It's set up like a documentary on a band – them bigging themselves up, the reality kind of different. Order 69 have won Scunthorpe's Got Talent with the first prize a record deal and a tour – only to find themselves at a half empty working men's club, sharing the bill with Connie and Her Dancing Collie. But the band has got Bez to star in their video – on the promise of free beer for a year…
Welcome to the pilot for a new sitcom that's already creating a buzz in the music industry and beyond. Alabama 3, who did the Sopranos music, have lent a track for the opening titles and agreed to write original music for the series if it gets commissioned – but only if they can be in it…
"They just liked the script" shrugs its creator, Carl Whitely, who's had nothing but positive feedback since he first wrote the sitcom three years ago. Production companies requested something on film and two years later there's a whole series written, a half hour pilot been made and a ten minute trailer that's showing at the Comedy Store in Manchester next Monday night (31st Oct) in the final of the Cofilmic Festival's hunt for new talent.
Order 69 has got through to the last five of the competition which will be judged by the likes of Ricky Gervais's producer Charlie Hanson and top BBC and comedy industry chiefs.
"I'm looking forward to it" says Carl, who's hoping to get the whole sitcom commissioned and on telly, complete with guest stars like Bez who is already on board plus others who have promised to appear.
The pilot - part shot in Carl's Pendleton flat, Pendleton Bowling Club and at the Salutation pub in Manchester – focuses on the band as seen through the beer goggles of Order 69's constantly drinking front man, Danny, played by Roy Bright (ex footballer Mark Bright's brother) who in the real music world fronts the band Exit State. The fictional band, Order 69, might be getting somewhere but with a crap manager and too much ale, might not.
"It's about a band that's very talented but they're really lazy and miss every opportunity" explains Carl "I'm from a musical family from Scunthorpe and I used to play a bit but was more interested in having a laugh and getting pissed, and that's where the idea came from. It's been in my head for about nine years."
Freshly out of Carl's head is also an idea for a feature film about aliens who come to earth on a stag do – and that too is creating a buzz with, he swears, two Hollywood celebs interested and a top producer… "They're interested just because they liked the idea of aliens coming to earth for a stag do."
So, with an all star sitcom and an alien stag do feature film in the offing, surely living in Salford and within a few miles of MediaCityUK will help? Not really.
"It's very rare that you go to meet a commissioner, it's all done by e-mail and post" Carl explains "Just because it's a different postcode at the bottom of the envelope doesn't make any difference."
Luckily, the Cofilmic Festival is on Monday when the Salford BBC lot are back from their weekends in London. They would do well to check out Order 69 – a pilot part filmed in a Pendleton flat with nationwide potential.
Order 69 shows at the Cofilmic Festival, at the Comedy Store, Manchester Monday 31st October in the section between 7pm and 9:15pm (see here for further details)
The trailer for Order 69 can't be shown until after the Festival but follow the sitcom at www.order69.co.uk and on facebook (click here). There's also the opening titles on YouTube (click here)