BETWEEN Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), Rocketman (Elton John) and now this love song to The Boss, RFTS (repetitive foot tapping syndrome) must be galloping through the ranks of Generation X. Any more of this and we’ll be joining the baby boomers for naps.

Gurinder Chadha’s adaptation of Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir lacks the slickness of the other two musical dramas, being the ordinary tale of a kid from Luton finding a voice of his own through listening to Bruce Springsteen. But the awkward, gangly nature of the piece is a large part of its charm. That, and a poptastic soundtrack featuring the Pet Shop Boys, A-ha, and of course the divine Mr S.

Viveik Kalra plays 16-year-old Javed, who lives with his family on a council estate in Luton. Mum sews clothes at home, dad works in a car factory. It is 1987, the height of Thatcherism, and a time when National Front thugs boldly march down the street.

READ MORE: Chadha on Springsteen's power

Javed’s world consists of home, school, and writing songs for his budding pop star pal, Matt (Dean-Charles Chapman). Matt, whose dad is played by a brutally mulleted Rob Brydon, seems to have the perfect life, doing whatever he wants. Javed, being the first generation son of immigrant parents, must live by the strict rules of his father (Kulvinder Ghir). Whatever frustrations he has are set out in the writing he keeps to himself.

Javed’s introduction to Springsteen comes via a classmate, but initially he cannot see what some guy from New Jersey who sings of America, girls, and motorbikes, could possibly have to say to him. But then he hears the music, and the lyrics, and he knows he has found a friend and guide for life.

The Bend it Like Beckham writer-director has a sure touch when it comes to shifting through the gears of comedy-drama. There is the stuff of sheer fantasy here as Javed performs Springsteen songs in school and around the neighbourhood (home to one apparently disapproving old boy played by David Hayman). But there is some spiky material here too. The outright racism suffered by the family is at once pathetic and terrifying. Meanwhile, the looming confrontation between father and son grows closer.

Kalra, who appeared in the ITV mini series Beecham House, has not done much else so far but that will change after his performance here.

The bursting into song move gets old quicker than Chadha realises, the story could have done with more heft, and bar the singing this is a coming of age tale of a kind we’ve seen many times before. But those still with a hungry heart for a feelgood musical should walk this way.