Friday, 6 March 2009
AN ALTERNATIVE DERBY
Radio One was never the same after John Peel passed away. This rather special DJ was responsible for turning thousands of ears towards some of the great bands that few others would give airtime to. I'll always remember one particular show when John read out a letter from one of his listeners who declared he listened to 'Peelie' every week night. John thanked him for his support, but gently took him to task, stating that he should be out and about at gigs checking out some of the terrific music on offer. Johnny Vincent has similar views, and decided to write and publish a book which captures some of his experiences of the music scene in Derby, bringing back memories for those who shunned the sofa and actually got out there in the thick of it.
Here, Johnny looks back at the venues, some of the bands who played there and an array of colourful local characters. New Order at the Blue Note, The Fall, UK Subs at The Ajanta, The Smiths at The Assembly Rooms, the Sex Pistols debacle when the council banned them from playing the Kings Hall, The Damned at The Assembly Rooms... great gigs from way back when are discussed with real love here, together with valuable input from ex members of local bands such as Anti Pasti and Avoid. Johnny also holds forth on his own musical experiences; the pitfalls associated with gig promotion and various life experiences that often made me laugh out loud. 'An Alternative Derby' is written with an enormous amount of passion,humour and humility and Johnny Vincent has a happy knack of being able to paint pictures of moments in time that will leave you nodding your head as the memories come flooding back, or cursing the fact that you weren't there to experience some truly golden times.
'An Alternative Derby' is published by Lulu and you can purchase a copy by clicking here
I may well read a more enjoyable, evocative and consistently moving account of life and music in the next few years but, to be honest, I doubt it.