Ask your average bloke on the street to name a few legendary regional music scenes and you might hear something about Liverpool, Seattle, Berlin, the list is as long as it is arbitrary. But if you were to put money on one place falling out of Johnny Hypothetical's mouth, it wouldn't be Oxford. And yet, this city cultured one of the world's most enduringly successful bands "The R Word", as one interviewee delightfully calls them, as well as a glut of other important artists: Supergrass, Ride, Foals, Swervedriver and Talulah Gosh all gestated in Oxford and cut their teeth in the many pubs and clubs that sprung up along its cobbled streets.

Rather than trying especially to solve this mystery, Anyone Can Play Guitar is more a love letter to the city of spires, from one of its most loyal sons. Jon Spira, an independent film-maker and video shop-owner who has been ingrained in the Oxford music scene since the mid-90s, took almost entirely onto his own shoulders the mammoth task of tracking down and interviewing all the key players of the last 30 years, hunting out archival footage and editing down the 100 or so hours of material he had gathered.

With the film completed, Jon found himself with one tiny hitch: to actually release the film he would have to pay tens of thousands of pounds up front to clear the music in the film. No music, no film. Bugger.

It's this attitude "shoot first, ask questions later" that permeates throughout the film and its subjects. (Jon also blew his entire savings on a film called Jerkbeast, which deserves a mention for that name alone.) ACPG takes us through three generations of the Oxford indie scene, beginning with its earliest stirrings at the beginning of the 80s (skinheads, pub fights, and various other things you just wouldn't associate with a university town), through the heydays of the Zodiac and Jericho Tavern in the 90s, and all the way to the somewhat inevitable arrival of the Carling Academy rebranding steamroller in 2007.

Even out of context, ACPG is a uniquely staggering piece of work: its 90-odd minutes are densely packed with excellent interviews with everyone from the top down (Radiohead and Supergrass are right there spilling the beans next to Dustball and The Nubiles) along with some really juicy nuggets of camcorder footage. The fact that everything was filmed and edited by one passionate Oxfordian makes it all the more impressive. An early VHS of a young Radiohead, with Thom Yorke looking outrageously Cobain-esque, is a particular highlight. Even through the shaky handwork and poor sound, something undeniably stirring breaks through and it becomes all-to-clear why this gaggle of dweebs had chequebooks physically leaping out of record exec pockets. As tired as this reviewer is of hearing That Damn Song, when that guitar goes CRUNCH and that chorus kicks in, you just can't help but be moved. Just imagine being there.

Which, as the many talking heads in the film make abundantly clear, is the whole point. This is not a film about rock stars. It's a study in passion. Involve yourself, put on the gigs, write the music, be there. You might just come across something spectacular, and if you don't, hopefully you'll have a bloody good time doing it.

Unfortunately, there's a downside. A theme that runs throughout the film is that for every band that made it, several fell on their arse. Which begs the (fairly convoluted) question: will anybody care much about a film that deals with a bunch of bands that didn't break out from a scene that most people have forgotten about? After a while, tale after tale of failure through bad luck or mismanagement, or both, begins to weigh down on you somewhat. It's especially painful to hear The Candyskins recount the ridiculous run of misfortune that befell them: releasing a single called 'Car Crash' just before Princess Di went for her final spin around Paris or landing separate record deals in the US and the UK, only for both label bosses to be struck down with cancer. Jamie Stuart from false-starting Peel-favourites Dustball is entertaining, but has a palpably jaded tone in his conversation that is unnerving in one so relatively young.

By the time the Academy Music Group roll into town and begin herding young units with disposable income into their venues, it all gets a bit much. But just as things are about to get really heavy, up pop Foals, leading the way for a new generation of indie upstarts, and suddenly there's a glimmer of hope. Life goes on. If AMG want to muscle in and shift plastic cups of piss, let them. Find your own space, begin a new scene and get on with it.

If there is any justice in the world, ACPG will go the way of the "R" word, rather than that of The Candyskins. The filmmakers are currently looking for funding before it can be released fully. To find out how to get a copy and donate, head here.