Kill Your Friends (2015) Script

A couple of words of advice for all you hopefuls out there in unsigned bands.

Fuck off.

Seriously, your parents are right.

You may as well spend your guitar-string money on lottery tickets.

Your chances will be much the same.

You see, there's one thing you have to understand about the music industry.

We have no obligation to make art.

We have no obligation to make political statements.

We have no obligation to make good records.

We have an obligation to make money.

I mean, do these look like the shoes of someone who gives a fuck Velvet Underground?

Now, in order to make money, we may sometimes have to make art.

We may sometimes have to make political statements.

Sometimes we may even have to make good records.

Our record company receives half a million demos a year.

We sign just ten of them.

And who makes these choices?

Who is responsible for dividing the wheat from the chaff and providing the soundtrack to your short life on this planet?

Us, the elite, the chosen few, the best of the best.

The A&R men.

Roger, why do you have a copy of the fucking Menswear album?

I looked into signing them a couple of years ago.

There's some good tunes on that.

It's four o'clock in the morning.

My colleague Roger and I are brainstorming producer ideas.

How about Mike Hedges?

No. I find some of his mixes a bit middly.

Middly? You know, too much...

Not enough top or, you know, bottom end.

What about the guy who produced London Calling? What's his name?

Guy Stevens? Yeah.

He'd be great.

There is a problem, however.

What? Is he a wanker?

I don't know. He died in 1981.

What's happening with the Rage album?

Fuck knows.

It's all gone Colonel Kurtz.

The crazy bastard's up river, beyond the law.

Been in a residential studio for six months now at a thousand quid a day and David hasn't heard a fucking note yet.

David worried? He wants to be.

What's he done this past year? Signed a proper load of fucking turkeys.

This new Rage album wants to make ABBA's Greatest Hits sound like Sonic fucking Youth or he's finished.

Fucking nasty.

If he goes, they might offer you his job.

What, Head of A&R?

They might offer it to you.

No. No, you've got...

...you know, seniority.

Right, I'll get the drinks in.

Last year, 1996, the turnover of the British music industry passed the billion-pound mark for the first time.

Aceed!

Boom times.

But there's always competition.

Imagine you're standing on wafer-thin ice.

Beneath your feet you can see sharks circling, terrible sharks with hypodermic syringes for teeth.

These are your colleagues, your friends.

Roger and I both have to live with an uncomfortable statistic: at some point in the coming year, one of us will probably be fired.

I have no intention of it being me.

I'm a bear!

I'm a dancing bear!

Hey, bear, bear. Bear, eat CDs!

What you got, bear? What you got? Seal?

Bear eat Seal. Yeah.

Bear. Bear.

Bear tired. Bear tired. Oh, bear.

So here's what I do.

I listen to music, bands, singers, songwriters, and decide which ones have a good chance of commercial success.

I then arrange for them to be recorded in a sympathetic manner and then we, the record company, sell them to you, the general public.

That's A&R, artiste and repertoire.

Simple, eh?

Get fucked.

You wouldn't last ten minutes.


'In every age, men are born who, in their hearts, in the black of their blood, are warriors, but for most of us, there are no longer wars to fight.'

Morning.

'What must they do, these men?'

Steven Stelfox's office. Steven there?

No, I'm afraid he's not. OK, I'll call back later.

OK. Bye.

Did you listen to that EP I gave you?

Swedish band, The Lazies?

I think they're really... Christ, I hate bands.

Unfortunate career choice. Anyhow, it's on my pile.

Rebecca...

You look nice today. Thank you, Steven.

Darren's here. Hey, boss.

Check this out.


Jeez.

That's limited edition.

Well, I hope they limited it to their immediate fucking family.

Christ.

Look at this.

18-year-old sensation Ellie Crush nominated for three Brits.

Crush's A&R Manager, Tony Parker Hall, says, 'We've spent two years developing Ellie.'

'The nominations reflect her talent and all the hard work everyone at the label has put in.'

Christ.

The bastard's magnanimous no less.

There's a lot of interest in that band.

Do me a favour.

Fucking Oasis rock up, a couple of manc car thieves with a Beatles songbook, and now we all have to go finding an indie band?

Look, you haven't been here long, Darren, so remember this.

Real people don't care about indie bands.

Real people put stone cladding and new PVC double glazing on their council houses.

They buy four albums a year and they want to hear all the fucking words, and there are billions of the cunts.

So, come on, you're the scout. Scout some proper hits.

Yeah.

They're rough, but they could develop. Yeah, like a fucking tumour.

Darren, what is the meaning of life?

Sign good bands.

Make records you're proud of.

Fuck me.

Morning.

Fucking great night, eh?

State of me when I woke up. Jesus.

I'll see you in business affairs.

Oi, come on.

Meetings.

Nothing important ever got decided in a meeting.

What they are very good for, however, is stitching up, humiliating and belittling people.

Fat boy here you already know.

We also have Derek Sommers Managing Director.

Given that our MD's idea of fun is paying a couple of Bethnal Green rent boys to kick the shit out of him, it's no surprise that sadism and aggression are values our company encourages and rewards.

James Trellick, Head of Legal and Business Affairs Ruthless, amoral, top bloke.

David Schneider, Head of A&R.

Technically my boss, for now.

Ross, Head of Marketing.

Would double-end his own mother with Satan to put a record in the top 10.

Rob Hastings, Indie type, the guy who put the um and ah in A&R.

Nikki, Head of International.

I have no sexual interest in Nikki, so, in a way, she doesn't exist.

And taking minutes, Katy, Trellick's PA.

Doable.

Hey, how come I didn't get my Music Week yet?

Because you don't work in the music industry.

Okey-dokey, boys and girls Eyes down for a full house.

You all have a copy of the agenda in front of you.

David, where are we with the Rage album?

Well, yeah, he's mixing, so we're not far away now.

Tour's booked.

Steven and I are gonna meet up with him in Cannes next week to go over the budget.

Got a lot of territories asking for a release date.

How's the record sounding, David?

Well, you know what he's like, Derek, you know, plays his cards close to his chest.

Do we have a single? Not yet, no.

You know, as you know, it's... sometimes you can't rush the creative process, you know.

David, as head of this label, I don't think I'm being unreasonable in asking to hear some music from an act in which we have a considerable financial investment.

We're currently? 486,000 in the hole on this record.

It's two years since the debut album and quite frankly...

Well, hang on, Derek. It's not like nothing's been happening.

We're doing some stuff to maintain awareness.

Those new T-shirts David had made look fantastic.

T-shirts?

What fucking T-shirts?

Oh, yeah, I mean, well, you know...

You're making T-shirts for an artist who doesn't have an album out and is half a million quid unrecouped?

Are you out of your fucking mind? Yeah, but, Derek, I just thought...

I don't give a fuck what you thought!

We're in the shit. We need some hits.

If we don't have a single soon, I'm pulling the fucking plug.

