Don’t Mention the Night

It was never my intention to write a memoir, and I’ll explain how it came about nearer the time, but I’m pleased to announce that my next book will be Don’t Mention the Night: a memoir from Five Leaves Publications. It covers how writing about Nick Drake led me to Nottingham in the 1970s, studying Law at university and writing for Liquorice magazine, through which I discovered Kevin Coyne, the formidable singer/songwriter from Derby. Most weeks I’d go to The Imperial pub, to see local legends, Gaffa. The book weaves the three acts’ stories in with mine, from teenage depression to life as a writer. No cover to show you yet, but we do have a launch date: October 19th at Metronome, where the BBC’s John Holmes…

Michael Chapman & Steve Tilston at The Running Horse, 7.11.2014

The great guitarist and singer/songwriter Michael Chapman has been gone for the best part of a year now. I’ve written about him a few times on here, but just realised that I never posted this review. I wrote it for the Nottingham Post back in the day, when he performed at The Running Horse on Alfreton Road with Steve Tilston. The review below is exactly as it appeared in The Post but is no longer on their website. I didn’t take any photos at the gig, so I nicked the great photo above from Michael’s website. With Michael is Bridget St John, who was performing with Michael the first time I saw him. I first met Bridget in 1976 but that’s a story for another…

Beth Orton – Rescue Rooms 6/12/12

Not posted here for a while, partly because I’ve been writing: about music, mainly, which is what I mostly post about on here. But my regular gig review posts are no longer appearing because the Nottingham Post no longer does gig reviews. The entertainments editor took redundancy during the pandemic and, even before that, found it hard to justify reviews that wouldn’t provide plentiful clickbait. The hassle of sorting free tickets and uploading the reviews wasn’t worth it unless engagement was really high. So, while I’ve been to some great shows in the last few months – by The Delines, Gaffa, Elvis Costello, Nick Mason, Billy No-Mates and Lonelady, amongst others, I haven’t had to write about any of them. In the early days of…

Trevor Griffiths & a book launch in Basford

In the summer of 1976, just before I started university, I worked for the council, cutting lawns. Summer jobs were scarce in Colne but this was better than the paid work I’d had before: a warehouseman at ASDA and running the conveyor belt for Findel’s, a packing firm in Nelson. I was waiting to see if I got good enough A level results to take me to Nottingham, where I had a place on a Law degree, provided I got at least two Bs. After four weeks, I was made redundant at short notice, but the other student they’d taken on had a dad who worked at the council. He insisted that we had to have a minimum two weeks’ notice, so we were taken…