Davie is down on his luck; lost his money gambling, had his leg broken by a jealous boyfriend of a girl he was trying it on with, and now faces a job pressing a button at a factory for the foreseeable future. But after trying to impress a girl, he accidentally falls into the world of music promotion. Booking discos and parties at first then moving into booking up and coming bands. Making money is still a problem, so, he turns to the local mob for help. But when he bites off more than he can chew when he books Iron Maiden, everything goes sideways. Almost.
Despite the fact that this is based on a true story, there is little to no impact from this statement. There are montages of the guys booking famous bands, little known at the time, but only through various posters being slapped in walls and doors. Even when Iron Maiden comes to Scotland, there is no sign of the band or anyone playing the band, just a clever use of space, lights, and archive footage. There are quite a few signs that this definitely was not a high budget film which shouldn’t matter if the storytelling is good enough but the film lags with far too long scenes where not much happens or repetition of situations that we’ve seen before makes the film ultimately lose momentum. The ‘based on a true story’ line pays off right at the end where we learn that our main man Davie went on to be the manager of Placebo, which only the savvy fan would have guessed and spotted during the film when the band’s cover of ‘Daddy Cool’ is used in the film’s soundtrack.
Without the added pressure of being based on a true story, the film tries its best to become a story of many genres and ultimately doesn’t quite fit the general mold of a music bio, crime, or comedy-drama. At the heart, there’s an interesting story but with budget constraints, needed script edits, the music element, which is the best part of the story, isn’t given enough time and space. It would have been great to see some of the bands playing rather than a montage.
Dir: Dave Mclean
Cast: Conor Berry, Tara Lee, Sean Connor, Grant R. Keelan
DoP: Alan C. McLaughlin
Runn time: 91 mins
Schemers is released on 25th September