Do you understand? Yeah, but I...

Do you fucking understand?

Yeah. Yes, Derek, yeah. OK.

Moving on.

Rob.

Sound Collective.

For God's sake.

Well played.

Derek seems even more tightly wrapped than usual.

We need some hits. The release schedule's a wasteland.

Well, if Schneider got fired...

I'm just saying.

Then either Derek goes out of house for a new head of A&R or it's you.

Or it's laughing boy there.

Waters? Pros: he's a couple of years older than you.

More experience making albums.

The rank and file think he's a nice bloke.

Cons: he's a lazy, brain-dead cocaine addict with the attention span of a fucking gnat who hasn't had a hit record in donkey's.

So he could get the job. Correctos.

Signing a nice big hit record wouldn't hurt your cause.

Thanks for that blinding insight, James.

What is the meaning of life, young Stelfox?

To drive your enemies before you and hear the lamentations of their women.

Good boy.

See you in Cannes.

I tried to imagine Roger as my boss, Roger who tried to sign Menswear, who thought Guy Stevens was living and well, whose idea of a perfectly normal night out involves waking up covered in someone else's piss, but a crimson mist keeps closing in, a skull charge of blood keeps dimming my vision.

Midem.

Back in the 1960s, a couple of Frog bum boys decided to have a little music industry convention in the South of France.

30 years later every January

10,000 A&R guys descend upon Cannesfor a free-loading orgy of utter fucking nonsense.

Oi, oi! Danny.

Danny Rent, two-bob manager.

Bollocks! Andy Restbourne, Sony.

Having it large, mate.

Some cunt I did bugle with once.

Over here, son. Over here.

Incoming!

Anthony Parker Hall.

Three Brit nominations for that slag?

You having a fucking laugh?

Who's this?

This is Darren, new scout.

Good luck, mate.

What you got going on over here, then?

Meeting with the Germans tonight at the Martinez.

Probably see you out, yeah? Yeah, later.

Clown.

I was looking for some action


Hey, Rudi.

Steven!

How's it going, man?

When'd you get in? Just this morning, man.

I had Gunther fly ahead to take care of stuff, you know.

You know me, time is money, bro. Hardcore!

Yeah. Hardcore!

Hey, Steven. How are you? I'm very good.

This is Darren, new scout.

What's up, Darren? How you doing? Yeah, good.

Listen, do you want me to make you happy?

Should I make you happy? Very.

I'm gonna make you happy right now. Thank you, Rudi. Crack on.

Listen to this shit, man. Listen to that shit, man.

Come on, hit it.

Hold on, hold on. Bitches, come here.

Listen. Come here.

Want some? Yeah, I'll have a glass.

Shut the fuck up!

One, two, three, four. Hit it.


Yeah, baby!

Who told you? Who told you?

Who told you, Steven? Yeah.

I told you, man. I told you!

Yes, yes, Rudi. It's...

Biggest fucking hit we've had so far in Germany, man. Biggest hit.

Really? Yeah.

Who's the singer? Fuck the singer.

What are you talking about, the singer?

Who cares about the fucking singer?

It's just a girl. She was in the studio.

She's like... What do you call a... it's a... A moose.

Moose. Fucking moose!

But don't worry. We'll find someone to front it.

It's catchy, Rudi, it's just...

It's the lyrics, right? Yeah, exactly, Rudi.

Why are you so British, so square, man? What's wrong?

We did a radio edit of the whole thing...

...and we changed it and the chorus now is like..

What does she say? She says like...

Why don't you slap me on the ass?

Why don't you slap me on the ass?

And it works, man. That's much better.

Listen, what do you think I'm offering it to you.

First hand for the UK. Yeah.

And all I need is 30,000 in advance and... 15.

15 points.

So what do you reckon?

What do I reckon?

I reckon that tune is the biggest insult to humanity since a room full of Nazis chuckled over the blueprints for Auschwitz.

It's utter garbage.

But this is exactly what 99% of the great British public enjoy, the fucking animals.

Well, that crazed paedo has as good a track record as anyone for this kind of crap, and stranger things have happened, mate.

Is that a yes, then?

What, a 30K advance, the same again for a video, I'd have to do some remixes, artwork, advertising.

I mean, it'll cost us something like a hundred grand to try and have a hit with that piece of shit.

This is what's involved every time you say yes, Darren.

Signing records can literally cost you your fucking job.

So we say no?

Maybe.

Christ, look, Virgin.

88.9% share of the singles market.

Fucking Spice Girls.

Rage.

How you doing? Good to see you.

Fisher. How you doing? You all right?

Hi. Hi.

So, Cannes, eh?

Great stuff.

Rage, how's tricks? Yeah, boys.

We ain't gonna do this tour.

What? But you... We're finishing the record.

I ain't dismantling the studio to start some fucking rehearsals.

Well, let's hire the stuff for the tour.

Look, do you believe in this guy long term?

Yes.

Of course.

Then this ain't the only tour we're gonna do, then, is it?

It's an investment.

How much?

60 grand. Jesus.

The tour support budget's high enough as it is.

I don't think we can justify that sort of...

Well, I guess we're pulling out of the tour, then.

30 grand. 50.

40, recuperable.

Fair enough.

This pair of sex offenders have just raped us for 40 grand.

At some point we'll see a Fantasy Island invoice with bogus receipts stapled to it for money they never spent on gear they do not own.

So, how's the record sounding?

Schneider, mate, it's gonna blow your tits off.

We'll have a playback soon. It's fucking out there, man.

Experimental as fuck.

Experimental?

Experimental?

I think it's a smart way to go.

Listen, David, we did well with the debut, over 100,000.

The obvious move will be to start chasing a hit, doing a vocal collaboration with fucking Jarvis Cocker or whoever, but it could alienate his fan base, all the drum and bass kids.

If you make a really uncompromising original record, you'll keep all those people, get great press and build it organically.

Fuck me. Experimental, no less?

Schneider's face.

And Rage was gakked off his fucking tits.

I take it you counselled against the experimental approach?

Oh, yeah, of course. Oi, oi!

Let's rock. Bloke says they're strong.

Yeah, so maybe we should only do half.

Bollocks. Fuck off.

This is the sharp end of the record industry.

Our jobs involve making fast decisions with hundreds of thousands even millions of pounds at stake.

These decisions are made under the influence of drugs, alcohol, peer pressure and fear.

The fear is constant because, and you must understand this, none of us have a fucking clue what we're doing.

Darren!

Yeah! Fucking massive!

We verbally agreed the deal, OK?

Hey! OK?

Oh, fuck.

Yeah, this is Rudi. Leave a message.

Rudi, Rudi, it's Steven.

Look, we definitely want the record.

Please call me back, OK?

Hello? Steven! Hey, it's Rudi.

Rudi, Rudi.

Listen, I definitely want the record.

You're a little late now, man..

