Record label

‘Creation Stories’ review: The man behind a rowdy record label

There’s a poem in which British writer and musician Martin Newell turns the name of a 1960s superstar guitarist into a verb. Thereby:

I Hank Marvinned
we all did
with badminton rackets
in front of our mirrors.

No matter the country, if you grew up when rock ‘n’ roll was king, you knew what he was talking about.

Alan McGee knew. In the opening scenes of Nick Moran’s “Creation Stories,” a fictional film based on the real-life man’s autobiography, we see him, a nerdy teenager from Glasgow in the 1970s, hitting a racket while his stereo actually one. Dad doesn’t approve.

This bouncy, time-hopping biopic chronicles McGee’s journey to rock legend — not as a performer, but as a manager and label owner who championed trailblazing artists like My Bloody Valentine. “I had no talent,” admits an older but not yet wiser McGee, played by Ewen Bremner. The story of how McGee managed to create the phenomenally successful label Creation – and, with his supernova band Oasis, shape the zeitgeist of British pop – while behaving in a very contrary way to that adopted by highly successful businessmen is hardly without interest.

But for most of its runtime, the film’s reverb knob is set high, and what echoes are the “Trainspotting” films (in which Bremner co-starred; its director Danny Boyle is a producer here) and “24 Hour Party People” (about another gonzo entrepreneur and his record company).

“Stories” has a handful of funny and touching scenes. But it’s more interesting when McGee, after sobering up, makes an ill-advised alliance with Tony Blair. The interesting moments in which, as McGee puts it here, “the company dressed up as a hipster,” might make a standalone film fair. Alas, “Creation Stories” only devotes about 20 minutes to them.

Creation stories
Unclassified. Duration: 1h45. Available to watch on AMC+and rent or buy on Amazon, google play and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.