Saturday, 13 February 2016

Attack Of Life: The Bang Tango Movie

Sometimes, you don't want to know what happened to those who meant so much when you were growing up.

Sometimes, the memories are enough. And the world can stay a nice warm place.

Other times, you can't help yourself and you have to take a look.

This is the quandary I found myself facing after finding out that Drew Fortier had decided to document the 30-odd years since Bang Tango exploded into the world.

And, selfishly, into my life.

Granted, most people reading this won't have a clue who Bang Tango are - but if you were a fan of rock music in the late 80s/early 90s then this was a band you should have caught.


Sadly, not many did.

Which makes this labour of love all the more impressive. It takes a special kind of dedication to tackle a subject not many people will be interested.

But Fortier does a good job.

Starting with the band's inception, he talks to all the key players and covers all the big events - and, as someone who classes himself as a fan, he manages to dig out things that you didn't know about.

The production values aren't high, but then it's a self-funded piece so that's not surprising.

But this doesn't detract from the film as a whole, and if anything it adds to the feeling of discovering something no one else knows about.

A feeling you can still get today by going and digging out Psycho Cafe or Dancing On Coals.

Where Fortier shines, though, is in not sugar-coating the tale.

As a self-confessed fan (and someone who is now in the band), it would have been easy to gloss over the screw-ups and just paint the band as victims of circumstance.

But he sidesteps that, and tells the tale warts and all.

The bad decisions made around the second album, the near-fatal accident, singer Joe Leste's issues and approach to certain incidents are all laid bare as we discover how the grunge movement, crap record labels, ego and attitude all came together to kybosh what should have been a successful career.

Not everyone comes out of this looking good, with Leste in particular showing himself to still have an ego that far outweighs his band's station in life.

Again, credit has to go to Fortier for both going there, and then putting it in the final piece.

Sure, Attack isn't perfect, but what it is is an honest, passionate portrayal of a band that meant precious little to most of you - but to a tiny few of us provided the soundtrack to our formative years.

Still, don't take my word for it. Watch for yourself:

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