These 4 key products will save your dry skin this winter
These 4 key products will save your dry skin this winter

Jennifer McShane

Toastie of the town: 9 of the best, meltiest cheese toasties in Dublin
Toastie of the town: 9 of the best, meltiest cheese toasties in Dublin

Ali Dunworth

How to create an eco-friendly winter flower arrangement (that doesn’t look dead)
How to create an eco-friendly winter flower arrangement (that doesn’t look dead)

Lauren Heskin

The trailer for Paul Mescal’s new movie with Olivia Colman is here and it looks creepy good
The trailer for Paul Mescal’s new movie with Olivia Colman is here and it looks...

Lauren Heskin

‘I was raised by a single mam. Everything that she did was for us’: Singer Soulé on who inspired her new music
‘I was raised by a single mam. Everything that she did was for us’: Singer...

Sarah Finnan

3 old cottages that are brimming with potential for under €100,000
3 old cottages that are brimming with potential for under €100,000

Megan Burns

8 things no one told me about the first trimester
8 things no one told me about the first trimester

Lauren Heskin

The Budget contraception scheme still holds women in Ireland responsible for safe sex
The Budget contraception scheme still holds women in Ireland responsible for safe sex

Kate Demolder

‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

Sarah Finnan

Ireland’s best autumnal forest walks
Ireland’s best autumnal forest walks

Sarah Finnan

Image / Living / Culture

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help


by Lucy White
05th Oct 2020

Photo by Vishnu R Nair/Unsplash

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help

One of many lockdown downers is the cancellation of live music and festivals. Dig out these uplifting documentaries to remind ourselves what we have to look forward to


1 Amazing Grace, 2019

Gathering dust in the vaults for 38 years, this Aretha Franklin concert film shot in a Baptist church 1972 is a revelation – and the perfect, uplifting antidote for the coronacoaster. Barely a word is spoken in this glorious gospel set in which the American singer, then 29 years old, has the congregation, and us, the audience, eating out of her hand. Play it loud and proud. Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play

2 In Bed with Madonna, 1991

Madge fans were obsessed with Alek Keshishian’s on-the-road documentary, charting the singer’s epochal Blond Ambition tour, in which she offends the Vatican, slags Kevin Costner and memorably fellates an Evian bottle. As her then-beau, a bemused Warren Beatty, remarks, “she doesn’t want to live off-camera, much less talk. There’s nothing to say off-camera. Why would you say something if it’s off-camera? What point is there existing?”; a premonition of the Kardashians et al. But it’s the live, colour footage of the concert – in contrast with the grainy, behind-the-scenes monochrome – that justifies our love. Amazon Prime Video

3 Rattle and Hum, 1987

Whatever your feelings about Bono, go back to 1987 to remember what you loved about U2: The Joshua Tree. This Phil Joanou-directed travelogue follows the quartet as they tour their seminal album around America that again mixes colour and black and white footage, stage and studio scenes. Unsurprisingly, there are no sex, drugs, tantrums or tiaras here, but plentiful reasons to revisit the Dublin band’s former glories and perhaps add the 1987 record to your playlist (than have it foisted on you non-consensually, à la 2014’s Songs of Innocence).

4 Homecoming, 2018

For me, Beyoncé comes with so much celebrity baggage that it overshadows her talent. Homecoming reminds me why she’s famous and marks her out as contemporary pop’s best live performer. This Netflix doc chronicles her historic 2018 Coachella show, positioning her as the first black woman to headline the festival, and features rehearsals as well as the set itself. Don’t come here for an intimate portrait of a deity; Queen Bey will never grant us plebs that luxury. Do, though, come for her megawatt stage presence. Netflix

5 Miles Davis: Birth of Cool, 2019

If Davis’ Some Kind of Blue isn’t the album for the lockdown, I don’t know what is. Mellow moments par excellence, it’s a multitasking record ideal for working from home or for restoring any frayed nerves. Delve deeper still into the uncompromising musician/composer/bandleader’s oeuvre, with this film by Stanley Nelson, that celebrates the man behind the horn, who revolutionised jazz.

6 Miss Americana, 2020

Taylor Swift comes off way better than Lady Gaga does in her own snorefest doc, Five Foot Two, mostly because the former’s pluck and self-awareness is also imbued with wit and warmth. What they share in common is that Miss Americana is as polished (overproduced?) as any one of Taylor’s albums, however, there are also glimmers of charm here from an artist who, despite airing her dirty laundry in lyrics, is deceptively private. Netflix

7 Oasis: Supersonic, 2016

Strangely, Mat Whitecross’s documentary eschews the infamous Gallagher-sibling spats and Cool Britannia acrimony, but reminds fans why they created such a fuss back in the day, the film climaxing with the band’s career-defining concert at Knebworth in 1996. Disclaimer: While I’ve, er, graced many a dance floor playing Oasis songs over the years, the very idea of watching the eternal gobsheen that is Liam Gallagher for two hours fills me with despair. Still, my boyfriend insisted it go into this list. I’m more of a Blur fan myself… Netflix

8 Blur: No Distance Left to Run, 2010

From early shoegaze (She’s So High) to Mod boys (Popscene) to parody (Country House) to (Britop survivors (Tender), Blur have had quite the career. This decade-old documentary gently prods frontman Damon Albarn and guitarist Graham Coxon about their spat – perhaps too gently, but the live footage is exemplary: watch the full version that has the live at Hyde Park footage, and as the sum of its parts shows Albarn as the musical genius-in-progress that he has gone on to become. (Go further back in time still with 1993’s low-budget Starshaped, which witnesses the four-piece as tousled young pups on the brink of mainstream success). Amazon Prime Video


Read more: 25 feel-good, cocoon-worthy films

Read more: Lisa Hannigan tells Lucy White how she’s spending isolation

Read more: ‘Festivals of the future will be a hybrid of virtual and physical’ – Sorcha O’Reilly, artistic director of Kaleidoscope Festival

Also Read

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help
FOOD & DRINK
Forget trying a million recipes – these are the best cookies that are perfect every time

By Shayna Sappington

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help
INTERIORS
Combat darker evenings with these 14 portable lamps to brighten up any corner of your home

The simplest way to add a soft glow exactly where you need it, whether that’s on your dining table, a corner of your living room, or on a shelf as you wind down for bed.

By Megan Burns

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help
LIVING
I can’t stop thinking about Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac… even though I know it’s fake

Former Julliard classmates and friends for over 20 years, Jessica Chastain and Isaac Oscar are both in committed relationships with...

By Sarah Finnan

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help
CULTURE
3 brilliant Irish books worth reading in the sunshine

Planning a lazy day in the sun? Why not start a gripping Irish book al fresco as we enjoy an...

By Jennifer McShane

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help
CULTURE
What’s on October 2021: The new TV, streaming shows, books and podcasts to try

IMAGE.ie’s guide to what to watch, stream, listen and read this October. Monday, October 18 Succession Season 3, Sky Atlantic...

By Sarah Finnan

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help
CULTURE
The baby on Nirvana’s Nevermind cover is suing for damages 30 years on

Spencer Elden is seeking upwards of $150,000 in damages for the album cover. Spencer Elden, the man who was photographed...

By Jennifer McShane

Missing live music? This rousing round-up of live music documentaries might help
CULTURE
Meet five Irish embroiderers doing amazing things with needle and thread

Anyone who attempted to try their hand at embroidery over the pandemic will know the incredible amount of work and...

By Megan Burns