B-Roads

Discussion about the band and related projects.

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loveinthe90s
Posts: 87
Joined: 17 Sep 2017, 02:44

Re: B-Roads

Post by loveinthe90s » 23 Nov 2022, 22:48

The links are down now... I'm wondering if anyone could please share a download link? I was at work earlier and couldn't have saved it... Thanks a lot!

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lumaka
Posts: 590
Joined: 03 Oct 2016, 11:38
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Re: B-Roads

Post by lumaka » 23 Nov 2022, 23:47

Interesting that the "Canadians aren't as important as Japanese people" part has been removed from the leaked video, there's only the very beginning of Graham's conversations with fans described in details by Drew in his Black book...

John_d
Posts: 224
Joined: 21 Sep 2014, 22:55

Re: B-Roads

Post by John_d » 24 Nov 2022, 00:00

The Cup Of A Carpenter! :-)
I'd be grateful if someone could PM me a link please. Thanks.

murfman04
Posts: 54
Joined: 28 Apr 2015, 13:47

Re: B-Roads

Post by murfman04 » 24 Nov 2022, 00:01

Damn, same here :O I was at work when I seen this was uploaded and the second I came home I tried to watch (or download) it and the link was down already. Can anyone help?? Cheers guys

VictorWard
Posts: 4
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 08:36

Re: B-Roads

Post by VictorWard » 24 Nov 2022, 01:33

Gutted I missed this
"Well, um, Kate Moss and Stella Tennant and Iris Palmer and I think Jared Leto and Carmen Electra and, um, Damon Albarn and . . . we drank orange punch . . . and I got pretty wasted . . . and there were lots of . . . ice sculptures."

HIF
Posts: 17
Joined: 20 Feb 2015, 01:05

Re: B-Roads

Post by HIF » 24 Nov 2022, 01:52

PM please with a link. Thanks.

Danilo
Posts: 60
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 23:19
Location: Brazil

Re: B-Roads

Post by Danilo » 24 Nov 2022, 02:10

I missed too .
Can anyone help with the link ?

Intermission
Posts: 3
Joined: 03 Apr 2015, 23:12

Re: B-Roads

Post by Intermission » 24 Nov 2022, 07:21

Me too please. I was on the bus to work this morning. By the time off the bus it was gone:(

r_mccann23
Posts: 8
Joined: 20 Jan 2017, 20:32

Re: B-Roads

Post by r_mccann23 » 24 Nov 2022, 10:11

Right, where do I start? I think this will be a long post.
- Firstly, the film is called ‘The Great Escape’ - although ‘B-Roads’ seems to have originated in the Blurb fan club magazine this was corrected by Ceri Levy at the time and recently, saying he didn’t know where the ‘B-Roads’ title comes from.
- Secondly, it’s a rough cut. No credits or titles in there. I don’t know if any were made at all, I’m assuming not. From what I know this rough cut was presented and the film was shelved, so there was no further editing or titles/credits being added. Furthermore, due to it being a rough cut I am not sure whether all of the live footage is supposed to have the live audio and it wasn’t properly mixed for the rough cut, so they used the studio versions, or if it was supposed to have the studio versions anyway.
- You’ll recognise a couple of shots here and there from the No Distance Left To Run documentary, and from watching that you can tell it was shot on film (probably 16mm), which you can’t really tell from this poor quality VHS recording. Some of the stuff in here is really nicely shot, like the Nissan factory sequence, so I can imagine how great that would look in its full quality. From the footage in NDLR, clearly some of the film reels have been scanned - I don’t know how many - so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the film could have an HD release at some point. Scanning film and restoring it is pretty pricey these days so who knows if the cost would be justified to the band if not already done.

It’s obvious to compare starshaped to this but they are really different films, partly by design. Whereas starshaped is a great, very funny, film of the band’s initial minor success, a lot of footage of them at their commercial nadir in 1992, then back again in 93 gaining success again (still, pre-Parklife, not *hugely* successful yet), this film shows Blur as the huge national pop stars they were in 1995. There’s no 1994 footage to show the gap/buildup from starshaped to this. Screaming teenage fans, helicopter footage, private jets, dressing room footage, massive arena shows with big stage sets, it’s a very different situation for the band and not very fun to watch to be honest (not very fun to live either as we know from the band themselves), which is one of the main reasons for it being shelved: “The reason Starshaped worked was because we weren’t successful, and if you look at people who aren’t successful in a candid way it’s quite interesting,” Damon said at the time. “But once you’ve created a persona of yourself, being candid in that portrayal of yourself is a bit odd – it just doesn’t work.”
The massive success of the band at the time means a higher budget for the film too, which shows. Gone is the ‘on tour with a camcorder’ vibe of starshaped and its quirky editing, this is a *professional* piece of work.

