Doc’n Roll Film Festival 2017

Karen Shook previews this year's edition of Doc'n Roll Film Festival, a showcase of great music docs coming to London.

The First Lady of Song and the founding father of British folk rock, soul survivors forged in Sheffield and the Deep South and German electro pioneers, bass masters and DIY doom-metal mongers, punk rock pioneers and restless global pilgrims: the wide world of popular music in all its headstrong diversity returns to the big screens of London’s Picturehouse cinemas this November, courtesy of the fourth annual Doc’n Roll Film Festival.

From the ground-breaking producer Conny Plank to the live passion and life trials of Joe Cocker and Ella Fitzgerald’s velvet-voiced classics; from acclaimed singer-songwriter/guitarist Richard Thompson to Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and indie stalwarts Jawbreaker and Deer Tick; from hip hop’s rediscovery of funk-soul singer Syl Thompson and the unexpected late-life success of Leo “Bud” Welch to behind-the-scenes tales from the musicians who made the bass their own; from Death’s Florida-bred metal to L7’s fearless grunge-era adventures; from intrepid Iranian DJs to Latin American star Residente’s search for his roots: these 15 peerlessly curated films run the gamut from tragedy to glory and back again.

Fuelled by unique directorial visions and fan-funded devotion, these windows onto a gamut of musical landscapes offer insights like no other. You’ll find fresh takes on the figures you love and think you know and persuasive portraits of those you may not, along with never-before-seen performance footage, exclusive interviews and telling confessions and, of course, the unforgettable music itself, via screenings that include a number of world, European, UK and London premieres.

Across a stellar setlist of stories as unique and compelling as the experience of hearing history-making classics for the very first time or the hundredth, Doc’n Roll’s latest collaboration with Picturehouse cinemas proves, once again, just why music has earned its place in the hearts and ears of us all.


The 4th edition of Doc’n Roll Festival returns to The Ritzy, Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse and Picturehouse Central. 2 –  17 November.


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