HIGH ON HOPE, Piers Sanderson’s documentary about the Hardcore Uproar parties in Blackburn in the late Eighties and early Nineties has already won acclaim at film festivals in Barcelona and Leeds, and with a bit of luck it will be touring around the UK next year. Keep an eye on the High on Hope off-yer-Facebook for more details.
In the meantime, here’s an exclusive interview with the film’s wobbly cinematographer, the visionary social historian and painfully shy local raver known at the time as Preston Bob – his real name is actually David Rostron – without whom High on Hope would simply not have been possible.
Nice one, David.
PIERS SANDERSON is a documentary filmmaker who has put together a feature-length film about the warehouse parties that took place in and around Blackburn in Lancashire from the end of the Eighties to the start of the Nineties.
As well as in-depth interviews with many of the people who organised and attended the Blackburn parties, High On Hope also features previously unseen footage shot in warehouses at the time.
Sanderson planned to release the film last year but ran into problems licensing the music used in the film. I got in touch with him via the High On Hope website and he agreed to answer a few questions about the project.
IT TAKES me a couple of seconds to realise that the Third Davyhulme Scout & Guide Marching Band are playing Hit The North as they turn onto Deansgate in front of us.
Somehow their spirited instrumental rendition of Mark E Smith’s tale of useless MPs and big wide streets manages to be utterly ludicrous and totally brilliant at exactly the same time, perfectly setting the tone for the rest of the Procession put together by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with the people (and football club mascots) of Greater Manchester.
Criticised, a little unfairly I think, for not attracting more Manchester residents to Manchester International Festival in 2007, MIF director Alex Poots wanted to find a big, high-profile, mass-participation, free event for the festival’s opening weekend and with thousands of people lining the parade route, Procession seems to have done the trick.
While Deller has a history of tackling big ideas, people are always at the very heart of his work and it is the people of Manchester who make the parade – and the city – what it is. Poignant, daft, inspiring, hilarious and baffling in equal measure, it perhaps sums up the complexities and contradictions of Manchester as well as any official census or commercial survey.
“I love parades, so I’d like to do my own parade about a town that I have a lot of love for,” Deller told me at the festival launch. “Even though I don’t live here, it means a lot to me as a part of Britain. It’s a town I’ve been interested in for years. You come up here and the buildings are really telling you about the past. You feel it, you feel the history. I find that very exciting, walking around.”