Teenage Superstars

Teenage Superstars is a 2017 film about the Glasgow independent music scene between 1982 and 1992, focusing on the bands that emerged from in and around the city at this point including The Pastels, BMX Bandits, The Soup Dragons, Teenage Fanclub, The Vaselines, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Primal Scream. In doing so, the film also considers the early days of Creation Records and Stephen Pastel, David Keegan and Sandy McLean’s 53rd & 3rd record label. The film follows on chronologically from 2015's Big Gold Dream, also directed by Grant McPhee, with its title taken from The Vaselines song Teenage Superstars.

Teenage Superstars
Directed byGrant McPhee
Produced by
  • Grant McPhee
  • Wendy Griffin
  • Erik Sandberg
  • Angela Slaven
Written byAngela Slaven
Narrated byKim Deal
  • Grant McPhee
  • Martin Parry
  • Garry Torrance
Edited byAngela Slaven
Distributed byTartan Features
Release date
  • June 2017 (2017-06)
Running time
107 minutes


Teenage Superstars charts a generation of musicians from Glasgow and Lanarkshire from 1982. Broadly speaking, it is chronologically structured, while also tracing the geographical and social connections between some of the bands (for example, the childhood friendship of Sean Dickson, Duglas T. Stewart and Norman Blake, all from Bellshill). The film's story follows the formation of the featured bands, the friendships between them and sharing of band members, the commercial success of The Soup Dragons, Primal Scream and Teenage Fanclub, and the bond between the Scottish and US indie scenes of the early 1990s before the scene they had created gave way to Britpop.


McPhee had originally planned to make a single film - titled The Sound of Young Scotland - about Postcard Records and The Fire Engines, but as production continued, found that "a fuller story was beginning to emerge," and that the story of the Glaswegian scene from 1982, while a continuation of Big Gold Dream, was a story in its own right "which warranted a film in itself."[1]


Teenage Superstars premiered on 22 June 2017 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival,[2] where it was nominated for the Audience Award and Best Documentary[3], going on to show at Raindance in September of that year.[4] The film is due for a cinematic release in 2018.


Teenage Superstars has received generally positive reviews, including 4 out of 5 stars in both The List[5] and The Skinny,[6] with The Herald calling it "a real treat for music fans."[7]


  1. "Teenage Superstars – An Interview with Grant McPhee". For Malcontents Only. 2016-09-10. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  2. "Teenage Superstars". www.edfilmfest.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  3. "Edinburgh International Film Festival unveils 2017 line-up". Screen. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  4. "Teenage Superstars". calendar.raindancefestival.org. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  5. "Teenage Superstars". The List. 2017-06-28. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  6. "Teenage Superstars review: Scottish music doc - The Skinny". Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  7. "Edinburgh International Film Festival reviews:Teenage Superstars; Godspeed; Sexy Durga". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
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