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

From Killing Joke to The Endless River, with cosmic hilarity in-between, Youth tells it like it is

If you think Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman is an ‘character’, meet on/off bass player Martin Glover, aka Youth. Where young Coleman grabbed the limelight with bug-eyed bluster and dark conspiracies, Youth honed dub-punk plunking in a filthy white suit, like a squalid Tony Manero (he also caught a ‘Saturday Night Fever’ off said garment, one of the film’s best stories). But Youth’s focus was always record production.

And while he’s worked with The Verve, Embrace and, erm, Bananarama, with psychedelic substances opening his third eye in the 80s, it’s his collaborations with the Joke, Orb, Floyd and The Fireman that are most fascinating as Coleman, Alex Paterson, David Gilmour and Macca talk of the free-spirited maverick who believes anything is possible (that’s how KJ played Giza’s Great Pyramid). Fan-made and funded, the quality’s occasionally rough and the sound bed can distract. But eventually a narrative emerges, then it’s a trip to see him in his home studio with a rollie and a cuppa, crafting his Anarchist Sketchbook and Turner-esque canvasses, or touring South London’s megalithic sites in the cosmic van he bought 30-odd years ago.