The main difference from starshaped is the non-band documentary parts. Interestingly done as they are reflections of the lyrics and 1995 Britain, but whether they work in a band documentary format is up for debate. Just remember that this is a rough cut, not a final finished film, so the fact it doesn’t gel perfectly well makes sense. However, sequences of things like the farm being demolished set to He Thought of Cars, and the Nissan factory to Yuko and Hiro work well, so I think it could’ve worked personally.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of The Great Escape album, so a Great Escape film isn’t going to appeal as much to me anyway, but I do find it fascinating. They went from a fairly successful/fairly unsuccessful/very successful indie band from 1990-1994 then to a fucking huge pop band in 1995, then to a very successful indie/art rock band in 1997-2000. It’s kind of weird seeing this crazy year devoid of all the context of their career before and after (no songs outside of the Great Escape are in this film). Within this film, Blur are pop stars with teenage and child fans. It’s definitely a time capsule sort of thing. Although I know of it, have seen pics of it and have seen the Stereotypes video, it’s weird seeing Blur playing huge arena gigs with the massive stage sets with big props as they never did that afterwards; so you kind of forget that they ever did.

Context wise, it’s been documented well that things weren’t very happy in the Blur camp or even in the film crew camp during this time, and knowing this makes you view the film a bit differently. The drunken antics that are so entertaining aren’t so entertaining this time, most explicit in the backstage ‘this is the brink… this is Graham’ part which cuts to him with a knife in his mouth. But simply seeing things like them playing Country House at GMEX(?) and seeing Graham looking pretty out of it whilst performing is a bit sad really. Paired with the fact that it’s a film of the Great Escape album which is a pretty melancholy album, very down lyrically. Plus the slightly depressing real-life documentary parts and the focus on dilapidated seaside towns, the film is oddly deflating for ‘the big pop band’s big year: the film’. See for yourself. I totally get why it wasn’t released - it was the right decision not to release it and it shows just how fucking vital the 1997 Blur album was to their career, and them personally.

As for the film being released - who knows. Certainly not in this state, it’s a rough cut. Definitely needs a new edit to smooth it out a bit plus titles/credits and sorting out the music sequences, but who knows if it would take a different form/angle and use different footage, a totally different film? That makes sense in a way. I 100% believe they should release HD videos of the Best Days video sequence (it works on its own as a music video), and the live tracks. At least Mile End and GMEX were professionally shot so I think the full concerts would be worth releasing, especially Mile End for its significance. The rooftop gig would be great to see as well. I obviously support releasing a finished version of the film but if there were issues with the candid stuff then official releases of the musical stuff would be great. As for the social documentary style stuff, it is pretty interesting stuff and I guess they shot a lot more footage for them all. I’d definitely watch longer cuts of the farm/motorway situation, for example, I find it interesting but maybe not in a blur film.

Finally, I have compared to the scene-by-scene review in Black Book and it is all spot on except the part where Graham is speaking to the two Japanese girls outside the tourbus. I don’t know if part of this has been edited out of what has leaked or what but Drew clearly had the full scene on that. Wanted to see that, it sounded very cringeworthy.

