Category: Books

Know Your Place

It’s a strange thing when you actually become aware of how class works in Britain. A dawning realisation that can shift your perception of everything, like your eyes focussing after you’ve just woken up.

Whether it’s realising that your friend’s idea of going on holiday doesn’t mean going to a caravan park somewhere near the coast for a week ( that’s if you even go on holiday), or the way that girl at school gleefully tells anyone who’ll listen that your Mum cleans her house as though it makes you and your family somehow intrinsically lesser people.

The lived experience of being working class in 21st century Britain isn’t a universal one but Know Your Place from Dead Ink, edited by Nathan Connolly, does a good job of conveying life experiences on a variety of subjects filtered through the prism of growing up working class in 21st century Britain.

Simply put Know Your Place is The Good Immigrant for the working class, being inspired by a tweet from the editor of that book, Nikesh Shukla.

As Connolly points out,

‘There is a vision of the working class we like to cling to: a romanticised, fetishised idea that is still rooted somewhere around the publication of The Road to Wigan Pier in 1937, an account of working class life written by a man educated at Eton.’

The essays collected here cover a broad spectrum of life experiences and observations about being working class in Britain in 2017. Rural poverty and the myriad obstacles writers from working class backgrounds face, how class and race intersect, how ‘working class’ accents and backgrounds can still cause major problems for people (a good example of this being MP Laura Pidcock’s comments on her experience of Parliament) and many more.

This book is important and timely given the way that the ‘working class’ have become a convenient scapegoat for a lot of things in recent political developments. Now it’s hard to think of the working class without thinking of Jeremy Kyle’s eponymous TV show, in the space of a little over a decade it’s become firmly rooted in the media landscape presenting a parade of troubled families for the nation’s entertainment.

Know Your Place shatters misconceptions and stereotypes embedded within the barrage of press and media coverage by presenting real stories and perspectives from real working class people.

Buy Know Your Place here.

Forgotten Film Club

 

Forgotten Film Club is the latest book from Jon Spira, the writer of Videosyncratic which is one of my top books published recently, I explain at length why here.

The idea behind this new book is definitely an interesting one, a look at a film that has it seems been completely and utterly forgotten by, well, pretty much everyone. A film that barely even gets a mention on the internet outside of IMDB and Wikipedia. I expect this book may possibly change that.

The film in question? Morons From Outer Space which starred amongst others Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones.

Smith and Jones, as they were generally referred to, became one of the biggest comedy duos in Britain at the time. I can definitely remember seeing them on TV but I think I was a little too young, or just not interested, in why or how two men sat opposite each other talking about things was supposed to be funny.

An early point that really stands out is that every film, regardless of whether it’s the latest record breaking box office smash hit or something loitering in the lower regions of Tesco’s DVD chart, is the result of the hard work, blood, sweat and most likely tears of dozens if not hundreds of people.

This is something that’s often overlooked, the outrage over Suicide Squad winning an Oscar for Best Makeup comes to mind.

Whilst this is a relatively brief affair at just over 130 pages, it definitely proves one thing, Spira can evidently write an interesting and engaging book about film, any film it seems, because it’s not just about an obscure British film featuring a comedy duo best known for their work on TV, Forgotten Film Club takes a look at how society engages with film and looks at elements of this film, from the science, or lack of it, to the writing, direction, casting and why it failed so spectacularly despite featuring well known stars.

One of the most interesting aspects of Forgotten Film Club though is how Spira crowdfunded the book via Kickstarter without actually telling anyone what film the book is about, that in itself is pretty impressive.

You can get Forgotten Film Club: Book One from Amazon or maybe ask your local book shop to order it for you.

Videosyncratic

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Videosyncratic by Jon Spira is several things in one, an autobiography of sorts, a brief history of film and the historical impact of home video, an interesting look into the inner workings of, and the rise and fall of, the video rental industry and an ode to the importance of independent businesses.

Depending on how old you are the idea of video shops will either bring about confused indifference or nostalgic memories of looking at rows and rows of video cases and trying to decide what to watch on a Friday night. Whilst it might seem strange now in the age of Netflix and streaming on demand but for a considerable amount of years video shops were a staple fixture on many high streets and this would be something that most families would be doing.

There were several video shops in my home town, although curiously never a Blockbuster, the nearest one was the next town over. On the one occasion I ventured there with a friend I was really rather taken by how awful it was, the stench of corporate homogeneity was overpowering both literally and metaphorically.

