Thursday, 5 January 2012

TOP OF 2011 PART TWO

BOOKS. You know Silvery are the only band to ever have put a bibliography in a rock album? Twice? Well think of this as the Silvery bibliography of 2011, and as always, do check them out and report your findings back. Part One is here.

40 Years Of Queen by Harry Doherty
A wonderful trawl through the Queen archives, featuring historic replica posters, tickets and promotional items to pull out and play with (I got two so I could play with one until destruction). The pick of a  big year for Queen publications - but an honourable mention also goes to Peter Hince's Queen Unseen, the not entirely satisfying story of being on the road with the band. Doherty's work also has some annoying errors of course (I can spot a wrong caption in Queen or Bowie scribbles at 40 paces) but including only half the promised hour long 1977 interview on the CD was unforgivable. Now to be found in the bargain bins, a real must have for those among you who feel you're a bit old for Lego but fancy a good fiddle while watching Countryfile. You hear old blokes going on about The Clash, but you know they will never ever be as good as Queen.

The Impact of the Railways in the East End 1835-2010 by Emma Dwyer
A weird bound essay found in the London Transport Museum shop looking indepth at the regeneration of the corner of London's neglected railway lines that will always be Silvery. Excellent tales and brilliant illustrations coming across like Newsnight doing a Time Team episode. It even has Gore's engraving of a London viaduct on the cover which graced many an early Silvery flyer and bootleg cassette. The cover is down there, look.

Any Day Now by Kevin Cann
Looking at the early years of David Bowie day by day up until 1974 when he became the Man Who Fell To America and left the Ziggy clone kids mourning in the UK. I know my Bowie, but this is remarkable - digging up bits and bobs I was genuinely stunned by. The closest comparison I could make is when I first sat through Dave Thompson's Moonage Daydream back in '87 opening up the chest of Bowie-dom. And I never thought I'd feel that excitement about a Bowie book again. You hear old blokes going on about The Clash, but you know they will never ever be as good as David Bowie.

Viz - Anus Horribilis
A page for each day of the year for the purchaser to read when visiting the smallest room in the house. With most Viz things, you'll see that the early stuff really was shit and it has certainly gone through a renaissance recently. Well, the last decade. That turns generally accepted knowledge on its head. It really is like Private Eye but with cock gags in it. Up there with their previous best compendium, Roger's Ad Break. Still irked about the amount of my entries that made it into the proper Profanisaurus (unprovable) and the lack of any sign of the original article that inspired 'Thunderer & Excelsior' in 2004. Or was it 2005? You hear old blokes going on about The Clash, but you know they will never ever be as good as Viz.

Blockbuster! / Number One Songs In Heaven by Dave Thompson
Two for the price of one. I never thought I'd see a book dedicated to The Sweet or Sparks. Then two come along at once. Sparks even had another one too in the shape of Daryl Easlea's Talent Is An Asset. Spoilt for choice. Both books were somehow combined in the same author's Glam history Children Of The Revolution which made me darn happy this year. Even featuring an heroic turn by our own blog star Martin Gordon. Cherry Red Books, Silvery salute you.
Post Everything by Luke Haines Luke Haines had his work cut out to follow up his Britpop kiss and tell (more a Britpop Piss and Smell to be honest) from a couple of years ago. I'm not so familiar with his 00s work which might have made this more fun - the tale of everything crumbling around him and him coming back stronger. About 6 times. I was lucky enough to open for the great man in February doing a Silvery Karaoke One Man set. But we don't talk about that. I told him I was touched that he looked back on those heady days supporting Suede in '92 with as much fondness as I did. Which kind of blew the cover of me being a green 21 year old.

Aylesbury Bolton Wolverhampton Hove by Adrian Bell
Adrian 'Belch' Bell is a wise and funny man, so it's only right he poured years of graft into this love letter to Cardiacs. A travelogue of his 101 Cardiacs gigs over the years and certainly of more than enough interest to anyone who did the same in the 80s and 90s with any number of bands. I was lucky enough to receive one of the first limited hard back editions and shed a little tear as I saw my name in there.

Out Of This World by Mike Ashley Honourable mention must go to this companion publication to an exhibition at the British Library. A beautiful collection of early Sci Fi posters and book covers. Just my cup of tea and well worth scanning and sticking on the covers of the next load of Silvery singles. The cover is up there, look. That reminds me - I should do films next. Toodlepip.