Already did the deal with Tony Parker Hall.

You fucking Nazi... Fuck!

Hello? Hello?

Have you actually signed the contract yet?

Well, I haven't signed the contract yet, but we sort of have like a verbal agreement, you know?

OK, Rudi. How much?

I mean, come on. You know I'm a man of my word, right?

How much?

Hundred? Sixty.

Hundred. No, that's too much.

60,000.

All right, deal.

Trellick will call you.

We're now in scary territory.

60 grand for a one-off single means we'll have to have a proper hit.

Number 18's no use to anyone.

This piece of shit will have to be top five minimum for me to walk away with any kind of dignity.

As some of you will have heard, Steven came back from Midem last week where he signed the hottest dance record of the convention.

It's blowing up in Europe and I'm sure we're gonna have a huge hit with it here.

It's very risque, but...

Yeah, I've done a new edit with alternative lyrics.

Right, now, we're gonna take the edit straight to radio, moving the original mix out to all the club DJs...

Have we got some video treatments in?

Yeah, well, with the budget being quite low...

Derek loves the record.

The marketing department love the record.

The radio department love the record.

I have tooled back from Cannes bearing the cure for cancer.

I see this one... as the first single.

Just go with it... and let it take you on a journey.


In a way, you've almost got to respect the mad bastard.

He's taken half a million quid of our money to fund his own cocaine-induced mind orchestra.

On a more positive note, I must get the number of Rage's dealer, because the gear the cunt is getting is clearly fucking phenomenal.

It's called...

Birth.

Decided to pursue fresh opportunities...

Apparently the cretin begged for his life.

You know what they say about Schadenfreude.

Is that the trip-hop mob?

Signed to Deconstruction last year?

Did you see that review I left out? What review?

Why do I bother? Here.

That band I was telling you about, The Lazies.

Great review of their EP in the NME.

Great.

Steven? Hi, Milly.

Can you send him up, please? Yeah, I will do.

Thanks. Thanks.

Derek wants to see you.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man?

In the land of the blind, Rebecca...

About the Brits, can you speak to those clowns at the cab company?

Make sure they send someone who's actually set foot in London before.

Traffic will be a nightmare. You'll be quicker on the tube.

The fucking what? The tube, Steven.

How amusing.

The stage is now set for this year's Brit Awards, with smash sensation Ellie Crush tipped...

...to pick up a handful of awards.

Thought you might like to hear from the plugging team how your dance hit is shaping up.

Right, well, Radio 1 don't think it's for them.

Maybe if it was bigger at club, we'd have more ammunition.

Derek, mate, we've done a massive mail out, but...

It just seems to be the kind of track that needs a bit more radio before the club DJs pick up on it.

Fuck.

There's a good review in Mixmag.

Are you telling me we've paid a hundred grand to get a review in fucking Mixmag?

So, where do we take this cunt of a record from here?

It's got me in the eye.

Derek hates the record.

The marketing department hate the record.

The radio department hate the record.

In a bizarre alchemic process perhaps unique to the entertainment industry, the cancer cure I brought back from Cannes has mysteriously morphed into something closer to the cause of AIDS.

Girl power!

Suck my root. Why's that fat cunt so happy?

Check out Ellie fucking Crush, man.

Ellie! Tony!

Three Brits and, surprise, surprise, Derek's right up Parker Hall's night fighter.

Success has a thousand fathers, Steven.

Failure is an orphan.

Excuse me, darling.

Oi, oi, Stelfox. Danny.

How you doing? Some birds in here!

What happened with that Suck My Dick thing you signed at Midem?

We're doing some more mixes. What you got going on?

I wanna come see you, actually. This girl band I'm managing...

You want a Rockschool? Yeah.

Five double Jack and Coke, please, darling.

What are they called? The Songbirds. You get it?

Fucking girl power and all that bollocks.

See Roger's celebrating. How's that?

Well, I hear he's your new head of A&R.

Where are you hearing that?

Derek's PA let it slip to Ted in my office earlier on.

I think he's gonna get it.

Thank you, darling.

Two, three...

Keep the change, all right?

Stevie.

Enjoy. I'll give you a bell about the band.

Yeah. Sorry, darling.

Sometimes, as a mantra to calm myself during moments of stress or anxiety, I find it soothing to repeat all the different words I know for cocaine.

Gak, chang, nose-up, bag, beak, charlie, krell, powder, chisel, bump, posh, bugle, sniff, skiwear...

That's the problem with chasing these one-off dance records, you know.

The stakes are so high.

I mean, sometimes you...

You know, that's why I think it'll be a good thing, David going, you know.

It'll give us a chance to have a proper A&R department where we sign some real artists with longevity, you know, great British songwriters like, say...

You know, say...

Paul Weller? Yeah.

I mean, he writes most of his own stuff, doesn't he?

Yeah, yeah, I believe he does.

Roger, why are you talking like this?

Why are you banging on about your vision for the department?

I don't know, man. Have they offered you David's job?

Derek told me not to say anything.

Trellick doesn't even know yet.

It's no reflection on you, Steven.

It's just it's not great timing for you, you know, after what happened with Rudi's dance track and...

You know, I don't want it to seem like you're suddenly working for me.

We're working together.

Racket, bink, bump, bronson, bolivian, toot, junior, chas, nonsense, bounce...

Well, congratulations. Well done, mate.

Fucking result. Thanks.

You got any more champagne?

It's in the fridge.

Obviously I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about running the department before.

I mean, let's be honest, David was all over the place.

He was too old.

He never got a sense of what he really liked and didn't like.

It was just about seeing whatever deals were hot and then getting in on it at the last minute.

It's like with Rage, remember, it was you that brought that in, Steven, and now I'm in charge, I'm gonna make sure things like that get properly recognised, you know.

You should have had a point on that album and in the future, I know we can, we definitely need to broaden the roster, you know.

We need to find a band like Supergrass...

Smack my bitch up


Fucking die!

Of course Paul Weller writes his own songs, you stupid fat bastard.

Of the foremost singer/songwriters of his generation!

I mean, who gives a fuck about the mod cunt?

But he's primarily known as a singer fucking songwriter.

Nice.

Who would you say your influences are?

I think he's asking what music you like.

Madonna and stuff. You don't even like Madonna.

Your breath stinks.

I'm also a rap singer. Girls...

Really? Sorry, mate.

Can we leave this till later?

You're giving me a fucking headache. Great.

Well, Danny, let me get back to you, yeah?

All right, be quick, though.

We're up at Virgin this afternoon. Cheers, Danny.

Come on, girls. Let's go.

Nice meeting you Cheers. Thanks, girls.

What d'you reckon to that lot, then?

What do I reckon?

I reckon they look like the worst kind of sink-estate benefit-fraud trash imaginable, and to say that their music is dismal would be an understatement on par with saying Fred West could probably have been a better fucking dad.