Spira, now a film maker himself, is an engaging and witty story teller as he tells the tale of how a film obsessed kid spent years working in various video shops, including a considerable amount of time in a variety of Blockbuster branches, before realising his dream of opening his own independent video shop.

Anybody who has ever spent any time working for a retail behemoth will find the frustrations of dealing with managerial stupidity and illogical corporately mandated policy in Blockbuster familiar, along with the selection of miscreants and psychopaths that make up both the staff and the customer base.

There’s a distinctly admirable element of David and Goliath as Spira goes about setting up his own video shop, whilst still working for Blockbuster, and actually being quite gleeful at the prospect of stealing their customer base. Not only that but he even steals many of the people he meets whilst working there for his own shop, a mix of film geeks and slackers, reminiscent of Jeff Anderson’s Randal Graves in Kevin Smith’s classic indie film Clerks.

One of the more surprising aspects though is the emotional punch as Spira talks about the reality of realising the industry he has spent years working in, and has now established a business in, is collapsing due to a combination of the advancement of technology and the actions of film studios.

Videosyncratic is rather funny but also sad, most of all though it’s a great read.  Reading it brought back memories of fiddling with the tracking on videos, watching the trailers, and the conversations you would have in the video shop about what you’ve seen.  A good video shop was a gift.

To quote Spira,

“Independent businesses, set up and operated because of the passion of the people who establish them, are beautiful, precious, and increasingly rare things and should be cherished. Every single purchase makes a difference.”

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Dark Days

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Generally when you pick up a memoir by someone in a rock or metal band you kind of know what to expect, a little something about the band starting out as complete unknowns, something about them getting signed and releasing their first album and probably a lot of stuff about drink, drugs, groupies and hedonism that’s become an associated cliché with being in a popular (for its genre) rock/metal band.

Dark Days by Lamb of God singer D. Randall Blythe ,more commonly known as Randy Blythe, is completely and utterly unlike any of those books.

Whilst in Prague on the last days of the bands latest tour to the surprise of himself, his band, his road crew and later his family, Blythe found himself arrested and charged with Manslaughter and implicated in the death of a fan at a gig. Blythe was soon in a Czech prison potentially facing five to ten years imprisonment for a crime he had no recollection of.

Dark Days is engrossing, informative, surprisingly comical and occasionally emotionally wrenching as Blythe finds himself in a decrepit crumbling prison where hardly anyone speaks English, dealing with the bewildering Czech legal system and a Mongolian cellmate with a habit for whistling endlessly and a fondness for vodka.

Blythe is an eloquent writer and makes a point of stating that the book is his own work and not the product of some ghost writer. Whilst broken down into 4 parts Prague, Pankrac, The Trial and Epilogue, some of the chapters break from the story of his incarceration as he shares brutally honest stories of being an alcoholic for years and the struggle of being an addict, especially in a touring metal band where people are always offering you drinks and various other substances. This contrasts massively with the often more romanticised approach to alcohol and drugs in other books, Blythe openly admits he’s done profoundly stupid things whilst wasted and is also somewhat amazed that his friends and family haven’t disowned him previous to him getting sober for good.

One thing that radiates from the pages of Dark Days is the fact that Blythe is a man of honour and steadfast resolve in an age when many are more than happy to throw people under the bus at a moments notice, or blame someone or something for all their problems. Despite having no recollection of the events he is charged with he quickly accepts that he will face the consequences if he is indeed responsible.

How a bad girl fell in love

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How a bad girl fell in love is the sort of memoir of sex blogger and writer Girl on the Net.

One of the memorable things about this, the second book by Girl on the Net, is it reads a bit like the story to the best comedy drama you’re never going to see. There’s interesting all too human characters, it’s very funny, profoundly filthy in places but occasionally serious too. Chronicling the story of how the aforementioned writer goes from a life of fuck buddies, random encounters and various sexual adventures resulting in early morning conundrums like “the awkward moment where I would try and remember if I’d developed a skin condition or that really is dried spunk on my forearm.” to being in a solid relationship and all the highs and lows that come with it.

The first thing you need to know about Girl on the Net is her blog is great, featuring as it does the same things that make this book so good (good writing, pure filth, humour and a bit of insight. You can find her blog located here Girl on the Net).

Whilst her relationship with the endearingly affable Mark makes up the bulk of the proceedings, it also features interesting diversions. One of them being the difficulty of actually maintaining an anonymous hopefully lucrative online presence whilst working a day job and living a regular life. Superman apparently has it easy (it takes far more than just wearing a pair of glasses) and the paranoia of being “found out” never really goes away no matter how much you try and cover your tracks like someone in a witness protection programme.

