Music Supervisor, Ian Neil, on Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan

By Vicky Bennett / GMS Administrator

Released in December 2020, Documentary, Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, follows the life and career of lead singer and songwriter of the Irish Punk band, The Pogues.

Director Julien Temple delves further into Shane’s life with never-before-seen footage from both the band and MacGowan’s family placed side-by-side with brilliant music supervision from Ian Neil.

This month we had the pleasure to speak with Ian Neil, Director of Film & TV at Sony Music, to get further understanding behind the musical work of ‘Crock of Gold’.

  • What drew you into working on the music supervision for this Documentary?

I have worked with the Director, Julien Temple, before and have always been a fan of his work.

  • When doing the music supervision for a documentary, I can imagine you get a raw glimpse into the persons’ personal life that we most likely haven’t seen before.
    — How do you ensure that the music you have selected engages the audience, but, without drawing away too much from the main subject at hand?

The music sort of selects itself in many ways and it’s the Director’s vision more than anyone else’s.

  • How does your process differ when doing the music supervision for a documentary focused around music, as Crock of Gold does, as opposed to working on a documentary not focused around music?

The key thing is getting the deals done on the artist’s music before anything else goes too far. Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people think this will be easy and quick but it’s not always the case. I don’t think it differs that much differently elsewhere to be honest. Maybe pulling in personal favours of the artist that happens to be friends with another artist.

  • As this documentary is very closely centered around Irish music within Shane MacGowan’s life, how did you feel that the music you selected and placed within ‘Crock of Gold‘ played an integral part to his story?

I think all the traditional Irish music which was re-recorded gave a real sense to his background.

  • What was your favourite scene to watch back when final mixing took place & what was your most memorable moment/highlight of working on this documentary?

Honestly can’t say there one specific scene that stood out for me but the highlight was for me getting a David Bowie composition in there.
Anytime I get to use a Bowie track in a film is always personal for me as such a lifelong fan. That and bringing the film in budget, which was no easy task on this one.

Thank you Ian, for taking the time out to speak with us, we wish the best for your future projects!

You can find out where to watch it HERE

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