it's not where your from, it's where you're at : spike island the film
it's not where your from, it's where you're at : spike island the film

it's not where your from, it's where you're at : spike island the film
it’s not where your from, it’s where you’re at : spike island the film

‘Spike Island’, the film about the Stone Roses Spike Island gig is nearing completion as LTW spoke to writer Chris Coghill.

The film doesnt feature the band and it doesnt need to feature the band as it’s about a gang of mates who go to the legendary gig back in 1990. This is a more interesting angle as part of the Roses thing, was like punk, that it was about the people as much as the bands.

The film, which stars Shameless actor Elliott Tittensor and Games Of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke and revolves around an unsigned band from a council estate in Manchester and their adventures on the day of the gig.

We bumped into Chris at the Roses press conference last October and he told us the film was ‘like a road-movie, it’s a love story, it’s a classic story. It’s my love letter to The Stone Roses and to Manchester in 1990. It was an amazing time to grow up, and it’s my way of telling the story of that time.’

We interviewed Chris last week and he gave us these updates on the film.

What’s the film about?
The film SPIKE ISLAND is basically a coming of age story told against the backdrop of 1990 Manchester and of course, the Stone Roses gig at the pollution pumping industrial site on the banks of the dirty Mersey. It tells the story of five mates who are obsessed with the Roses and who have their own band ‘Shadow Caster’.
We follow the lads’ quest to try and get tickets for the gig and when they fail, their attempts to blag their way there, blag there way in and ultimately blag their way backstage to try and get their demo tape to the band.

Who’s in the film?
I’m in it! but only in a fairly minor role. The main lads are Elliot Titennsor, Nico Mirallegro, Jordan Murphy, Oliver Heald and Adam Long.
it also features Emilia Clarke, Antonia Thomas, Steve Evets, Matthew McNulty, Leslie Manville, Jodie Whittaker, Phil Jackson, Rob James Collier and more.
There are a few little cameos from the odd Manc leg end. Cressa, Rowetta, Terry Christian and Scully all bob up.

What’s the history of the film?
I started writing it almost four years ago so it makes me smile when people ask about cashing in on the reunion.
It started life as an idea for a TV series set in Afflecks Palace in the early 90’s (where i used to work)
The lads (shadow caster) were a group of characters within the series whose story was that they had formed their band as a result of seeing the Roses in Widnes.
They quickly became the favourite characters and myself and the producer, Fiona Neilson thought Fuck it, let’s do the story of them going to Spike Island instead.
The BFI came on board immediately and then we got a distribution deal with Revolver entertainment and BBC films also came on board..
We’re hoping it will be released before the end of the year. I’ll let you know when we do..

Did you go to Spike Island?
I didn’t go to Spike Island. I was let down the day before with a ticket that a lad at school promised me I could have. I didn’t actually see them live until The Second Coming tour when Reni was no longer with them. I still thought they were fucking incredible because I am love with their songs but obviously Reni is a genius and adds a different level.
But the Roses always made me want to do something different. I have no musical ability whatsoever. which is probably why I’m an actor. And now a writer too.

Tell us about the press conference…
As you know I was at the press conference, we had a cup of tea beforehand!
I was just buzzing to be there. I’d heard a rumour about where it was and turned up at the hotel and tried to blag it in. Luckily I saw Ian B outside and he took me in with him..
The press conference itself was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Ian was on top form. For me to see the four of them sat together in a room again was dream come true and for them to announce they were playing again and in my home town of Prestwich was mega. My mum and dad still live next to Heaton Park and my dad was texting me on the Thursday night saying he was in the garden listening to them soundcheck. It was one of the only times in the last 20 years I wished I still lived at home.
All three of the gigs themselves were incredible. I was there every night. The atmosphere before they come on on the Friday night was something very special and that kid selling it on Ebay is on to a winner. I thought on the Saturday night, musically they were on a different planet. Don’t Stop is still on a psychedelic loop in my brain..
I’m just about to book flights and accommodation to go out to Milan to see them again next week.

Are you looking forward to the Shane Meadows documentary?
I can’t wait to see the Shane Meadows doc. I’m a big fan of his films and I was lucky enough to meet him at the after party on the Sunday night.
To see the gigs again will be top and I know that the banter will be funny as fuck. I’m also hoping we might get a sneaky peak in the studio and possibly hear something new.
Roll on the resurrection.
RIP Chris Brahney. One Love.

Please go to the Facebook page for the Spike Island film here…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Stone Roses \'Spike Island\' Film : Interview with Director Chris Coghill | The Press Archive @ Emilia Clarke Central

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