I think it’s rare for something to be written so well that it gives you a sense of who the people are, as though you’ve just spent the last several hours in a pub talking to them at a table now covered in empty glasses before heading out into the night to get a taxi home. There’s a brilliant talent for self deprecating humour evident throughout, the kind that will probably make you snort laugh on the train/bus during your commute because that’s exactly what happened to me. I think there should be a warning on the front of the book frankly. Maybe that’s something Blink Publishing can look into if they print a second edition.

As much as this book is about the up and downs of a relationship and the sex that comes with it, it’s also about how utterly stomach churning, infuriating and anxiety ridden life gets and how sometimes you really can’t see the wood for the trees. Above all though, especially for something in which the names have been changed, it’s refreshingly honest, even brutally so in places, and it’s all the more endearing for it.

Asa Akira – Insatiable: Porn – A Love Story.

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Biographies can be a distinctly hit and miss affair due to a lot of different factors, one of them being that just because someone is well known for being a film star/musician/something else doesn’t mean they can write in an engaging or coherent manner. This is why many biographies are co-written with an established author. That Asa Akira has written this book on her own might give cause for concern to the wary reader.

The other important factor is, has this person had an interesting life? The underlying appeal of any biography or memoir is reading about the life of someone who has lead a life less ordinary than the average guy or girl on the street. Asa Akira multi award winning porn star has definitely had an interesting life and it soon becomes apparent that Akira definitely doesn’t need any help on the writing front.

One of the interesting things about “Insatiable: Porn – A Love Story” is unlike a lot of biographies and memoirs it isn’t written in a chronological or linear manner. This book doesn’t start with a “I was born in………..” chapter detailing the author’s childhood home and upbringing but rather one that describes in explicit detail the shooting of “The Perfect Scene”, this approach is actually one of the books best assets as the reader follows Akira down the rabbit hole of her never less than engrossing recollections.

Akira’s book reads like a collection of anecdotes and observations on various events in her life, they are distinctly random in nature and whilst the book is broken down into chapters they are generally unrelated to each other. These entries range wildly from childhood experiences, early sexual encounters, wry observations gleaned from working in porn, working as a dominatrix in an S&M dungeon, a horrifically bad acid trip, being a prolific teenage shoplifter and many, many other things but what they all have in common is they are unflinchingly honest and generally self deprecatingly funny.

Despite porn being more mainstream than ever it’s still viewed by many with a mix of moral condemnation and puritanical hypocrisy. Being a porn star can complicate your future employment prospects just as much as a criminal record it seems. As an indicator of just how bad this is just look at recent X-Factor hopeful Becky Constantinou being booted off the show for being in porn films. Exactly how this impacts her ability to be a singer I’m not really sure.

Porn is still saddled with an association with hackneyed stereotypes of “damaged” vulnerable girls falling victim to a predatory industry which exploits them before leaving them on the scrapheap even more damaged than they were at the beginning. There’s something distinctly odd going on when the idea of porn stars actually, you know, enjoying their jobs seems inconceivable, this is something I commented on before after seeing Public Sex, Private Lives . Another important factor is women embracing and expressing their sexuality openly seems to scare the hell out of some people for some reason. That Asa Akira actually loves her job, “Almost every time I shoot a sex scene, I fall a little bit in love. It’s the only way I can describe it”, contradicts the “damaged” girl stereotype massively.

There’s an admirable quality to someone who despite being of notable fame in their industry can still write self deprecating observations like “I know how to gracefully handle eleven dicks at once, but I don’t know how to send out mail.” after an awkward experience . For more of her amusing observations and self deprecating wit I recommend following her on Twitter.

Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels

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The Scarlet Gospels is Clive Barker’s long awaited return to horror fiction. The Cenobite Hell Priest known as Pinhead has been killing off Earth’s magicians in a relentless quest for power to help conquer Hell. Meanwhile Private Investigator Harry D’Amour has been helping out the dead with the assistance of his business associate blind medium Norma Paine. When a case brings D’Amour face to face with Pinhead the Hell Priest makes him an offer when this offer is rebuked the Hell Priest drags Norma to Hell with him leaving D’Amour to go through Hell – literally – to save her

The odd thing that some may not know is despite being Clive Barker’s most well known creation the Cenobite known as Pinhead has only featured in one short story ‘The Hellbound Heart’. This short story provided the basis for the film ‘Hellraiser’, which would not only make for a notable directorial film debut from Barker due to its nightmarish visuals but also be the start of the character’s association with British actor Doug Bradley who would become an icon of horror cinema thanks to his intimidating presence and memorable performance going on to feature as the character in several inferior sequels.

