"...lightweight but nonetheless an entertaining stopgap."
Le Donk And Scor-Zay-Zee

Much like a band putting out a covers EP between albums, Le Donk And Scor-Zay-Zee represents a lighter diversion away from the norm for Shane Meadows. And much like a band’s filler release, Meadows’ latest is rather lightweight but nonetheless an entertaining stopgap, if nowhere near as engrossing as his usual work.

Le Donk is a grizzled roadie who’s slowly getting a bit too long in the tooth to achieve any genuine rock ‘n’ roll heroics of his own. Hardly the most self-aware or reconstructed of characters, he’s at least aware of his situation and has an escape plan; to mastermind the development of Scor-Zay-Zee, a young rapper of indeterminable authenticity, to the top. Somehow Le Donk uses his cunning and contacts to land his young prodigy a killer break - a support slot to the Arctic Monkeys.

Largely improvised and crafted over the course of five days with a meagre budget, it’s no surprise that the film opts for the budget-conscious spoof documentary genre. The cast itself is familiar from the realm of Shane’s world; the director appears as himself alongside Paddy Considine as Le Donk, Warp Films producer Mark Herbert and a host of similarly recognisable faces. Unsurprisingly Considine dominates with a rush of often genuinely funny improvised puns, with Le Donk showing remarkably good taste for one of the world’s less cerebral roadies with the constant decoration of a Guided By Voices T-shirt (the band being one of Considine’s personal favourites).

The very nature of this filmmaking process dictates that the consistency of humour on offer is inconsistent and, despite its obvious strengths, it would take an arch devotee of Meadows’ work to successfully argue the case that everything on show here is worthy of our time. Think of it as an extended version of one of the early Meadows / Considine shorts - it’s more than a little rough around the edges, but it possesses enough raw energy to ensure that it strikes the target far more often than it blazes wide.


Words by Ben Hopkins

Follow Clash: