Shove the shortbread and crank the amp, THE YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO BECOMING A ROCK STAR is a comedy drama about a Glaswegian band trying to hit the big time without breaking the bonnie banks. Could this be the Scottish MOHkQES? Words: Peter Ross
ORANGE JUICE RIPPED IT UP, THE MARY CHAIN HUNG upside down and The Supernaturals just smiled. Now it‘s the turn of The Jocks Wa-Hey to paint the charts tartan with their own brand of Scot bop. That is. if you're watching The Young P'rsnn's Guide '12) BMW/IIng A Rock Star. Channel 4‘s new six—part satire on the tips and downs. high roads and low roads of a Iiye-piece Glaswegian indie band — shades of Garbage and the Super Furry Animals — trying to make it in a London-centric music biz.
Penned by Crow Road writer Bryan lilslcy and boasting a cast more crammed with Scots than a queue for free deep—fried Mars Bars. the show was shot in Glasgow and other parts of Scotland over three months until October.
The two most high-profile Scots actors in the group are Simone Lahbib. who plays Fiona Johnstone. full-time dole officer and part-time disc-spinner/iyory-tinkler; and Stephen McCole. as Wullie ‘Bigot‘ Macphail. part-time bass thing and full-time dirty orange bastard. Plus. you'ye got I’orbes Masson as the band manager. Keith Allen as a psycho A&R man. and a multitude of cameos from the likes of Denise Van ()uten. Sara Cox. Jay Kay and. easy girls. Keith Chegwin.
‘I played in hands when I was youngerf says Stirling- born Lahbib. best known for her work in [TV cop drama 'l'liie/‘Yizkers. ‘We did demos and all that. which was good experience for this. I was actually offered a solo deal. but it was doing somebody else‘s songs. which I didn’t like. I also did some recording with Bobby Bluebell and he ended up writing one of the songs for this.‘
Also getting jiggy with it on the soundtrack are Robbie Williams. Pink Floyd. The Carpenters and. lest we forget. Big John from The Exploited. Iiyen ex-Marillion frontman Fish has risen to the acting bait as Derek Trout. eccentric owner of a secluded recording studio. for a scene filmed in deepest I.args which turned rather messy.
‘We went into this huge dining hall with family portraits all round the walls and £l().()()() worth of table dressings and we filmed a food fight.’ recalls Lahbib. ‘I swear. there was mince and tatties on the roof! We were all coyered from head to toe and so were all the walls and carpets.‘
Such total immersion in food would not haye troubled Stephen McCoIe. who had to pile on the pounds for his role as a bass-playing. Catholic-baiting. chip-guzzling nutter. More used to playing the pharmaceutically skinny type in the 'I‘ruins/mtting stage play and the forthcoming Acid House moyie. McCoIe had to mend his meal-skipping ways for the part of Wullie Macphail.
‘Wullie's an animal. he‘s totally gross. so Stephen had to put on a serious amount of weight.’ laughs Lahbib. ‘IIe‘s basically eaten all the pics. but so haye 1. Scotland is. after all. the land of the pies.‘
18 THE LIST ‘) 19 T‘io‘.’ 1998
'Wullie's an animal, he's totally gross. He's basically eaten all the pies, but so
havel. Scotland is, after all, the land of the pies.’
Luckin weight gain was effectiycly countered during the many iiye scenes required by the script. The actors had to master their instruments and play in front of hundreds of screaming extras at Glasgow Venues including Barrowland. the Arches and the Cathouse a daunting prospect which required I.ahbib to lake piano lessons and brush up on her scratching skills during a club night at Glasgow's l31h .\'ote.
The actress. who has liyed in London for four years. has enjoyed Glasgow life so much during the shoot thanks to the hospitality in bars such as The I.iying Room and The Lounge that she has plans to get a place north of the border.
‘I‘ye really fallen in onc with Glasgow.‘ she says. ‘l’eople are more laid back here. so my plan is to buy a place just outside Glasgow. Another big acting job and I‘ll do it.~
If The lining l’vrwn 's (Mir/v 'li) liven/Hing .-I lx’m'k Slur is a bit. then it might be sooner than she thinks.
The Young Person’s Guide To Becoming A Rock Star starts on Channel 4, Tue 10 Nov, 10pm.