Fallen but not idle

23 03 2013

The Fallen: Life in and out of Britain’s most insane group by Dave Simpson


Ever been held hostage in a dressing room with your parents? Ever been thrown off the bus in the middle of a Swedish forest or abandoned at a foreign airport? Ever been asked to play at one of the UK’s biggest music festivals with musicians you’ve just met who are covered in blood, or taken part in a ‘recording session’ in a speeding Transit? If so you’ve probably been in The Fall. Dave Simpson made it his mission to track down everyone who has ever played in Britain’s most berserk, brilliant group. He uncovers a changing Britain, tales of madness and genius, and wreaks havoc on his personal life.

It’s a great premise for a quest and book but you really do need to be a Fall fan to give a damn about some of these former band members. Anyway, it’s all entertaining stuff and does confirm what we all knew to be the case about the crazy genius that is MES. What is most remarkable is former members’ affection for Smith and their nostalgia for their time in The Fall despite the various unfortunate ways in which they were invited to leave.

3 star


16 03 2013

Stonemouth by Iain Banks


Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth. After five years in exile his presence is required at the funeral of patriarch Joe Murston, and even though the last time Stu saw the Murstons he was running for his life, staying away might be even more dangerous than turning up.

An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with its five mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than seafog, gangsters, cheap drugs and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. And although there’s supposed to be a temporary truce between Stewart and the town’s biggest crime family, it’s soon clear that only Stewart is taking this promise of peace seriously. Before long a quick drop into the cold grey Stoun begins to look like the soft option, and as he steps back into the minefield of his past to confront his guilt and all that it has lost him, Stu uncovers ever darker stories, and his homecoming takes a more lethal turn than even he had anticipated.

Tough, funny, fast-paced and touching, Stonemouth cracks open adolescence, love, brotherhood and vengeance in a rite of passage novel like no other.

It’s something of a near return to form for Banks after a few recent false starts and sees him mining a similar vein to the one which delivered Crow Road. So, distinctively Banks, pretty entertaining on the whole but not entirely satisfying.


Linked In Love

9 03 2013

Feeling inadequate?

Well, you will be after catching up on the wit and wisdom of these giants of the business world. There’s honestly nothing I look forward to more than these LinkedIn updates which pass on the incredible insights of these amazing people. I really hope that they can find a way to convey more of these extraordinary commentaries from Stewart, Branson et al. They really talk to me about my life

True wisdom indeed

True wisdom indeed

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