Sound It Out

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A look at Teesside’s cultural haven and last saving grace.

Image of Sound It Out

@ The Glad Cafe, Glasgow, Tues 14 April 2015

Jeanie Finlay / UK / 2011 / 75 mins

Taking place just days before this year’s Record Store Day, the Southside Film Festival’s screening of Sound It Out couldn’t be more appropriate. Jeanie Finlay’s heart-warming documentation of Teesside’s last surviving record shop highlights the significance of music in its customers’ lives, as songs of both love and sadness follow each character around.

Hidden in the back streets of Stockton-on-Tees, the shop provides a lifeline for music lovers in this seemingly desolate, post-industrial landscape. The shop manager, Tom Butchart, offers his customers an escape from their humdrum town, in the same way that the music transports them away from the realities of their lives. Butchart himself has a glimmer of John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity. Both him and his laid back staff showcase their encyclopaedic knowledge of music, sourcing out customer demands within minutes. However, they are slightly more accepting of their clientele’s music choices than the staff of Championship Vinyl. Sound It Out welcomes everyone.

Both the characters and the production have a gritty 90s feel to them, illustrating how this may be a town going stagnant, but that Butchart’s record shop is its one salvation. It leaves audiences itching to get home and dust off their own record collection, lie down, and be absorbed by the imperfect sounds.