John_d
Posts: 224
Joined: 21 Sep 2014, 22:55

Re: B-Roads

Post by John_d » 24 Nov 2022, 10:25

r_mccann23 wrote:
24 Nov 2022, 10:11
Right, where do I start? I think this will be a long post.
- Firstly, the film is called ‘The Great Escape’ - although ‘B-Roads’ seems to have originated in the Blurb fan club magazine this was corrected by Ceri Levy at the time and recently, saying he didn’t know where the ‘B-Roads’ title comes from.
- Secondly, it’s a rough cut. No credits or titles in there. I don’t know if any were made at all, I’m assuming not. From what I know this rough cut was presented and the film was shelved, so there was no further editing or titles/credits being added. Furthermore, due to it being a rough cut I am not sure whether all of the live footage is supposed to have the live audio and it wasn’t properly mixed for the rough cut, so they used the studio versions, or if it was supposed to have the studio versions anyway.
- You’ll recognise a couple of shots here and there from the No Distance Left To Run documentary, and from watching that you can tell it was shot on film (probably 16mm), which you can’t really tell from this poor quality VHS recording. Some of the stuff in here is really nicely shot, like the Nissan factory sequence, so I can imagine how great that would look in its full quality. From the footage in NDLR, clearly some of the film reels have been scanned - I don’t know how many - so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the film could have an HD release at some point. Scanning film and restoring it is pretty pricey these days so who knows if the cost would be justified to the band if not already done.

It’s obvious to compare starshaped to this but they are really different films, partly by design. Whereas starshaped is a great, very funny, film of the band’s initial minor success, a lot of footage of them at their commercial nadir in 1992, then back again in 93 gaining success again (still, pre-Parklife, not *hugely* successful yet), this film shows Blur as the huge national pop stars they were in 1995. There’s no 1994 footage to show the gap/buildup from starshaped to this. Screaming teenage fans, helicopter footage, private jets, dressing room footage, massive arena shows with big stage sets, it’s a very different situation for the band and not very fun to watch to be honest (not very fun to live either as we know from the band themselves), which is one of the main reasons for it being shelved: “The reason Starshaped worked was because we weren’t successful, and if you look at people who aren’t successful in a candid way it’s quite interesting,” Damon said at the time. “But once you’ve created a persona of yourself, being candid in that portrayal of yourself is a bit odd – it just doesn’t work.”
The massive success of the band at the time means a higher budget for the film too, which shows. Gone is the ‘on tour with a camcorder’ vibe of starshaped and its quirky editing, this is a *professional* piece of work.

The main difference from starshaped is the non-band documentary parts. Interestingly done as they are reflections of the lyrics and 1995 Britain, but whether they work in a band documentary format is up for debate. Just remember that this is a rough cut, not a final finished film, so the fact it doesn’t gel perfectly well makes sense. However, sequences of things like the farm being demolished set to He Thought of Cars, and the Nissan factory to Yuko and Hiro work well, so I think it could’ve worked personally.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of The Great Escape album, so a Great Escape film isn’t going to appeal as much to me anyway, but I do find it fascinating. They went from a fairly successful/fairly unsuccessful/very successful indie band from 1990-1994 then to a fucking huge pop band in 1995, then to a very successful indie/art rock band in 1997-2000. It’s kind of weird seeing this crazy year devoid of all the context of their career before and after (no songs outside of the Great Escape are in this film). Within this film, Blur are pop stars with teenage and child fans. It’s definitely a time capsule sort of thing. Although I know of it, have seen pics of it and have seen the Stereotypes video, it’s weird seeing Blur playing huge arena gigs with the massive stage sets with big props as they never did that afterwards; so you kind of forget that they ever did.

Context wise, it’s been documented well that things weren’t very happy in the Blur camp or even in the film crew camp during this time, and knowing this makes you view the film a bit differently. The drunken antics that are so entertaining aren’t so entertaining this time, most explicit in the backstage ‘this is the brink… this is Graham’ part which cuts to him with a knife in his mouth. But simply seeing things like them playing Country House at GMEX(?) and seeing Graham looking pretty out of it whilst performing is a bit sad really. Paired with the fact that it’s a film of the Great Escape album which is a pretty melancholy album, very down lyrically. Plus the slightly depressing real-life documentary parts and the focus on dilapidated seaside towns, the film is oddly deflating for ‘the big pop band’s big year: the film’. See for yourself. I totally get why it wasn’t released - it was the right decision not to release it and it shows just how fucking vital the 1997 Blur album was to their career, and them personally.

As for the film being released - who knows. Certainly not in this state, it’s a rough cut. Definitely needs a new edit to smooth it out a bit plus titles/credits and sorting out the music sequences, but who knows if it would take a different form/angle and use different footage, a totally different film? That makes sense in a way. I 100% believe they should release HD videos of the Best Days video sequence (it works on its own as a music video), and the live tracks. At least Mile End and GMEX were professionally shot so I think the full concerts would be worth releasing, especially Mile End for its significance. The rooftop gig would be great to see as well. I obviously support releasing a finished version of the film but if there were issues with the candid stuff then official releases of the musical stuff would be great. As for the social documentary style stuff, it is pretty interesting stuff and I guess they shot a lot more footage for them all. I’d definitely watch longer cuts of the farm/motorway situation, for example, I find it interesting but maybe not in a blur film.