But I'd also like to do the lot of them.

I reckon if we got some real songwriters, decent producer, world-class stylist, an A-list photographer and some personal trainers to keep them off the KFC and the alcopops... and if we spent a fortune on the right pluggers and press officers to convince people they're the real deal, rather than just a talentless bunch of slags who'd gobble a fucking donkey to get to meet Mark Morrison, then, yeah, Rebecca, we might just sell a few fucking records.

Have you guys heard about Roger?

Yeah, where is that clown? He hasn't been in for three fucking days now.

He's dead.

What?

Someone beat him to death... in his flat.

Fuck.

Holy shit.

They even killed his little dog.

Here. It's OK. It's OK.

The police think he disturbed an intruder.

Poor Roger.

Jesus.

Right, so you'll be acting head of A&R for the time being.

The scouts and Rob will report to you temporarily.

Now, what are we gonna do about this fucking Rage album?

Christ, let's just drop the talentless clown.

Look into what it'll cost us to get out of the deal, James.

The point is, Steven, we're dead in the water.

We need some activity.

You're off to Austin for South By Southwest this week, right?

Yeah, me and Darren.

We're gonna see a lot of new bands.

OK. Good.

Watch the expenses.

Thanks, Derek.

I mean, this wasn't how I wanted to get the job...

You haven't got the job yet.

We'll see how it goes, OK?

Christ. What's that bender's problem?

I mean, apart from the fucking AIDS coursing through his veins.

Same problem it always is. We need some hits.

Correctos.

Katy, can you dig out Roger's contract for me, please?

And ring Simon Esplen and cancel lunch tomorrow.

Thank you.

Steven.

Steven.

Look, come back from Texas with some hot new bands and you'll be golden.

Christ. I fucking hate bands.

We all do, Steven. We all do.

Acting head of A&R The fucking insult.

Still, it might be a good opportunity to make a mark, to stamp my taste on the department.

So I suppose you're wondering, what is that taste, what kind of music do I like?

Asking a major label A&R man this is like asking a stockbroker what his favourite commodity is, or saying to an FX trader, 'Hey, what's your favourite currency?'

The answer is: whatever's profitable.

Hip-hop, trance, Bulgarian heavy metal played on sheep's bladders.

If it's a hit, who fucking cares, as long as it's profitable.

Hey. We'll catch up later


The truth is, signing bands is a lottery.

But now and then, once in a while, you do witness something new, fresh, like fucking snow.

And then you've got your work cut out, because then the race is on, because if you sign a proper band with songs and longevity, with sales and credibility, then you get known as that ultimate A&R accolade.

You are a music guy, someone with good ears.

You're a man of taste and discernment, a man like...

Anthony Parker fucking Hall.

All right, ladies and gentlemen...

Why don't I know about this band?

Everyone bloody loves them.

I told you, The Lazies from Sweden.

Bollocks did you. Fucking Rebecca's been banging on about them.

That cunt Parker Hall's all over them.

Who's the manager? Some guy called Jimmy Sien.

They're coming over to London next week.

Right, sort out a meeting, for fuck's sake.

I think it's Stein, actually. Jimmy Stein.

I don't fucking care. Just sort out the meeting.

Yeah.

The Lazies. I don't believe this.

Where is their CD?

I mean, I've been going on about that band for months and now suddenly...

Yeah, but now they're fucking hot, Rebecca.

That's life.

Steven? Hi, Derek.

Is he there? Yes. Hang on.

Derek.

That you? Yeah.

Phonogram are about to make an offer on the fucking Lazies.

No, I know Phonogram are offering, and Island.

Well, are we meeting them? Yeah.

Today? No. They've just got into the country.

Me and Darren are having dinner with them later in the week.

We've got to get this, Steven. We're gonna get this fucking deal.

OK? Yes.

Great. Bye. OK, yeah. Bye, bye, bye. Bye.

Now, where is their fucking CD?

Been promoted again? Fuck off.

Look, call Rough Trade.

Get one biked over.

About the Lazies deal... Jesus.

I just had Derek on the phone.

Apparently Independiente are in the frame as well.

Two firm, 150 grand per album. Oh, fuck. You're kidding me?

Steven, there's someone in reception to see you.

Tell them to fuck off.

Actually, I wouldn't do that.

It's a policeman.

Hello. Rough Trade.

Is that for the Rage album? Yeah.

Wow. My wife bought that.

Yeah, not really my kind of thing, to tell you the truth.

I'm more into the guitar stuff.

Played in a band until a few years ago, sent a few demos off back in the day.

The usual 'not what we're looking for at the moment' replies.

Well, it's tough trying to get your foot in the door.

Sorry, Detective...? Woodham.

Right. I'm just a little bit busy right now, so...

Righty ho.

Anyway, as I said, I'm just following up on a few things relating to Mr Waters' murder.

I believe you were with him on the last night he was seen alive.

Yeah. We'd been at the Brits.

We shared a cab. I dropped him off on the way back to mine.

Right.

What were the Brits like?

Usual nonsense.

Yeah, I mean, I've seen it on the telly and that, but...

I imagine it's different when you're, you know, actually there.

Yeah.

Did Mr Waters have any problems that you knew about?

Like what? Debts, for instance.

Or did he have any enemies? Probably a few enemies.

You have to say no to people an awful lot.

Tell me about it.

I mean, he's unlikely to have had any money worries.

Expenses all the way in your bloody racket, isn't it?

Yeah, we have been known to claim a few beers back.

You'd been drinking that night? It was the Brits Drugs? Not for me, no.

There's evidence of cocaine use at the scene.

Significant levels of the drug in Mr Waters' body.

Really?

To be honest, I thought all you guys...

That's a myth.

It's not the '80s. You have to work too hard these days.

Sorry, Steven.

Derek wants you to go up and discuss The Lazies offer.

The Lazies? Great single, that.

Christ. Tell him we'll just...

No, no, it's fine. I'm done.

Thanks for your time, Mr Stelfox. No, thank you.

Sorry I couldn't be more help, you know.

If there's anything else I can help with, then just give me a call.

Thanks.

Actually, there is one more thing.

Can you tell me what you make of this?

It's just some rough mixes we did at my mate's place.

I was the songwriter, you see.

I'd love a professional opinion.

Sure. I'll have a listen.

Great.

All finished? Absolutely.

What was all that about?

He was asking about Roger.

I told him Id dropped him off on the way home after the Brits.

What's with this?

Starstruck copper reckons he's Noel fucking Gallagher.

He's quite cute, though. Fancy that, do you, Rebecca?

Being married to some cretin who earns 25 grand a year and wears Next suits, tooling around B&Q on a Sunday buying fucking tiles?

Well, if you're in love... Don't make me laugh.

Where are you gonna take The Lazies for dinner?

I don't care.

Just find somewhere that's vegetarian-friendly.

Vegan, actually.

Well, what's their fucking deal, then?

