AN AMBITIOUS feature-length documentary is about to lay bare the rise of Scotland’s post-punk/indie music scene.

The Sound Of Young Scotland will debut its eagerly anticipated first half – The Big Gold Dream – this year. The location is still to be announced, but the producers have confirmed that it will be shown in Scotland in June.

The films are being released under the Tartan Features Banner and with a nine-minute teaser already online, excitement levels surrounding the premiere are growing.

Punk truly kicked off in 1976, and slowly made its way through the UK; its grubby hands grasping Scotland in the form of the White Riot Tour – a tour that included seminal punks The Clash, The Slits as well as Scottish act Subway Sect.

This event, held at Edinburgh’s Playhouse, completely changed the music scene in Scotland, but the story of post punk actually began in an Edinburgh tenement flat. This flat was the home of Bob Last and Hilary Morrison, who from there operated the record label FAST Product. At this time, noted independent label Rough Trade was only a record shop and Factory Records did not even exist.

The flat went on to become the base of operations for the then dominant but now often forgotten Edinburgh scene, which featured bands like the Fire Engines, Scars, and Boots For Dancing.

From critically acclaimed DIY releases, including The Mekons, Gang Of Four, Joy Division and Dead Kennedys, the label expanded into publishing and management and eventually broke into the mainstream with the 1981 Christmas No 1 Don’t You Want Me from the album Dare by The Human League.

It was assumed that the Edinburgh-based Josef K would sign with the FAST label but instead, they took a left turn and signed for the Glasgow-based Postcard Records, run by the enigmatic Alan Horne with Edwyn Collins to initially release Orange Juice singles.

Seeing the clichés and stereotypes that Scots were often subjected to in music and in general, Postcard scrunched these up and threw them right in the face of the historically London-centric music industry, by setting up camp in Glasgow and refusing to budge – hereby forcing the music press to come to them.

It was a real watershed moment for the Scottish post-punk scene when record label representatives would sign anyone with a guitar and a pulse, much like what would later be repeated in Seattle, Atlanta, with the grunge movement.

Then it all seemed to go horribly wrong with Aztec Camera and Orange Juice signing to major labels and a failed attempt to take on the majors with follow-up label Swamplands.

However, the Scottish indie scene did not die. From the ashes of Fast Product’s distribution label came 53rd and 3rd Records: 53rd signed the embryonic Teenage Fanclub, The Boy Hairdressers, The BMX Bandits, The Shop Assistants and associated themselves with The Soup Dragons and The Pastels.

They also heralded the birth of indie music sounds and fashion and built the template for BritPop.

Until now the story has only been partly told, so in 2006, Grant McPhee decided to document the independent music scene. Speaking of the documentary, his co-producer Erik Sandberg discussed previous attempts at charting the rise of the scene.

He said: “The BBC released a documentary on the subject called Caledonia Dreaming; it didn’t have a lot of synchronicity, and it didn’t make a lot of sense to me because they missed out The Scars, only touched on Josef K and missed out so many other bands.”

Talking of how the experience quickly grew arms and legs, McPhee said: “When I first started, if I was told that we would have interviewed as many people and it had gone as far as it did I wouldn’t have believed it. The funny thing is that when you try to get everyone involved you start to get a bit obsessed...”

Trips to interview and meet the individuals involved took the film team from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and from London to New York and back.

Taking almost a decade to complete, The Sound Of Young Scotland aims to put to bed the questions and ambivalence that existed from Fast to Factory via Postcard, 53rd and 3rd and right up to Creation. No matter how long it took, Grant only saw time as a barrier: “If it was ever going to fall down it would have been early on. Very quickly we got a lot of interviews. Although it slowed down,the times where it did stop, it wasn’t a case of if it would continue, just when.”

Early in 2013, Grant – realising he had amassed a significant yet skeletal guide of material – approached Erik Sandberg, and he came on board in the role of co-producer to help him complete what he had started.

Sandberg said: “Grant is Edinburgh-based so he’d managed to meet a lot of the Edinburgh contingent but I think he came to me because I’m Glasgow based and he wanted me to fill in that part. I’ve been in bands, and I’ve been running record labels for the best part of the decade, so I had the access and the contacts to help him fill in the blanks. It’s been really great working with him, he’s a fantastic filmmaker and cinematographer.”

However, the film did not come together by conventional means at all. For a start, Sandberg had never been involved in film-making at all prior to the project, and during the eight years they met some of the most talented, enigmatic, reclusive, charismatic and downright crazy musical geniuses Scotland has given the world.

Speaking highly of all who took part in the films, Sandberg concluded: “Everyone has been so nice, so co-operative and so giving, so many people have given so much of their own time, but it actually has been really enjoyable. I don’t have a bad word to say about anyone involved it, and everyone just wants to see something definitive, and I hope people see that when it launches in the summer.”

The teaser trailer can be seen on

An exhibition of the work of rock photographer Harry Papadopoulos opens on Saturday at Hamilton Low Parks Museum and runs until April 25