Monday, 16 March 2015

Bibliophilia: Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew up and Tried to Be A Pop Star – Tracey Thorn

Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew up and Tried to Be A Pop Star – Tracey Thorn

As a genre, celebrity (auto)biographies don’t interest me that much. I think Brian Eno’s “A Year With Swollen Appendices” might be the only one I’ve read. Saw this one and since I’ve always liked EBTG, decided to give it a read. (The common theme seems to be that as long as they’re low key British musicians, I can handle reading about their exploits.)

Charming tale of an average middle class girl from an ordinary suburb with a typical teenage interest in music. She got the notion to buy a guitar, and learn to play. Starts writing songs and shows a knack for it. Forms a band with some friends, and gets some recognition. Heads off to university, the same one that a fellow called Ben who is also on the label her band is signed to, is attending. One thing leads to another and they become not only lovers, but creative partners as well. 

She charts the strange vagaries of a career in pop music. I think she enjoyed it, but always maintained an ambivalent attitude about. Throughout it all she seems like someone who always stayed humble and level headed. Anyone expecting anything salacious will be disappointed. Instead you get delightful tales of being starry eyed youngsters thrilled to do a show with Paul Weller, to many years later wandering around the Gap and Missing coming on over the soundsystem and having her child turn around in the pram with a surprised look and saying “Mummy! You are singing in the shop!” And everything in between.

The distinctive, soulful voice heard in her music comes through in this engaging look at not only one artists career, but also as an eyewitness to an era in music.

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