Made in Sheffield: The Birth of Electronic Pop (2004) (NTSC)

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Released 22-Aug-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Menu Audio
Additional Footage-Extra Interviews
Gallery-Photo
Theatrical Trailer
Additional Footage-Live Footage-Vice Versa, Artery, I'm So Hollow
Booklet
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 52:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Eve Wood
Studio
Distributor
Stomp Visual Starring Phil Oakey
Chris Watson
Martyn Ware
Ian Craig Marsh
Jarvis Cocker
Stephen Singleton
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Various


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Made In Sheffield: The Birth of Electronic Pop is a documentary film by Eve Wood that chronicles the start of the electronic music scene in the steel city in the north of England. In the post-punk era of the late 1970s much of the best burgeoning electronic music was coming from Sheffield with the likes of The Human League, Cabaret Voltaire, Heaven 17 & ABC emerging and racing up the charts. Sheffield was essentially the birthplace of what would become known as the New Wave movement.

    According to the documentary, the aim of many of these bands was to destroy rock music with their blend of strange lyrics, non-conventional use of instruments and trying out as much electronic gear as possible. Some of the groups had enormous talent and enjoyed much success, others had the talent but not the success due to a combination of factors, while others had no talent and no success but still went along for the ride. It seemed as long as you could get your hands on a synthesizer of some sort you could form a band and make a sound and people might come along and listen. It is interesting to hear The Human League lead singer Phil Oakey state that he found it amusing that many of the new bands managed to make music by learning just three chords on their guitars while The Human League got by with just one finger!

    The documentary includes some rare archive footage, snippets of the various hit songs and interviews with many of the people involved at the time. People such as Human League's Phil Oakey and his unlikely cohorts Joanne Catherall & Susan Sully, original Human Leaguers Martyn Ware & Ian Craig Marsh (who after being sacked by Oakey formed Heaven 17), Jarvis Cocker from Pulp, Chris Watson of Cabaret Voltaire, and Stephen Singleton from the band that probably enjoyed the greatest commercial success of the time: ABC. There's a few good stories in here (listening to Martyn Ware still sounding bitter about being sacked from the band he helped form is interesting and a good indication that the music industry is full of ambitious b******s).

    An interesting documentary about an interesting time in music history. A few more live performances would have been nice as the 53 minute running time means the whole thing is over almost as soon as it starts to get entertaining.

 

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1. It is an NTSC disc, so make sure your display is also NTSC capable.

    Obviously a reasonably low budget film with much of the image filmed on what appears to be digital tape-based equipment, so don't expect too much in terms of a visual treat here. But overall it's not that bad. Everything is clear and clean (I expect some of the older 70s and 80s material is from analogue video tape which is extremely fuzzy). There is grain evident in many of the shots with poor lighting, but overall this is a reasonably clean image. There is some low level noise in the older material but it is not too distracting.

    Colours aren't exactly what I'd call vibrant, but the style of film and the content matter presented doesn't really call for heaps of bright colour.

    There are no compression or film-to-video artefacts. Film artefacts are also absent with much of the film shot on tape.

    There are no subtitles which is a shame.

    This is a dual layered disc with the main feature on one layer and the extras on the other.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This documentary comes with just one soundtrack, this being a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track in English.

    This is a soundtrack dominated by interviews with a little background music and a few live performances filmed back in the 70s and 80s. This is a pretty decent two channel track with nice clarity and reasonable separation across the front speakers. There are no audio sync problems.

    Sadly there just doesn't seem to be enough music in this documentary about music. Songs from Pulp, Cabaret Voltaire, ABC and The Human League are here, but are given only little airtime before another talking head appears.

    There is no discrete surround channel or subwoofer usage.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu Audio

Additional Footage

    Extra interview footage that was not included in the film with the likes of Jarvis Cocker and Saskia Renshaw (11:50), Human League's Phil Oakey (6:56), Cabaret Voltaire's Chris Watson (18:13), Martin Ware, Ian Marsh and finally ABC's Stephen Singleton (25:05).

Gallery-Photo

    An automatically running photo gallery (2:45), that contains a couple of dozen black and white photos of the various bands discussed in the documentary.

Theatrical Trailer

    Running for 3:05, this is a great trailer for giving you an introduction to what the film is about. Features snippets of interviews with many of the key people in the film, but gives away only enough information to make you want to see the whole thing.

Additional Footage

    Live concert footage featuring Vice Versa (2:30), Artery (4:20) and I'm So Hollow (2:34) playing at Leeds Futurama in 1980.

Booklet

    A 12-page booklet detailing what the film is about and some more background information on the bands featured.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 disc is identical to this one.

Summary

    Made In Sheffield is an interesting, albeit very brief look at the sounds and the bands that originated from the northern England town of Sheffield in the post punk era of the late 1970s. If you're a fan of the likes of ABC, The Human League, Heaven 17 or Pulp you will find this worthwhile, though the lack of any lengthy or decent music clips or performances is disappointing.

    The video and audio are as good as can be expected from a budget production, with the only problems attributed to the older source material.

    There are a number of decent extras.


 

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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