Harry D’Amour is a P.I who deals with the weird and supernatural and unlike Pinhead has featured in several of Barker’s stories first appearing in short story ‘The Last Illusion’. This story provided the blueprint for the film ‘Lord Of Illusions’ Barker’s third film as director which featured Scott Bakula as D’Amour. Short version The Scarlet Gospels is good, very good and one of the best things about it is readers don’t have to be familiar with Barker’s other books to enjoy this story, which is a great selling point for anyone that might be familiar with Barker through his films rather than his books.

Barker’s writing has a reputation for the imaginative and the grotesque and there is ample demonstration of both here. An atmospheric prologue that will undoubtedly serve as nightmare fuel for some sets things up in a particularly brutal manner before the narrative proper starts.

The narrative is initially split between the two principal characters D’Amour’s has a noirish feel in a world the Barker introduces matter of factly, the dead much like the living are everywhere but only the gifted can see them and it’s the dead that make up the bulk of his and Norma’s clients. D’Amour is haunted by nightmarish memories of his past with a flashback that is particularly disturbing in a way that only Barker could pull off. D’Amour finds himselftaking on a new case on behalf of one of the dead which goes rather awry. The other narrative is that of Pinhead who is in the midst of his own grand plan.

I found myself hearing Bradley’s recognisable voice in my head reading Pinhead’s dialogue such is the association between the actor and the character. There’s a potent charge to the inevitability of the two crossing paths. This is prime Clive Barker it’s visceral, terrifying, imaginative and fantastical in equal parts. The narrative is not only engrossing but compelling and incredibly atmospheric. One of the most impressive feats here is Barker’s Hell which comes with its own geography and hierarchical society far removed from what you might expect.

The Scarlet Gospels was undoubtedly at risk of collapsing under the expectations placed upon it by a fanbase that has grown exponentially but Barker is a much more accomplished and nuanced writer now than when he wrote Hellbound Heart originally published in the mid 80’s and it shows.

Koko Takes A Holiday

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500 years in the future Koko Marstellar, a former corporate mercenary, is living the easy life after retiring early to run a brothel on The Sixty Islands, a man made tropical resort known for specialising in sex and simulated violence. Koko’s easy life becomes distinctly less easy when Portia Delacompte, an old comrade, sends a squad of security personnel to kill her.

Kieran Shea’s Cyberpunk inspired sucker punch of a story is precise and honed to a fine point, it doesn’t get bogged down in endless exposition setting up the world of the future but rather introduces elements slowly in a drip feed as the action unfolds with things like Tiger Fighting, Depressus and more being  introduced.

It’s always refreshing to discover a new great character regardless of the medium if that character is a feisty kickass woman it’s all the better. There’s plenty of talk about how there’s a distinct lack of “strong female characters” around, I hate that phrase it’s reductivist in the extreme, after all there’s no such thing as a “strong male character”. Koko is far more multi-layered than whatever “strong” implies, she’s a more than capable fighter but she’s also intelligent and witty and numerous other things besides and also looks utterly badass too, with artist Joey Hi-fi running with Shea’s description for the sublime cover .

Whilst Koko finds herself on the run from her former home and business the story also features the other perspective of the events, from Portia Delacompte’s end. Shea gains plenty of mileage from the ridiculous, callous and bureaucratic nature of corporations which is merely exaggerated to blackly comical effect here, with Delacompte having to deal with a board of directors who call her actions into account at every turn with Delacompte venting her fury on a well meaning but inept assistant who has hired the operatives that have been assigned to take out Koko. An interesting rather Phillip K Dick touch is she can’t remember why she has ordered the death of her former comrade after undergoing a selective memory treatment and this becomes a major part of the unfolding story.

Another key character is Jedediah Flynn a security officer aboard the Alaungpaya, one of a number of vast ships that are home to hundreds of people in low orbit above the Earth, akin to floating cities. Flynn gets entangled in Koko’s story after finding out he’s been diagnosed with an altitude derived mental affliction named Depressus which is widely considered to be terminal and often prompts sufferers to take their own lives, usually by leaping to their deaths, this has become such a problem on Alaungpaya that official ceremonies dubbed “Embrace” ceremonies enable mass group suicides.

