Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

They were, we're told, the greatest band the world has ever known. But they never achieved the international success that was promised to them. Why not? Blending punk and funk with a sound all their own, performing with frantic energy, Fishbone clearly had something unique to offer, and a classic rock n' roll story to boot. In this documentary, Laurence Fishburne celebrates what went right and tries to figure out what went wrong.

Set over 25 years, this is an effective historical record, but it never really captures the energy of the band. The most interesting part comes early on, with band members talking about their school days, their early musical ambitions and their experiences of living in South Central L.A. As the first black band breaking into the early punk scene, they were an object of curiosity, and there's a hint that this fed into the way their musical style developed, as well as the way they came to celebrate difference in many forms. But the band members talk as if they're reciting stories they've told many times before; there's a tiredness about it, and too little input from contemporaries who might liven it up.

Beyond that, the film suffers because it is telling a familiar rock n' roll story, which makes the fights and the splits and the drinking problems deeply unsurprising. There's an intriguing section in the middle that deals with Kendall's religious obsessions, a neat parallel to the usual stories of rock stars getting hooked on drugs, but even this doesn't seem likely to supply anything fresh for fans. There's a shortage of engaging anecdotes, a failure to connect emotionally.

Everyday Sunshine has a big story to tell but still feels overlong at 107 minutes. If Fishbone really were the greatest band in the world, we don't get the chance to see it here.

Reviewed on: 27 Jan 2012
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A documentary about the 25 year career of Fishbone, the unique punk/funk underground band considered by many fans to be the best in the world.
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Director: Chris Metzler, Lev Anderson

Writer: Lev Anderson, Chris Metzler

Year: 2010

Runtime: 107 minutes

Country: USA


Glasgow 2012

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