Sunday, 31 March 2013

Reverb: Fly Fishing and Punk Collide (a film review, inexplicably masquerading as musings about music, emotions and growing up...)

Outside of the world of fly fishing I suppose that I'm something of a - and I really hate to use the expression - 'music fan'. Ugh, just the sight of the phrase on the screen in front of me makes me feel bilious for a plethora of reasons far too petty and off-topic to grumble about here, but nevertheless it's the simplest way of putting it. Let's just summarise the potential book's worth of drivel (I really could babble for hours, but this is hardly the place or the audience) by saying I likes me a bit o' music. My sphere of interest encompasses anything from classical to ska, metal to celtic and, in some extreme cases, dubstep. From a fairly young age though I've been particularly taken with punk music - something about the whole 'young, stupid and pissed off about... well, we're not too sure' vibe always appealed to me on a level that other genres never quite managed. It can be angry, aggressive, erratic, but at the same time retains a carefree, youthful energy which is perhaps lacking in my staple diet of death and thrash metal. Punk never gets too serious, and when you're a kid (hark the wisdom of the man of nineteen summers) what is there to be serious about? Nothing. To be honest, if, as I nose my way out of the nursery stream into the raging torrent of adult life, I ever start to take things too seriously, if I lose that feeling of inner punk, It'll feel like I've gone very wrong somewhere down the line.
"Yeah yeah, you're a punk fan, we get it. Now stop being such a tooth-aching sycophant and get to the point."
Apologies, reader, but it's a genuinely emotive subject for me! You'll sooner see me getting dewy eyed listening to a favourite album rediscovered in a forgotten attic box than over the predictable 'reunited against all the odds' scene you see at the end of every film ever. My girlfriend has pointed out to me on a number of occasions that I can be an insensitive git to be with in the cinema, as it happens. But yes, sorry, my point...

Pegboy, formed in Chicago in the early 90s, have grown to become a favourite band of mine since I stumbled across them on one of my regular trawls through the darkest recesses of Youtube a year or two ago. I've also been a follower for some time of a chap called Robert Thompson, who runs the site Third Year Fly Fisher. He used to put up monthly blog-type videos of his fishing exploits interspersed with nice compilations of footage. In the last couple of years though he's started making longer films, good ones at that. So, imagine my surprise when the trailer below popped up!

"Reverb" fly fishing trailer - Youtube
(sorry I couldn't embed the vid to make it easier - Blogger decided I could have anything, just not this)

Yep, it would appear Pegboy (or at least half of Pegboy plus their pal Herb from Rights Of The Accused) are fly fishers. Fate? Well I don't believe in that crap, but a happy coincidence at least. I emailed Robert and asked about getting hold of a copy. I was given a price, and it was in the post the next day. It arrived surprisingly quickly actually - only a week, which from the States isn't bad.

So, how was it? Well, for me? Fantastic, but that could be the 'music fan' (again... just no) in me talking. It's really a documentary about the band tied together by fly fishing, but there's plenty there to please the angling eye, with wonderful shots of small stream brown and brook trout fishing. Reverb is actually only an extra on the DVD of Robert's film 'Heart of The Driftless' which takes a more full on, and again excellent look at the same streams in the Driftless area in the upper American Midwest, and even if the whole punk thing doesn't float your boat, HOTD is worth the price all on its own.

What really struck a chord with me in Reverb, though, more than the fishing, more than the music, was actually seeing Larry and Joe now as forty-somethings looking back on their career. Quite a shock at first when you're used to the angry young guys from the music videos. The fact was though, as much as time had passed and they'd changed as people, the spark was still there. As soon as they jump up on stage the youth bursts back out, and so it does when they're together chasing trout. This brings me full circle, back to my thoughts at the start of this post - a post which has turned out to be a hell of a lot longer than I was expecting, might I add! Punk spirit. Never take anything too seriously, never lose your playful side. In a little over a month I turn twenty. I can hear your laughter, but shit, twenty! Somehow for the first time it just feels like a proper number, no more messing about. Double that and you're forty. Presuming I make it to forty, where will I be? Life gets more serious the older you get. The miserable bastards on the trains at rush hour are testament to that. Will my inner punk be squashed out of me by taxes, bills and bairns? So long as I keep a fly rod close at hand and a good river nearby, I think it'll survive. As I've said, it's all about not taking things too seriously, and as much as you can concentrate hard with fishing - apply all your wit to it, hone your skills - you can never start to take it too seriously. Where would the fun in that be? No matter what happens, even if I have to sell all my CDs to pay the rent, I'll always be able to keep the inner punk hidden away in there somewhere, and let him loose to swear at tangled leaders and curse fly-snatching branches.

Play me out, guys!

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