These three characters stories coalesce in impressive style as Shea’s narrative unfolds with various character touches along the way, like Flynn going through his life on autopilot until he blunders into Koko’s life and Koko learning that even a badass former mercenary and hired gun occasionally needs help sometimes.

One of the most interesting aspects though is the gender balance which is completely flipped in comparison to the general norm, Flynn, Delacompte’s assistant and a nefarious arms dealer that Koko knows from back in the day are the only male characters here, the rest are female. There’s something refreshing and a little subversive about a story that pits a cadre of female mercenary’s against a former female mercenary who is now a madame for a brothel of boywhores.

Great characters, a frenetic pace, action and some twisted humour make this one to look out for and what is surprising is this is Shea’s first novel.

Hard Case Crime Highlights featuring Lawrence Block and Christa Faust

Hard Case Crime has been publishing hardboiled crime novels for the best part of a decade, here’s a few  choice picks among their many, many offerings.

Kit Tolliver after years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, killed her parents. Her father for his transgressions and her mother for allowing it to goGettingOff-sketch6_layout on. Removing all traces of her presence the police filled in the blanks and assumed the couple had killed each other. Kit disappeared that day.

Kit is a sociopathic serial killer who drifts from town to town murdering men. Her motivation lingering rage and abandonment issues left over from her father’s abuse. she is also a pathological liar. With each new place comes a new name, a new identity and a new man for her to target. Kit is also a nymphomaniac using men for passionate wild sex before killing them and stealing whatever money they have before moving on to the next town.

Kit has realised though that in the early days, when she was less skilled and focussed she left several of her targets alive and now she is tying up loose ends.

Veteran writer Lawrence Block is best known for his award winning hardboiled crime writing but also wrote several novels of steamy lesbian erotica under the pseudonym Jill Emerson and returns to his pseudonym here although both names are on the cover.. The cover states “A Novel of Sex & Violence”and it’s not false advertising as Block writes about sex and murder with unashamed glee and the grit and style he is known for.

Kit loves sex but loves it even more when she knows she’s going to kill the man afterwards. An early encounter sees Kit (calling herself another name) picking a gullible mark in a casino and before long has him tied to a bed with his mouth duct taped and using an elastic band as a makeshift cock ring  ‘it’s an old Indian trick’ she says to her helpless victim, after passionately riding him for some time she scalps him and leaves him to bleed out on the bed with his bloated erection standing defiantly firm.

Things get distinctly more twisted as the story progresses one encounter finds Kit pondering upon looking at her victim ,who has been strangled in a noose made to look like an autoasphyxiation accident, “the cock ring hadn’t stopped working. He was still massively erect, and she could swear he’d grown larger since she’d left him……… waste not, want not isn’t that what they say? And when am I gonna get a chance like this again?’

 It’s sleazy,twisted and trashy pulp but it also happens to be crafted just as well as Block’s other books and despite being a murderous sociopath  it’s hard not to love Kit as she carves out a path and carves up her victims.

21459830-40-MoneyShotFormer porn star Angel Dare gets a call from old friend when he’s in a bind. A one time job at a shoot in Bel Air, Angel feeling pretty low on self-esteem and wanting an ego boost likes the idea of working with ripped new dick-on-the-block Jesse Black. Things go from bad to worse in the blink of an eye with Angel finding herself tied to a bed, interrogated and mercilessly beaten by a heavy who’s fishing for information about a young woman that Angel is connected to. Things go from bad to worse though as Angel soon finds herself being brutally raped by Jesse and forced to watch her oldest friend Sam get kneecapped. Unceremoniously dumped in boot of a car by her attacker, when it comes to pulling the trigger Jesse loses his nerve and goes for a wounding shot instead of the kill. Big mistake.

With Money Shot Christa Faust introduces one of the best femme fatale’s in fiction . Money Shot (which by the way like many of Hard Case Crime’s books  features gorgeous cover art by Glen Orbik) is an adrenaline fuelled pulp tour de force. Dare finds herself relying on Malloy a straight talking, granite faced ex-cop and her faithful assistant Didi whilst trying to find out what’s going on and unwittingly stumbling across a human trafficking operation. Faust’s tale rattles along like a runaway train Dare is rendered refreshingly human via numerous character touches. Completely breaking down after the brutal interrogation and then hating herself for it, worrying if she left her vibrator on her bed or put it away in the bedside cabinet in case the cops come to search her place and being wracked with regret about all her friends being dragged 104-chokeholdinto the rapidly expanding shitstorm her life has become, Dare is both victim and avenging angel and isn’t just a cypher dealing with cliches .