No animal products whatsoever.

No fish, no dairy, no eggs.

Fucking indie kids.

How d'you wanna play this?

You be the enthusiastic music lover, bang on about indie B sides and the guitar solos of Tom fucking Verlaine or whatever, and I'll do the industry thing when they say, 'Tell us about the label'.

Hey. With indie kids, you have to remember this.

They really think that what they do matters in some way.

They reckon that history will care, that they're passing on the torch and just as they were influenced by someone, then in the future young bands will be influenced by them.

The fucking arrogance of it all.

May I get you some drinks? Yes.

Could you bring us the vodka menu?

You guys have to check this out. They've got over 30...

Can I just have some more water, please?

Yeah, me too.

We've got an early start tomorrow, so...

Fine. Thank you.

So, what's your favourite track on the EP?

Track 3.

Right. Wow.

Great. So, guys, tell us about your label.

Me? Sure.

Well, as you know, we'll manufacture your records and put them in the shops and that's about it.

We'll interfere at every conceivable stage of the artistic process.

We'll remix and edit tracks without your permission and force you to appear on degrading kids' TV programmes when you're hung over to fuck at nine o'clock in the morning.

We'll use your music to advertise banks and petrochemical giants.

We'd use it to advertise arms dealers and whaling fleets if only the cunts advertised on TV.

We'll under-account to you and charge you for everything from that disgraceful fucking tofu you're about to order to the staples used to knock your horrendous contracts together.

And if it doesn't all work out, you'll be dropped faster than a Plymouth hooker's knickers when there's a big fucking ship in town.

How's that?

Strap that on for a laugh, you vegan hippy cunts.

Me? Sure.

Well, as you know, we're very much about long-term artist development.

You know, we wanna make you guys feel comfortable and make you happy that you're producing the sort of music...

Come on! I'm the fucking king.

Come on! I'm the fucking king!

When he goes up the octave, it's just... it's magical.

Incredible. It's so incredible.

I mean, you play...? Drums No, we're just...

We're...

Excuse me. I'll be back in a second.

All righty. Anyone for dessert or shall we go for a nightcap?

Actually, I think we're gonna hit the road now.

Come on. The night is young.

OK, all right. Well, I'll get our lawyer to give your guy a call.

Yeah, great. See you at the show.

Yeah, Saturday. Wouldn't miss it.

Hey, are you sure you don't fancy a drink?

Sorry. I'm really tired.

Yes, I know this private members club you and me could...

Are you like hitting on me?

No. Look, thanks again for dinner.

Good night.

That went well.

3 days later and still no response to our offer on The Lazies.

With each passing day, they are becoming the hottest unsigned band in the country.

Whoever gets their signature is gonna look like Clive fucking Davis with a six-foot cock.

So what do you do?

You follow the circus to the next town and stand at the back, nodding along with all the other clowns like you give a shit.

Mr Stelfox. Hey.

Hi.

It's Alan Woodham, DC Woodham. I interviewed you about...

Yeah. Christ, sorry. I didn't recognise you in your civvies.

What are you doing here? I still like to get out to a few gigs.

I heard good things about this lot. What did you think?

Yeah, interesting.

Any progress with the investigation?

Not really.

None of the neighbours saw anything.

So, what did you think of my demo?

Be frank. I can take it.

Actually, I have to say, I was really impressed.

Really? Yeah, yeah.

There's some great songs on there.

What was your favourite? Track 3.

Time Keeps Moving. Yeah.

Thanks for taking the time to have a listen.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not harbouring any delusions about becoming a rock star at 30, but I did think with the song writing maybe I could look at getting a publishing deal, you know, write songs for other people.

Yeah.

Do you know any publishers who it might be worth sending it to?

Yes, yeah. Look, I've gotta run.

But let me have a think and I'll give you a call, OK?

Thanks, Steven. Cheers, Alan.

I love you, London!

Thank you so much.

You've been amazing.

Fuck a dog. Is that... Is that Parker Hall?

Would it be fair to say Parker Hall's some what closer with the band than we are?

When the going gets tough... What, the tough do Es?

Fucking indie band. There'll be another one along in a minute.

But, I can get you a deal if that's what you want.

I can do a deal.

I can get you a deal.

You should call me. Give me a call.

Who is Darren talking to?

Yeah? I'm the deal maker.

He's literally talking to the wall.

I think he's offering it a record deal.

That last double drop was an own goal, mate.

Do you want a deal?

I guess you can have a deal.

Just give me your address. Send me a signal. OK.

Next door. What?

How do you know my mum?

Will you give me a sec?

Get some water down you, Darren.

Strap yourselves in, lads.

Looks like we're gonna be signing The Lazies after all.

Come on. I'm the fucking king.

Well... Parker Hall is actually signing them.

The band won't sign with anyone else but Parker Hall.

It seems Derek's been talking to Parker Hall for a while.

He had breakfast with him this morning.

His contract is up at EMI and he's coming straight over to us to be head of A&R.

I don't understand.

Derek has hired Parker Hall.

He's going to be our new head of A&R and he's bringing The Lazies in with him as his first signing.

He's your fucking boss.

As you all know, this has been a very difficult year for this company.

What with Roger's tragic death and David Schneider's decision to move on, we have been missing certain leadership in the A&R department.

Well, I'm very pleased to say that's all about to change.

As we all know, in A&R your reputation is everything.

With a great reputation, you attract talent, and with talent, you get hits, and with hits, you build a successful label.

And this man here has an incredible reputation, established at EMI where he had tremendous success with Ellie Crush.

I have personally been trying to get him to work here for a very long time now and I'm delighted to say he's finally accepted.

Please welcome our new head of A&R, Anthony Parker Hall.

I'm not one for big speeches, so I will just say how excited I am to be here...

I'm walking in a forest.

I'm walking in a forest.

I'm walking in a forest. No. No, it's pony. Take it off, Darren.

Welcome to the new regime.

OK, this is Cocoa and the Bean, Edinburgh band.

There's a few people talking about them.

A&R meetings are now weekly under Parker Hall rather than whenever we felt like it under Schneider.

They're also driven by a new focus and clarity.

He's on everything early and has a sharp idea of what he likes and what he doesn't like, what he thinks will work in the marketplace and what won't.

And if it's not bad enough listening to his opinions, he's now asking for ours.

So, I've been thinking about producers for the new Lazies album.

Any of you got any bright ideas?

Gil Norton?

Rob?

Who are you thinking of?

Steve Albini. Fuck, that's good.

He produced In Utero, Nirvana's last record.

He just rocks up, box of microphones, records the band live.

He's thought all this through.

The way I see it, we've got enough buzz in the band.

We're gonna have a gold record with this one whatever it sounds like, so let's just make an extreme record, establish credibility, then we make something more commercial with the second one, yeah?

He isn't really asking our opinions on anything.

It's just some horrible test.

