Coinciding with the re-release of Six. By Seven’s second album, The Closer You Get, director Alex Mannion-Jones brings us the aptly named The Dream Is Sweeter Than The Taste. Time-slipping back into the 90’s, an era that oversaw the emergence of iconic musical stalwarts such as Oasis, Blur and Radiohead as well as Yankee debutants Nirvana, Alex shows us how and why Six. By Seven offered something a little different.
We move through old recordings and archive footage of studio time and live performances, the most hopeful time in the bands existence. The success of their second album lead to a jumble of hype; mainstream interviews with the likes of NME and MTV, television appearances with Jools Holland alongside talk of transatlantic tours and album sales. The band appeared to be surfing the wave of alternativeness that they created – a distorted ethereal form of noise rock that little number of bands were doing in those days, certainly not to any mainstream success. Ultimately, and not surprisingly, Six. By Seven just never seemed to break through. Songs about council estates and grey old England never seemed to strike a lasting chord with the everyday pop-lovers of the nineties. The band took their place on top of the cloud-piercing musical scrapheap of resignation in 2008, their last album being Club Sandwich at the Peveril Hotel.
Ultimately, The Dream Is Sweeter Than The Taste is a flashback to what could have been for so many bands over the years – roman candles, a brief light in the dark. Mannion-Jones gives us a taste of what the group were attempting to achieve – a form of popular mainstream music that offered something a little different to the pop-rock groups of the early millennia, and with that he also offers us the perils that come with it and the lessons to be learned. He also offers the importance of how staying true to one’s morals is more amicable than folding to the demands of the music business – with the documentaries closing shots frontman Chris Olley implores us – “When all this is over, and you’re dead and gone, the only thing that’s left is the things what you’ve created and if you’ve diluted it because of what someone else wanted, then you’ve left nothing behind.”
The full film is available here to watch.