Faust’s snappy prose is tight as a drum and Dare’s story is an engrossing one as she embarks on her journey of revenge and discovery. Cliffhangers are utilised well which makes for an even more compulsive read. There’s some wry commentary on Dare’s former world of the adult film business as Dare says “A lot of guys imagine it would be this big turn-on to visit a porn set. My advice is, unless you really love watching other men jack off, don’t bother”. There’s plenty of action and sex too, which refreshingly isn’t written in a misogynistic manner.

The follow up Angel Dare story Choke Hold has a former co-star stumble upon Dare who has been relocated with a new identity, only for him to die in the midst of a shoot out in the diner Dare has been working in. Feeling guilty over her old friends death Dare finds herself honour bound to escort his son, Cody an up and coming temperamental MMA fighter, through the choking heat of the Arizona desert to Las Vegas and unintentionally gets tangled up in a drug smuggling operation in the process.

Faust is working on an as yet untitled third Angel Dare book.

For more on Hard Case Crime visit HardCaseCrime.com

I’M IN THE BAND: Backstage Notes from the Chick in White Zombie

Anyone who has good taste in music will know who White Zombie were and they’ll undoubtedly know who Sean Yseult is too. For the uninformed White Zombie formed in 1985 and before they split up over a decade later they became one of the biggest bands in “alternative” music.

Their music defied categorisation often referred to as Art Rock, Alternative Metal and even Industrial sometimes. They went multi-platinum, were nominated for Grammy awards, their videos were all over MTV (back in the days when they actually showed music videos), they embarked on epic tours and played to thousands of fans at festivals but most surprisingly to some their bass player was a woman.

It seems rather odd now since there’s a whole host of bands from various genres with women in their ranks from singers to guitarists and more. Back in the day though there was only “the Chick in White Zombie” as Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butthead put it. Not only were White Zombie a monumental band that played to audiences of 80,000 or more (as seen on the front cover, that shot was taken at Castle Donnington in ’95) Sean wasn’t trying to be “sexy” and didn’t make a big deal out of being pretty much the only woman in the world of Metal at the time. It was an endearing quality which just made her more appealing and another facet that added to White Zombie‘s distinctly out there freaky appeal.

Whilst Rob Zombie was running around on stage like a man possessed to J’s shredding guitar riffs Sean would be doing her thing, throwing her hair around and looking like one of the most bad ass best bass players ever to take the stage.

Unlike the norm for autobiographical books from musicians this isn’t really an ode to the hedonistic excesses of life on the road. This book is more of a coffee table affair built up around Sean’s habit of writing tour diaries and taking photo’s on the road with the band, that and a hoarding mentality when it came to the bands laminates, flyers and other various items.

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A child of “art-and- music-loving hippie bohemian scholars” Yseult was performing with Blues players on stage from the age of 8 in smoky nightclubs and thanks to an overly zealous Piano tutor could read , write and transpose music before reading regular books. That’s along with an avid interest in Ballet, which lead to attending the North Carolina School of the Arts age 12.

An accident during ballet practice would lead to a life changing event,changing to visual arts.

One of the interesting parts of “I’m in the Band” is the embyronic stages of the band. Their first effort dubbed “Gods on Voodoo Moon” was recorded in two hours in a studio picked from the phone book for it’s name “Bat Cave” and its dirt cheap prices.

The band would spend quite some time living on enthusiasm and the excitement of being in a band on the road rather than off food and money since they seldom had either, often sleeping on the floor of the home of someone else in a band in the town they were playing at.

When the band started to make it big as well being a great player Sean would be synonymous with three things her mop of hair, her constantly changing hot pants and her Rickenbacher bass which was covered in stickers.

When they made it to England riding high on the waves made by the band’s last studio effort “Astro Creep 2000” they played Castle Donnington in front of thousands of fans after driving all night and sleeping during the day but no-one woke up Rob or Sean ’til they were due on stage and they were scared they’d be pelted with bottles of piss playing at Reading Festival the next day.

What’s really great about this book is the plethora of photo’s and images of posters, flyers, stage banners and various other things from the band’s history. The design by Yseult stops things getting cluttered and even features a flipbook section so you can see her in all her headbanging glory.

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