Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie

The DIY Movement

Series 1 - Episode 1 The DIY Movement



The Sex Pistols' Manchester Free Trade Hall gig (cue overused Anarchy in the UK clip) is hailed as indie year zero in this overdue doc. But it was Buzzcocks' Spiral Scratch EP that proved you didn't need major labels to get your music released. Here, Mark Radcliffe hops around the UK to see how this spirit of independence manifested regionally.

These days any bunch of moptops with jangly guitars gets described as indie, but this is the inside story of a misunderstood genre characterised more by an ethos than a sound. Amid the excellent contributions, Bill Drummond's snappy precis of the indie manufacturing and distribution process is a highlight.


Mark Radcliffe narrates an examination of the history of the indie genre, beginning by exploring the origins of the UK's alternative music scene with the emergence of independent record labels and the eclectic sound hubs they spawned in cities across the country. It looks at the impact of Buzzcocks' Spiral Scratch EP from 1977, which was the first independently produced and distributed release of the era and inspired others to set up labels including Factory, Postcard and Rough Trade. Featuring exclusive interviews with performers including New Order's Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, Buzzcocks' frontman Pete Shelley, James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers, Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, Malcolm Ross of Aztec Camera and Orange Juice, and the Jesus and Mary Chain's Jim Reid. With contributions from Influential music industry figures such as Pete Waterman, Factory Records' designer Peter Saville, music entrepreneur Seymour Stein, and music producer and Mute Records founder Daniel Miller.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Mark Radcliffe
Series Producer Siobhan Logue