Youth - Sketch, Drugs And Rock’n’Roll DVD review

Documentary about Killing Joke bassist turned producer.

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The title of this documentary might be a little bit misleading. As misleading, in fact, as the moniker of the 55-year-old Martin Glover, aka Youth. This book is no salacious trawl through the sleazy demi-monde of post-punk, but a thoughtful profile of a producer and his singular philosophy which has seen him work with artists ranging from Jaz Coleman to Embrace, Boy George and The Orb to David Gilmour and Paul McCartney (with whom he comprised the duo The Fireman), all of whom are interviewed here, with Macca recalling his initial shock that when he put out an album anonymously it sold just 500 copies.

Those last two collaborators might signify that Youth has betrayed his punk ethos, but his ethos remains essence of punk; that ‘genius’ is not the preserve of a tiny elite, but resides in all of us (or, as they used to say, “anyone can do it”). He explains how he encourages his artists to remember what is great about them and simply to let it out. “It’s not mining for diamonds, it’s a party”, he says, in that laid-back but impatient way of his. But it’s his out-of-box, unorthodox approach which has put him in such demand as a studio midwife.