Do you know how many acts signed to this company in the last decade have actually made their third album, anyone?

Zero.

We've got to get into the business of developing long-term artists.

Everyone here has their own specialties, so if we can play to those strengths, we're gonna have this department firing on all cylinders, yeah?

Rob, that Sound Collective thing you signed, how many finished tracks do you have?

Steven, I hear you're taking a look at that girl band Danny Rent's managing.

Songbirds.

Apparently quite a few people are interested.

Should we be doing it?

Do I wanna sign them?

I really don't know.

Signing bands can literally cost you your fucking job.

Also, I must be mindful of Parker Hall's intention here.

I mean, you understand what this little cunt is asking me?

He might be privately convinced that Songbirds are a grade-A Bernard Matthews turkey with hobnailed boots on.

He could be doling me out just enough rope to fashion a fucking noose.

It's win-win for him.

If I sign them and they're huge, he looks like the king of rock because he OK'd the deal.

If they go down like the Titanic with fucking boulders strapped to it, he'll say something about how he had to give me the opportunity to make my own mistakes... and he'll fire me.

On the other hand, if I don't sign them and, say, Virgin do and they're huge, then I'm fucked too.

I'm Dick Rowe.

I'm the guy who laid a giant shit on the Beatles' demo and mailed it back to them with little flags sticking out of it saying, 'Go fuck yourselves, you talentless Scouse bastards.'

It's a nightmare.

Loaded dice and poisoned chalices all over the fucking shop.

Well, Steven?

Yes or no?

That's your career over, then. Cheers, girls.

Well done. Congratulations.

Cheers. Thank you.

Loaded dice and poisoned chalices all over the shop.

Just heard from Radio 1. Lazies single...

Straight in the fucking B list. Excellente.

Seven weeks upfront. Right, Tony.

Let's move on this one. All right.

Guys, just give us a minute, yeah?

Thanks, girls.

Really excited. Steven'll see you out.

Girls, let's go now. OK...

Come on, girls.

Cheers. Thank you.

Locked out of the love-in, success with its thousand fathers laughing at failure, the lonely orphan.

I really don't like the way this is going.

Gak, chang, bugle, nose-up, bag, beak, charlie, krell, chisle, bump, posh, sniff, skiwear, bronson, bolivian, toot, junior, chas, bounce, blow.

There's someone to see you.

Fuck tits.

Hi. Can you close the door, please?

Sorry. I've been meaning to call you about the publishing thing.

Actually, I'm here officially.

Need to talk with you again in connection with Mr Waters' murder.

Have there been any developments?

You told me you'd been at the Brits... and you 'dropped him off on the way back to mine'.

Yeah.

But the Brits were held in Earls Court.

You live in Notting Hill and he lives... lived in Maida Vale.

Yeah.

Christ. Seems like a long way around.

Why wouldn't you have been dropped off first?

Think. Think.

Did I say that?

Shit.

Yeah, no, that was it, we were gonna drop me off first, neither of us had any cash and I left my wallet in the office.

So we went back to Roger's place, he had some cash in the house, and, yeah, that was it.

Sorry. I'd, you know, had a few.

OK.

So you were saying something about publishing.

Yeah, I was.

I don't think we'll have any trouble getting a couple of publishers interested in your stuff.

I was just wondering if you could get me a few more CDs.

Sure.

Great. I will make a few phone calls.

And I'm sorry about the confusion with the Roger stuff.

No problem.

No problem.

Fucking hell.

I don't think the auto-tune's been built that can handle this lot yet.

Right, enough's enough Send them home.

We'll get some session singers in and get it done.

And listen, Danny, I don't give a shit about them not being on the record, but we've gotta do something about the fucking dance routine for this video.

Yeah. Choreographer's simplifying it already.

Simplify it much more and they're just gonna be standing there fucking wanking.

Right, girls...

For fuck's sake, Danny. I'll go sort the talent out.

The talent, no less.

Are you talented? Get fucked.

Go work in a guitar shop with all the other talented losers.

Bono, Madonna, the Spice Girls.

Do you really think any of that lot are talented?

Don't make me laugh.

What they are is ambitious.

I guarantee you that in return for her 15 minutes of fame, someone like Geri Halliwell would have risen at the crack of dawn every morning and swum naked through a river of HIV positive shark-infested semen just to do a 30-second regional radio interview.

This is what you want, you've got a shot with that kind of attitude.

Fuck me. What have you come as? Fuck off.

What's the occasion? Lazies launch.

What, tonight? I told you.

Cab's booked for eight.

He's playing a guitar.

He's jamming with the band.

Hey, boss. You might wanna come and look at this.

Rage, the self-styled drum and bass superstar, was rushed to hospital after a violent altercation...

What a mess.

They're saying he might have brain damage.

Wow. How can they tell?

You seen this?

Well, the good news is this might be our opportunity to rip up his contract.

Look, I'm... I'm not one to dance on anyone's grave, but... I was never a fan.

James, we're gonna need you upstairs.

Steven. Yeah.

Can I just have a quick word?

Sure. What's up?

I've just had Jimmy and Marcy over.

Yeah, I heard. Yeah.

It's the launch night, it's a big thing for the band, and... no offence, mate, I think it'd be best if you don't come.

Look, I don't know what happened...

...but Marcy says she gets a bad vibe off you.

I can't come anyway.

Got a gig to go to.

Right.

Well, take it easy, yeah?

Early flight tomorrow. Yep.

Outflanked, outmanoeuvred, outplayed.

At the end of the day, you're either outside or you're inside.

You do not want to be on the outside.


Fuck off.


Jesus Christ.

Hey, you.

Hello. I'm in the cab. We're pulling up.

Are you ready?

Yeah. I'll be down in two minutes.

Gotta go to New York.

I know.

I booked your hotel and flight.

Fuck.

Steven...

You killed Roger, didn't you?

I wasn't expecting you to put in an appearance last night.

I thought I made myself pretty clear.

Look, I've got this Lazies meeting with Ashley Werner tonight, so you're gonna have to go and see this band.

They're meant to be good.

Where is it?

It's out of town a bit, I think, in Brooklyn.

And then don't forget we've got that dinner later.

All the top brass from the American label.

It's at that new place downtown.

Champagne, sir. Thank you.

There.

Thanks.

Listen, this is important, right?

We've gotta get the Yanks behind the bands, so... just do us a favour and fucking behave yourself, yeah?

I have a sense of unravelling, of things coming apart, spinning out of control.

And for the first time I begin to wonder, what's it like out there, on the other side, in the real world?

Steven, it's Danny.

I've got a problem with this video shoot.

The girls aren't happy with the director. It's all...

Hi. It's Rebecca. One other thing.

I know what you're like, so I'm gonna put a time limit on this.

If nothing happens in the next month, I'm going to start introduc...

What? You killed Roger, didn't you?

I don't care about that.

He was an idiot.

