Rocketman was easily the best in a great year for music on the big screen: OPINION

Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman
Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman
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Queen, Elton John, The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. Yep, it hasn’t been a bad year for bringing some great music to the big screen. And let’s not forget Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends, the west country’s second finest band (after The Wurzels).

I’m not a huge film buff. If there’s a movies round in a pub quiz, that’s my turn to go to the toilet or get the beers in. There can’t be many people who grew up in the 80s and, like me, have never seen Dirty Dancing or Top Gun

But I’ve made five visits this year to Port Solent’s Odeon to see the films featuring the music of the aforementioned quintet. Let’s rank them, as I do like making lists.

5) Yesterday. A preposterous story – man suffers accident and wakes up to find he is the only person who can remember the Beatles – which was enjoyable, for sure, but not worthy of repeat watchings.

4) Fisherman’s Friends. As someone born and bred in the west country, I was delighted to see the group’s brilliant story given the big screen treatment it fully deserved. There’s so much more to Cornwall than Rick Stein and equally annoying second home owners.

3) Bohemian Rhapsody. I love Queen and their performance at Live Aid remains the greatest stadium rock moment ever. I’ve seen this film twice, and I’ll no doubt watch it again. But perhaps I knew Freddie Mercury’s story too well. Perhaps if I wasn’t such a big Queen fan, this film would be higher than number three.

2) Blinded By The Light. I don’t possess a single Springsteen album, but I loved this ‘coming of age’ film, set in late 80s racially divided Luton, so much. The clothes and the hairstyles brought back so many great memories. 

Still not a patch on the greatest ‘coming of age’ film of all time, though – the truly epic Gregory’s Girl (1981).

And yes, I did fancy Clare Grogan. Didn’t all the boys?

1) Rocketman. The other films can’t hold a candle (either in the wind or otherwise) to this biopic. Taron Egerton’s portrayal of Elton John through his troubled times was just brilliant. 

I knew I’d enjoy Bohemian Rhapsody. A lot. But I enjoyed this far more than I ever thought I would.

Just like St Tropez, but with a few – okay, a lot – more tatts

Talking of Port Solent, I love a summer’s evening there. You can’t beat a pint at Wetherspoons, sitting outside in the sun and looking out over the boats in the marina, prior to watching a film for (just) a fiver.

Why, you could be in St Tropez, couldn’t you? Just with worse fashion sense – and I include myself in that sartorial condemnation – and probably more tattoos.

Ok, definitely more tattoos.

I used to think there were too many tattoo parlours in Portsmouth. Now, after having lived in the city for almost a year, I’m stunned there’s not more. There are some professions that will never become extinct. Hairdressing is an obvious one. At the current rate, tattoo artist is another …

Great cider, AND Def Leppard and Motley Crue on a jukebox

A shout out here for the Lawrence Arms in Southsea.

Not only does it boast the best selection of real ciders in the city*, it also attracts customers who have a similar taste in music to myself. And that is saying something.

Why, only the other day, I quaffed a pint or two listening to Def Leppard’s Photograph, Thunder’s Englishman on Holiday, Cinderella’s Gypsy Road’and Motley Crue’s Girls, Girls, Girls. I never heard songs like that in pubs when those bands were popular, which in Cindy’s case was about three days in 1988, so I salute my fellow hair metal fan. Good to know at least there’s two of us in Portsmouth.

* Always nine different boxed ciders. Wonderful!