Back in May, my friend Iggy (who lives in Berlin) asked whether I fancied joining him at the above mentioned event. Of course, I said, Yes Please! A chance to get out and do something fun that doesn’t involve the child? Hell yeah! Those moments don’t come around very often, you know?
London was packed, unsurprisingly so, I might add. Pride In London was in town and the area around Picadilly Circus and Regent’s Street was heaving.
We sought and found shelter, a good view and lunch in Pizza Hut. I had already eaten so only had a Strawberry Milkshake and a slice of Deep Pan pizza that Iggy was kind enough to share. The view, btw, was fantastic!
Several soda refills and a good chat later it neared 5pm and we went on our merry way to the Picturehouse. In it, we killed the time with a latte and mocha, but the drinks were still hot when we walked upstairs and found the band, filmmakers and guests.
I’m pretty sure Iggy was vibrating with excitement so I just stood back and listened and took photos…and tried not to scald my tongue on the still hot Mocha, which I finished just in time for the film. Let me quote Progress Film to explain what ADbM is about:
In 2006, five-piece rock and roll band I Like Trains were the toast of the music industry. They were signed to a major label and playing sold out tours around the world. They had money, momentum and were fulfilling their dreams. A Divorce Before Marriage picks up the story five years later, where, due to the decline of the music industry and a change in their fortune, the band are now in a very different position, fighting for their lives to exist in a wildly different musical landscape, trying to financially support themselves through dead end jobs and low paid gigs.
Over the course of the next three years, we document each band member as they adjust to their new found lifestyle, moving away from the bright lights and dizzying heights of music stardom and into the real world where careers, family and adulthood are paramount. Self-organised tours and the independent release of their third album serve as a reminder of a life once lived. This is now a band in the middle, steadfast in their determination to succeed in a stagnant music industry.
Capturing the timeless, bittersweet beauty of Yorkshire, A Divorce Before Marriage is a cinematic portrait of five men battling to express themselves against the detritus of everyday life. It isn’t just a film about a band, it represents a struggle which every creative in modern Britain can understand: leading double lives to keep artistic freedom alive. As filmmakers, this was something we could relate to ourselves.
This film was financed through a Kickstarter Campaign:
After nearly two years of shooting, we launched a Kickstarter campaign for the film. With a trailer to show the direction of the film and a significant fan base of the band to appeal to, the campaign was a big success. We smashed through our initial goal of £16,000 to raise over £28,000 in funding. After the campaign was over, we took a step back and looked hard at the film we wanted to make. We ended up shooting for another 18 months, allowing us to tell a three and a half year story.
If you’ve seen a few Channel4 documentaries, you know the style: wide angles, close ups, haunting music. It’s nothing new, but it’s gorgeous. I could look at stuff like that for hours.
At one point I got a bit worried about Iggy as the film suggested an imminent break-up of the band, but (SPOILER ALERT!) all ended well and on a positive note. He also briefly appeared in it, definitely a highlight!
The film was followed by a Q&A, which was hosted by former NME Editor Anthony Thornton, who – as he started off explaining – as his last act in office (so to speak) tried to get everyone to notice iLT.
The small After Party was an extension of the pre-party and the wine must have literally flowed, because we only managed to get one glass each. We did end up chatting to some of the band’s family and friends, which was lovely. Of course, we also ventured into #Brexit territory. We all agreed that it sucked.
A beer and Pimm’s later, we crashed (more like perched on the edge of) one of the sofas in the bar and watched the rest of the Croatia vs Portugal match, munching a late dinner of Sweet Potato chips. Yum.
All in all a fabulous evening. Thanks, Iggy. Have a good flight back to Berlin!