The documentary Where You’re Meant to Be rescues Scottish folk traditions for younger generations to enjoy, which is a very dignified accomplishment per se. It is a warm-hearted journey through the Scottish landscape, culture and music. The problem is that it lacks a little flair and innovation. It sets out to give the old a new flavour, but it doesn’t entirely achieve that.
It features cult-pop raconteur Aidan Moffat (formerly of the band Arab Strap) in a road-trip throughout Scotland. As a storyteller and composer, Moffat spreads dark humour and tends to improvise and change the lyrics of some traditional ballads. His behaviour might be funny for many people, but not for Sheila Stewart – one of the Scotland’s most popular folk singers. She believes that Scotland’s oldest songs should be performed in their pure form. Paul Fegan builds the narrative of this road-movie as Moffat’s late apology to Stewart – she’s died in December 2014 after the two toured together.
Despite Moffat’s tenacious attempt to give folk music a modern look, he named his album “Everything’s Getting Older”. Folk songs are gifts from the ancestors. He tries to give some new breath to old words, so that they don’t disappear in the foggy lochs. Sadly, though, most of the places he sings are small festivals, local fairs and ancient places, such as Barrowland in Glasgow. Barrowland is a ballroom; it has a rich musical heritage, where foxtrot bands have performed in the 1930s. During the 1960s, it was the stage for bandw like The Specials and The Kinks and years later, for The Clash, Simple Minds and other pop rock bands. Now crowds are defecting to gleaming O2 ABC Glasgow and the SSE Hydro.
Fegan beautifully shows the countryside of Scotland, teeming with life, traditions and myths. Moffat takes the boat in the Loch Ness. Stewart prepares a rabbit. It is a tough life that conveys an emotional feeling people are not used to deal with anymore. It is mostly peaceful and conformist to an old lifestyle.
Where You’re Meant To Be will premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest on June 12th, and will be screened in cinemas throughout the UK from June 17th. Click here for more information about the event.
Don’t forget to watch the film trailer below: