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Showing posts from October, 2011

I never met John Peel... but he did send me a postcard

Tomorrow night, Pete Townsend delivers the inaugural Peel lecture under the title: Can John Peelism survive the Internet?
There's something disconcerting about Peel being suffixed to anything so conformist as an ism. Almost a 'Yes, we're all individuals' moment. But if time really has changed how we view music and culture to such an extent that those of us who value the individual, the leftfield or just plain odd need an ism to unite us, then it might as well be Peelism.
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You could call it downsizing, but that would imply an element of choice. Renting the box-room in a house in Elmstead Avenue, Wembley, October 1991 was entirely a financial necessity. By the time I’d wedged in a single bed and flimsily built wardrobe, that was it. Metropolitan and Jubilee Line trains clattered down the tracks at the bottom of the garden from around five in the morning to the last at gone midnight. There were few silent hours, even the small ones.
I’d spent the best part of the previous …

BOOK NEWS: Frank's Wild Years

Looking ahead to the March 2012 launch of Frank's Wild Years, here's a sneak preview of the book cover. An understated little number in matt black, it's the latest in a long line of great Caffeine Nights covers designed by the estimable Mr Mark (Wills) Williams.
For further information about the book, the launch and a newly installed author profile, visit the Caffeine Nights website.


THE CHORDS: I Remember You, Don't Think I Don't Now

 The first time I saw The Chords I was a 16 year old mod at Orpington Civic Hall in August 1981. The Chords were everything I thought a band should be - young, vital, fast and with something to say. Within a month, they’d split. Tagged Jam wannabes by a music press that cooled quickly on the mod revivalist tag once art school boys went west and did the make-up and Dorothy Perkins look, the Chords dropped into the world of occasional appearances on compilation CDs. The band's main writer, Chris Pope, toured with his own outfit trading on a sprinkling of old Chords songs and newly written material.
Cut to a murky night in Sheffield last year. I’m 200 miles from London and the reformed Chords are in town at the Leadmill. Judging by the Omo glow of newly purchased white Fred Perrys in the crowd, I’m not the only one here taking a trip down mod memory lane.  And when the Killermeters, the evening’s other survivors from my (revival) generation take the stage for t…

BOOK NEWS: Frank's Wild Years

As some of you will be aware, publisher Caffeine Nights autumn publications have been re-scheduled for spring 2012. This means that we won't be seeing Frank's Wild Years until next year. As with any delay, there's an upside: this one mainly in allowing more preparation to go into the marketing campaign and getting review copies out in good time.
The unexpected haitus has also given me an opportunity to contribute shorter fiction to a couple of exciting projects: the Off the Record e-book collection put together by Guilty Conscience blogmeister Mr Luca Veste, and the redoubtable Mr Paul Brazill'sBrit Grit 2.

As well as the short stuff, I'm taking a saunter down Turnpike Lane N8 and into the scuzzy underworld of conspiracy with DI Mark Lomax on a re-write of my novel The Paradise Man. I'll also beworking through a stack of research and new interviews and bringing together the threads of the Ted Lewis biography.

Finding ways to make a living as a freelance writer wi…