Even worse at his job than you, which takes some doing.

Here's a tip.

If you're going to kill someone, don't have a company cab take you both back to his flat and then call another company cab from there to take you home a few hours later.

These people keep records, you know.

What do you want, Rebecca?

Advancement, Steven. Same as you.

If I have to book one more flight, one more restaurant table, one more hotel, so that someone who knows less about music than me can go tooling round the world, getting off their tits, pissing money up the wall...

You're insane. You've got no fucking idea.

I want an entry-level A&R position.

And I want it pretty fucking quick.

Parker Hall's been talking about hiring a new scout.

You can put my name forward.

Or you could fire Darren and give me his job.

You decide.

You know I'd be good.

The Lazies. There's plenty more where that came from.

You're blackmailing me for a job?

Correctos. As you all say in your stupid boys' club.

So I'd get on it if I were you, before I start introducing policemen to cab controllers.

OK?

Mr Stelfox, DC Woodham.

Look, it's been weeks and you still haven't got back to me about this publishing deal.

It's in your interest to call me back about this.

Hello? Alan. Sorry to call so late.

It's Steven. Mr Stelfox.

Listen, about the publishing deal. I think that...

Can you tell me why one of your neighbours claims he saw you entering your flat at 5:30am on the morning of Roger Waters' murder?

You told me you'd arrived home at midnight.

I... I got up early to go and get a paper.

Paper?

Where did you buy this newspaper?

It was the corner of Westbourne Grove.

Alan, is everything all right?

I don't know.

Is it?

I'm sorry it's taking so long with the demos, the publishing deal, but we will get there, promise.

Whatever you can do.

And please let me know in advance if you're thinking about leaving the country again.

Yeah, of course. Sorry, I was...

So, on top of a girl band who can't sing or dance, a policeman who's extorting a publishing deal out of me and a secretary who is blackmailing me for a job, I now have to go to the arse end of nowhere to see some poxy band.

Fuck that.


No, thanks.

Hey.

Hi. What was your name again?

Emma. Emma.

Emma, you wanna... You wanna do a bump?

A what?

A bump. You want some bugle?

I don't know what you mean. Chang?

Beak? Bag?

You want a sniff? Nose-up?

Oh, coke. Yes.

No.

Thank you.

Fucking Shermans.

The situation at radio is inherently sexist.

You go in with a record with an older female artist, like Joni Mitchell or Marianne Faithfull or Kate Bush, and it's uphill battle from the get-go.

But if it's Clapton or Rod Stewart or whoever, it's a different story.

Yeah, it does get harder for women as they get older.

I beg your pardon?

Well, it's like you don't mind seeing Bowie or Jagger, you know, fruiting around at 50 odd.

There's still a certain charm there.

Clapton, he's just a muso.

No one gives a shit what he looks like.

But Debbie Harry at 60? Steven...

Cher? Cher at fucking 70 playing keepy-uppies with her jugs.

Face like a melted bucket of concrete, Fuck that. Steven.

No, no cunt needs to be seeing that.

What?

What about women who are still producing important artistically valid work?

Like... Nanci Griffith or Emmylou Harris or... Chrissie Hynde?

No, I wouldn't fuck any of those cows.

Who's this guy? Steven!

Fucking prick! Who the fuck do you think you are?

Who hired this guy?

How dare you!

Misogynist pig.

Jesus. You fucking bum.


Please leave a message after the tone.

Hey, loser. Where the fuck are you?

You've been back three days.

I'd get in here before your old mucker Parker Hall has a fit.

Ross has been trying to get hold of you, by the way.

Call him back. Call me.

I'm looking at the karma bank and it's bad.

It's fucking bad.

It's like looking at one of my own bank statements.

The tumbling zeroes.

Overdrawn.

Debit, debit, debit.


Maybe the course can be changed, the karma bank replenished.

Maybe if I helped old ladies across the road every day until the end of time.

Or if I joined the VSO, went to Africa or somewhere and helped swollen-bellied kids build dams.

Volunteered to drive the buses that take mongoloids to the seaside.

Served gruel to skeletal pensioners in London soup kitchens.

Or moved to the country and had kids, ate oatmeal, went running, read books, tried to raise them to be so that they don't...

...they won't...


Well?

Are you gonna let me in?

I had some people over. Jesus fucking Christ.

What are you doing here? You've gone AWOL.

Rebecca's been covering for you, but people are starting to talk.

Look, we haven't been working together long...

Listen, mate, listen, let's get this straight.

We're not working together.

You work for me.

Right?

And if you wanna carry on working for me, you need to get your shit together.

Then... then, please, get off your nut at dinner, take the piss out of whoever you want, but, I'm telling you, I'm telling you, Steven, you're this fucking close to getting canned.

You're a smart guy, Steven.

The label needs someone like you, because you're sharp.

Ambitious.

But you have got lost.

We're all under pressure.

You throw enough shit at the wall, then something'll stick, but where's the talent in that?

You might as well line a bunch of chancers up on the stage, let the public decide who's gonna be the next number one.

But that's not the job.

I mean, John Hammond.

Ahmet Ertegun. Chris Blackwell.

Outside the music industry, no one's even heard of those guys, but look at what they gave us.

Ray Charles, Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Springsteen.

That's the kind of music you measure across lives, across generations.

That's why we got into this business.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Don't know. I can't...

Well, mine was The Cutter.

Echo and the Bunnymen.

Winter, 1983.

Well, I mean, that's what I tell the bands. It was actually...

It was Rio by Duran Duran.

That's between you and me.

It was Blue Monday.

New Order. 12 inch vinyl. There it is.

Please leave a message after the tone.

Steve?

Steve, you there, man?

Mate, I need to talk to you about the Songbirds.

Fucking hell.

If you're there, pick up the phone!

Ross.

...from London, the Big Smoke, bringing it to the north!

Some doable beasts up north.

What, are you gonna tell them you're a music industry lawyer from London?

You might as well say you're a fucking astronaut.

I'm a fucking astronaut.

This is it. Come on!

Here we go.

They're doing the dance.

It's got its own fucking dance.

It's not just here. It's like this all over the country, Steven.

Haven't seen anything like it since fucking Whigfield.

I got blindsided, didn't I?

Side-tracked by detail and nonsense.

I lost sight of the big picture.

Only one thing matters in this racket: big hit records, and plenty of them.

Sort that out and you can do what you fucking like.

Right, OK, Songbirds.

Now, Pandora's on the phone to Radio 1 about the playlist, but as of this week, the video's one of the most requested on The Box.

MTV have it on heavy rotation.

We're starting to get a lot of interest from the tabloids.

Congratulations, Steven.

We knew this one had a shot, eh?

Result, mate. Well done.

Cheers.

So that's why he didn't fire me.

We'd best get on with the album.

He knew the track had landed.

Success is a gangbang, lotions, lubricants, cocks all over the shop.

