Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating:
THE brains behind Spinal Tap, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer
and Mike McKean, are back with another brilliant parody of the
music business: but this time the target is folk music rather
than heavy metal.
When Irving Steinbloom, a major player in the US folk-music industry,
dies his son Jonathan decides to hold a tribute concert featuring
a few of the major artistes, The Folksmen, The New Main Street
Singers and Micky and Mitch, that his father had steered to success
during his time in the 1960s as head of Folk Town records.
The problem is he only has two weeks to organise the bash and
not one of the acts has yet agreed to appear on the bill. But
after a lot of effort he tracks them all down and gets them to
agree to appear.
It's at this point that the fun really begins.
As he did with Best In Show and the aforementioned, if you will,
'rockumentary', Christopher Guest has written a sharply observed
script, which, while not quite as satirical as his previous outings,
is a gas from start to finish.
As always with Guest's projects, the humour comes from the acutely
drawn characters as much as the situations that they find themselves
The Folksmen, Guest, McKean and Shearer (who excels as the bald
headed, bearded bass-man), are a smug, slightly pompous trio who
hold themselves in far too high a regard since their music is
actually as corny as a field of maize.
The New Main Street Singers are a slightly sinister bunch of
rednecks whose philosophy embraces everything from down-home family
values to the holistic benefits of colour therapy.
Last but not least are the bill toppers Mitch and Micky, a saccharine-sweet
duo whose male half suffers from mental health problems and is
prone to disappearing at the drop of a hat.
Will the Irving Steinbloom memorial concert ever get off the
ground? The only way to find out is to see this excellent film.