Finally, I have compared to the scene-by-scene review in Black Book and it is all spot on except the part where Graham is speaking to the two Japanese girls outside the tourbus. I don’t know if part of this has been edited out of what has leaked or what but Drew clearly had the full scene on that. Wanted to see that, it sounded very cringeworthy.
Terrific stuff thanks. Can someone send me a link to it please?

Danilo
Posts: 60
Joined: 19 Feb 2015, 23:19
Location: Brazil

Re: B-Roads

Post by Danilo » 24 Nov 2022, 10:27


Rus Fan Of Damon
Posts: 6
Joined: 05 Aug 2021, 07:33

Re: B-Roads

Post by Rus Fan Of Damon » 24 Nov 2022, 10:44

a very interesting documentary, I don't know why it was abandoned, though the only drawback is that there are a lot of interviews with strangers (at some points it feels like I'm watching a documentary on the working class of England), and so I didn't notice anything so DARK, it includes very interesting highlights from the tour and outside of it. As Damon said at the end, "It was a very odd year". In some clips it is very sad, and in some it is very fun. I think this is a pretty important document in the history of the blur and it needs to be

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stephen
Posts: 1009
Joined: 25 Sep 2014, 12:53
Location: On a stroppy little island of mixed up people
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Re: B-Roads

Post by stephen » 24 Nov 2022, 13:18

A deliberate leak considering the timing? The reddit user seems so casual it's almost like they knew what they were doing

Blurcast
Posts: 35
Joined: 21 Feb 2015, 12:22

Re: B-Roads

Post by Blurcast » 24 Nov 2022, 14:45

r_mccann23 wrote:
24 Nov 2022, 10:11
- Firstly, the film is called ‘The Great Escape’ - although ‘B-Roads’ seems to have originated in the Blurb fan club magazine this was corrected by Ceri Levy at the time and recently, saying he didn’t know where the ‘B-Roads’ title comes from.
I've never been able to work out where that name came from. I looked through all the issues of Blurb a while back to see if I could find reference to the name B-Roads, but I couldnt find anything. The few times the documentary was mentioned in the magazine, it was always referred to as 'The Great Escape'. The film was definitely intended to be a visual accompanyment to the themes on the album so 'B-Roads' makes no sense really. I guess it's just become so ingrained, it's not going to change anytime soon. Maybe in another 27 years!

The first time I saw the film, I was pretty underwhelmed, but I found the more I watched it, the more I liked it and understood what they were trying to do with it. At the height of the band's commercial powers, it would have been easy for them to make a straight up tour film with live performances, backstage stuff, interactions with screaming fans, etc. Instead they tried to weave all that amongst these obscure fragments of 90s Britain and tell the stories of some of the characters on the album. It's a really clever idea which I don't think quite works in this rough cut, but you can see what they were trying to do and it couldn't be more Blur if it tried!

One thing that struck me more watching it again now, is the dominance of alcohol throughout. Graham's addition struggle is quite visible here I think - perhaps one of the reasons the band didn't want the film released in the first place. Back then we may not have seen it, but in the context of what we know now about the band's problems around this time, some parts feel a little uncomfortable. The scene where they are all feeling shattered before a show and Alex asks Graham "are you going to go into monster man tonight?" - I used to think this was a reference to his playing, but I guess it's more likely taking about his behaviour.

The way I look at it is: if 'Starshaped' is the party, then 'The Great Escape' is definitely the comedown.

r_mccann23
Posts: 8
Joined: 20 Jan 2017, 20:32

Re: B-Roads

Post by r_mccann23 » 24 Nov 2022, 15:06

Blurb #2’s news section says ‘two possibilities have been considered, B-Roads and The Great Escape’. Agree with all of your points though. I’d love to see a finished version.

Interestingly I’ve just noticed in Blurb #1 it says that footage meant for Showtime that they didn’t have room for was meant to be in the documentary, which I find interesting. Perhaps Showtime was supposed to be a bit more like Starshaped/TGE rather than a straight concert film

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