Failure is a lonely rapist hiding in the bushes.

They're all going to pay.

Everyone is going to fucking pay.


How far...

How far are you willing to go?

You'll be happy, mate.

You'll be very fucking happy.

So, any progress?

Who, me? I was gonna ask you that.

I have got some news, actually.

I've found a publisher who wants to sign you as a songwriter.

You see, that's the key in this game, Alan.

Contacts. Loyalty.

Favours banked and reciprocated.

You know what I mean?

It's exactly the same in my game.

Cheers.

In every difficult, worthwhile endeavour, there will come a point when the easiest course of action is to abandon forward motion, to allow inertia to take over and return to the status quo.

All right? Yeah.

I was just looking for a demo we were talking about.

Tony left me some tickets.

Did he now?

Anything I should know about?

No, it's just some band.

He didn't think they'd be your cup of tea, so he thought I should check them out.

Here you go.

Don't wanna be late.

See you in the morning.

It is the brave and great man who upon recognising this point resists inertia and smashes on through to the far side, no matter the cost.

I call this juncture 'the critical moment of will'.

No shit the sluts can't sing, Danny.

Just tell them it'll have to be a mimed PA or something.

The girls aren't gonna be happy about this, Steven.

They're kicking off. We already changed the choreographer Just trust me on this, OK?

There you are.

What's going on?

Strap yourself in. For fuck's sake.

The police arrived about an hour ago.

No one's been allowed to go upstairs.

We only know 'cause Jeannie came down and told us.

For fuck's sake's, mate, what is it?

Parker Hall's been arrested.

They found images.

On his hard drive. Images?

Kids.

I mean literally, you know, like babies and stuff.

I swear to God, Steven, he's a fucking paedophile.

How far...

How far are you willing to go?

He's going on holiday on the 15th. I'll tell him then.

There's no sense having him moping around.

I don't want his car. What's wrong with Darren's car?

New car. BMW Compact at least.

You're hardcore, Rebecca.

Well, how else is a girl gonna get on in this business?

Sit there and do my nails while the bands I tip you off about become the hottest fucking deals in town?

Cometh the hour, cometh the girl?

Something like that, yeah.

How's it going with your cute policeman?

I'm getting him a publishing deal would you believe?

Really?

Who on earth is signing his publishing?

Me. Did you listen to his demo?

Of course not. I did.

And?

Cunt.

Anyway, I think it'll be fine, although...

I might need a little help in that direction.

Don't push your luck.

It's in your interest too.

My interest, no less?

You're priceless, Steven.

Not that he'll notice, but this is the cheapest champagne in the house.

The celebration's fake.

The friends are fake.

The only real thing at the table is Woodham's stupid smile.

Fuck. Excuse me a sec, guys.

Oi, Mr Stelfox.

All right, Steven?

Rage, I...

He don't talk so good since the accident.

How are you doing, mate?

He just wanted to say hello. Yeah.

Come on, let's get you cleaned up. Yeah.

Steven. Trellick.

Did you drop Rage yet? Well, yes.

No, I mean, did you actually terminate his contract?

No, not exactly.

Good. Don't. What?

I said do not drop Rage.

I've got an idea.

I almost feel sorry for him.

He thinks this is all really happening.

The power of dreams.

When it comes to aspiring musicians, there really is no upper limit to their level of delusion.

So what's the plan?

Oh, shit. Fuck.

I didn't think an officer of the law would be into this sort of thing.

More cokeheads in the police than the bloody music industry, I bet.

Anyway, 30 grand.

I know you said it's not a big advance, but I hardly make that in a year.

I mean, maybe I'll just quit.

If I was just writing songs all the time, I bet in six months I'd have enough...

Alan.

Two?

For Rebecca.


Fancy making some drinks, Alan?

Fuck.

Yeah, OK.

Shit.

You reckon that'll do it?

He's a married copper with kids.

I don't think he'll want this making the rounds.


I'm gonna enjoy us working together.

You know, you really are hardcore, Rebecca.

You're either outside or you're inside.

You do not want to be inside.

I can't fucking take it.

Look, you'll make bail in a couple more days.

A couple more days?

They think I'm a fucking paedo.

Someone's gonna do me. Easy. Listen...

I know this is not great timing.

But I need to get you to sign this.

It's just with the potential publicity surrounding this, we... Derek...

...thought it would be best if you took a voluntary leave of absence.

You know, let the dust settle.

Listen, you know... you know I had...

I had nothing to do with that stuff they found, right?

Come on.

Here. I brought you some magazines.

There's a good review of The Lazies album in there.

Hey, it's the least I could do, mate.

The taste of victory.

Savour the rusty blood of your enemies, but, remember, the true warrior understands that war is not a crisis or an event but a ceaseless state of being.

Power comes from the relentless pursuit of the unattainable.

Oi, oi.

Listen to this.

'Rage.'

'This harrowing, fractured piece, is the sound of a man trying to communicate with an environment he has been savagely dislocated from.'

We're shipping gold, mate. We might just fucking recoup.

The drum and bass Stephen Hawking, the ultimate coffee-table accessory for today's middle-class spastic.

Rage, the talentless halfwit.

The last turkey in the shop sprouts some fucking wings.

Well?

We just got the midweeks.

It would appear that Songbirds are number one by a country mile.

Come on! Come on!

Would our new head of A&R care to make a speech?

Alan. What?

Alan.

Alan, help! Alan...

She just fell. Christ!

What kind of fucking...

She's dead.

Jesus. Jesus!

Shit. Fuck.

Fucking...

Oh, God. What happened?

I don't know, Alan!

She fell off the bed on the bottle.

She's dead!

Fucking God! Through the fucking neck, didn't it.

I'm calling the police.

I am the fucking police.

We're out of our minds.

There'll be forensic evidence that we both, you know...

Christ.

You know what happens to coppers in prison?

So what are we going to do?

There's a level of grief you'll take from doing your secretary.

The red eyes, the balled Kleenexes, the substandard work and the frosty silences in the office.

And there's a level of grief you definitely don't want.

Like a copper on ketamine dismembering a corpse in your fucking en suite.

Still, secretaries come and go.

Bands come and go.

Even executives come and go.

But record companies, we're here forever.

Schneider, Waters, Parker Hall, bloody Rebecca suddenly buggering off.

We've had a very difficult year.

But it's a tough business.

You know what they say.

A&R, artiste and repertoire, the branch of the music industry concerned with finding and nurturing new talent.

Since the first field hand crawled out of a Mississippi swamp and croaked his miserable blues into a wax cylinder, we've been here, taking our piece.

The Beatles earned a penny a record for most of their career.

The fucking balls on us.

Artiste and repertoire?

Assault and retribution.

Annihilation and robbery.

Armageddon...

...and revenge.

What is the meaning of life, young Stelfox?

It's to drive your enemies... Your enemies before you.

And hear the lamentations of their women.