bob Last alongside Hilary Morrison. FAST Product was born with a means to represent emerging, unique and indie artists who embodied the label’s mantra of avoiding “mainstream” music, bringing to life cult-legendary, post-punk sounds from The Scars, English bands: The Mekons, Gang Of Four, synth-pop favorites, Human League and USA’s Dead Kennedys. With several emerging post-punk artists their belts, Last and Morrison are also noted for their launch of the label, Pop Aural, and as precursors to legendary indie labels like Factory and Creation Records. Unlike FAST Product, across the M8 in a Glasgow flat, Alan Horne (who is not pictured in the film) launched Postcard Records, a label that focused on what he thought were mainstream, commercial pop music and radio-friendly artists, then noted as “the sound of young Scotland”. Postcard Records signed and released about a dozen records, creating a launch pad for Glasgow artists beginning with their flagship band, Orange Juice, and signed polished-sounds from artists like The Go-Betweens and Aztec Camera, whom inspired future world celebrated artists, such as The Smiths.

Photo from BBC: 
Poor Old Soul by Orange Juice, Postcard Records, 1981.

The labels’ groundbreaking roles in the world-changing, post-punk music scene created the soundtrack of an alternative culture, consisting of innovative and experimental fierce guitar shreds coming from hole-in-the-wall venues and alternative record stores. As two label gems with eclectic rosters and inspired by DIY / independent musical ethics, McPhee showcases the labels’ profound shape on the course of indie music as it broke away from the stereotypical “rock band” cliché to re-focus their musical energy on the incorporation of ideas from films, literature, art and politics, and to utilize the labels as a launching pad for eventual worldwide music history. An interview with McPhee reveals that Scotland managed to consistently produce various talented and independent bands due to the labels’ acquiring of “people [who had] an element of success [to] inspire others to believe they could do something similar. And generations of others have been inspired to either try the exact opposite or something similar to those who came before.”

McPhee’s ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ charts “the legacy of Scottish indie pop [which] is proudly proclaimed over this wonderful ninety-minutes. An illuminating watch,” raved Vinyl-Revolution, adding “but you’ll always need a good song. And the sound of young Scotland had these in spades.”

Photo from BBC: Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins in 1981 (Photo by Virginia Turbett/Redferns).

‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ credits producer Wendy Griffin alongside co-producers, Innes Reekie, Erik Sandberg and Angela Slaven, featuring pivotal interviews from main players like Fire Engines’ front-man Davy Henderson, Josef K guitarist, Malcolm Ross, Joy Division’s Peter Hook (who confirms his band’s fondness for Fast Product during his appearance), The Scars vocalist, Robert King and FAST Product’s Last. At the 2015 Edinburgh International Film Festival, ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ was rewarded with the prestigious Audience Award, has received placement on Best Films lists for Sight and Sound and Dazed Films and also was placed on UK’s iNews list for Best Documentaries.

‘BIG GOLD DREAM: SCOTTISH POST-PUNK AND INFILTRATING THE MAINSTREAM’ is now available on video streaming platforms including, Amazon. Watch it here today:

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BIG GOLD DREAM (2015, 94 min.) Directed by Grant McPhee. Produced by: Grant McPhee, Wendy Griffin. Co Produced – Innes Reekie, Erik Sanberg, Angela Slaven. Editor: Angela Slaven. Cinematography by: Grant McPhee, Martin Parry, Garry Torrance. UK, English. TriCoast Worldwide.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Year Zero Filmmaking / Tartan Features. Producers: Grant McPhee and Wendy Griffin. Co-producers: Innes Reekie, Erik Sandberg, Angela Slaven.

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