Skip to main content

BOOK NEWS: THICK AS THIEVES: Personal Situations with The Jam

THICK AS THIEVES: Published on 20 September

Having Spent a hefty chunk of the last five years interviewing people about their working lives and unique experiences for social history purposes, it's something of a culture shock to see a book that treats an ever present from my own cultural past in the same way.
The track Thick As Thieves from 1979's Setting Sons just about nailed what it was like to be part of a gang, knowing it couldn't last forever. Keeping that spirit on the road, Stewart Debill and Ian Snowball's new book trawls the archives and conducts new interviews with anyone connected with The Jam, the people who worked with them live and on record and those who followed them from Sheerwater Secondary School to Brighton Arena.
I've written elsewhere on this blog about the impact Weller and The Jam had on me as a teenager growing up in the suburbs in the late 70s/early 80s. [Check The Young Mod's Forgotten Story Parts 2 and 3] Here Debill and Snowball have the blessing of Weller - he provides the foreword  - and Foxton and Buckler, who both contribute their own memories.
The rest of the assembled cast include fans, producers, designers, hangers-on, mates and pretty much anyone prepared to commit their thoughts to tape and print. Complete with photos and archive material, this is first and foremost a fanbook. Initially published in a limited print run earlier in the year, there has clearly been enough support to justify a full scale launch. It's available to pre-order from amazon for £6.99


Popular posts from this blog

PULP! THE CLASSICS - The Hound of the Baskervilles

You'll be familiar with the story - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's super sleuth Holmes goes down to the Moors in search of the legendary hound. The brilliantly inventive Moffatt and Gattiss BBC version notwithstanding, the story first found its way into the public imagination in serialised form in the Strand Magazine in 1901/02. It was the third of four Holmes novels written by Conan Doyle and stands the test of time as a great crime novel in its own right. 'Murder ... Mystery ... Walkies!' Now a re-published edition from Pulp! The Classics, an imprint of Oldcastle books, features a vivid retro pulp cover with artwork by David Mann, tongue in cheek taglines and  orange sprayed coloured page edges. Each book in the series re-prints the complete original text and The Hound of the Baskervilles is a great addition. Perfect for Holmes completists, crime fiction fans and  lovers of pulp art, it takes its place alongside The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Tess …

FACE VALUE: Northern Crime Short Story Winner/FRANK'S WILD YEARS: New Edition/TED LEWIS: Update

"From rural noir to urban terror, high concept drama to blunt force trauma, Moth Publishing presents its first collection of prize-winning short stories." 2015 is about to end with a result. My story Face Value is a winner in the inaugural Northern Crime Short Story Competition. With the winners' anthology released on Monday 7 December in paperback and E-book, it's a great way to sign off after a hard-working but not always the most productive of writing years. I'm especially pleased Face Value made the grade. This week also sees the publication of a new edition of Frank's Wild Years. I'm grateful to publisher, Caffeine Nights, for the opportunity to put right a few of the things which have bugged me since it was originally let loose on the world, and for continuing to show faith in the book. The altogether sharper Frank's Wild Years will be available online, in bookshops and at WH Smiths travel stores from 3 December. This year I made a conscious deci…

The Jack Carter novels by Ted Lewis - Reissued by Syndicate Books

It's been a long time coming, but Syndicate Books is about to re-publish the three Ted Lewis novels featuring Jack Carter. The first, originally published as Jack's Return Home in 1970, was later re-titled Carter, then Get Carter, in the wake of the 1971 film, adapted from Lewis's novel and directed by Mike Hodges. Notably, the film substituted Newcastle for Scunthorpe, Lewis's unnamed 'frontier town'. With Carter dead at the end of the movie, Lewis returned to his main character in 1974 and 1977 for the prequels Jack Carter's Law (retitled Jack Carter and the Law in the USA) and Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon. Syndicate has created a must-have package with great design and excellent layout. I was pleased to contribute a biographical afterword for Mafia Pigeon - the novel which, in essence, brings the story to the point at which Get Carter begins. Lewis's style - his prose is unremittingly bleak and brutal - has influenced generations of crime authors, …