Mr Rock’n’Roll

171109 Brixie Selfie 002
Selfie with Brix Smith Start backstage at the Thekla

Blimey, I haven’t updated this blog for over 2 years! That’s because since January 2016 I have been busy on my next novel, The Man From Yesterday, another entry in the Lethbridge-Stewart series for Candy Jar Books. It should be out sometime in the new year.

2017 saw me take some (admittedly small) steps into music journalism. Mainly, or should that be exclusively, for We Are Cult. In January, I reviewed The Blue Aeroplanes’ excellent album Welcome, Stranger! and also interviewed frontman Gerard Langley.

In July I reviewed The Fall’s latest album, New Facts Emerge. It’s been a troubled year for the band, largely because of Mark E. Smith’s health issues. Their Bristol gig on 29 November was cancelled right at the last minute. I was there, and it was devastating. Mark issued a message after the gig that somewhat allayed our fears, and we all hope he gets better soon. Listening to the album, however, you’d never know anything was up. It’s brilliant, one of their very best.

In October I, Ludicrous released a new album, hot on the heels of their last one (which I  reviewed but only on this blog.) Entitled Songs From The Sides Of Lorries, it’s one of those albums you wish everyone could hear. Funny, mordant, and catchy as hell, it’s well worth your time.

The highlight of my year, however, was when I was asked to interview Brix Smith Start, whose band Brix And The Extricated played Bristol Thekla on 9 November. Brix is an all-time heroine of mine, having written the songs that got me in to The Fall. I was, understandably, rather nervous of meeting her, but she was warm, friendly,  funny, and very passionate about music. She was extremely impressed with my work (I reviewed the album and the gig as well) and phoned me afterwards to rave about it. This has made me very happy.

I don’t know how much more music journalism will come my way in 2018, as I have another novel on the horizon, and a short story or two; though I expect I will do the odd album review for We Are Cult, if they’ll have me. Currently in my CD player and on my phone are new albums from Morrissey and U2, musicians I have been following since my teenage years, and who aren’t exactly ‘trendy’ anymore (especially the former who seems to be the subject of a modern-day witch hunt), so expect my views on those in due course.

And I will try to keep this blog updated, as a New Year resolution!



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