What happened is never as interesting as why it mattered. Some biopics, such as the recent Schemers, are like Wikipedia pages when they should be novels. Creation Stories goes some way to rectifying this. A frankly manic film with the pacing of a TikTok video on ecstasy, it follows Alan McGee, the head of Creation Records, from the label’s inception until its dissolvement and McGee’s ultimate disillusionment with music. It reunites Ewen Bremner with the work of Irvine Welsh, here providing a screenplay with more ‘c***s’ than a Republican rally. So far, so Scottish.

All films of this ilk with working class schemers and deluges of drugs exist in the shadow of Trainspotting. Bremner’s voiceover as McGee and zany visuals, like McGee’s face flushing down a loo, don’t help. But an enthusiastic cast and the film’s priority to entertain rather than inform make Creation Stories hard to dislike. There’s a tangible love for both the man at the heart of the story and the scene he represented.

It helps that McGee himself has depth, self-aware enough to recognise his intellectual downfalls while capitalising on his knack for spotting an opportunity. His strained relationship with success shows the uncomfortable dynamic between authenticity and mass appeal, here depicted as his endorsement of New Labour, quickly souring when he realises the then-opposition are as much a part of the establishment. That the film is told with such joyful energy belies a depressing conclusion to McGee’s music career, falling out of love with what used to be his entire world.

Director Nick Moran convinces that all this mattered, a grassroots scene with genre-defining talent and McGee’s savvy at its centre. Equally as important is the culture which ended it all. A frequently funny film with a deceptive amount of pathos.



CAST: Ewen Bremner, Suki Waterhouse, Jason Isaacs, Paul Kaye, Thomas Turgoose, Jason Flemyng and Ed Byrne

DIRECTOR: Nick Moran

WRITERS: Irvine Welsh, Dean Cavanagh 

SYNOPSIS: The story of legendary head of Creation Records, Alan McGee, from his first signings to his disillusionment, featuring drugs, drama, and Oasis.