Nish, Clish, Bangin : The MC Tunes Tapes
In 1990, filmmaker Howard Walmsley was commissioned by ZTT records to make a short documentary film of Manchester rap artist Nicky Lockett aka MC Tunes. At the peak of his popularity, Tunes had 3 hit singles and a highly acclaimed debut album, The North at its Heights, in collaboration with innovative producers 808 State. An outspoken, controversial figure, Nicky was regularly featured on TV and radio, clocking up column inches in both music and tabloid press.
Somewhere along the way things didn’t quite work out as planned. Tunes lost his record deal with ZTT and the project was shelved. In 2010 Walmsley decided to finally get the project off his desk. Much of the original media was damaged or decayed : Maxell weathers better than Sony, he can report.
However, tapes containing rough-cut working copies made over the years did survive, forming the archive foundation of this film. These gritty analogue images, some heavily distressed, intercut with interviews shot in 2010, form a montage spanning 20 years.
Featuring tracks from 808 State, Dust Junkys and the Ugly, interviews with co-conspirators, family and friends, this is a raw, uncompromising account of the life of MC Tunes.
Running time 55 mins