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No Sleep Till Canvey Island - The Great Pub Rock Revolution

Will Birch

(Virgin Publishing ISBN 0753507404) 2003

Pub rock was a big movement in the UK during the 70ís with bands like Eddie & the Hotrods, Ian Dury, Dr. Feelgood, Ducks Deluxe (great name!), Brinsley Schwarz and many more. The book looks at the origins of pub rock back in the late 60ís and takes it up to the late 70ís. The bookís author himself was a member of the Kursaal Flyers, who made an impression on the scene in the 70ís.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the book is the anecdotal style in which it is written. Even someone who has little or no knowledge of the bands can readily enjoy this book. A classic example would be Brinsley Schwarzís ill-fated attempt to break into the US by playing the Fillmore. The bandís management flew over a planeload of rock press but the whole event was a complete disaster! Many of the musicians and supporting cast involved are quoted along the way including Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Brinsley Schwarz. The all important pubs are also covered, detailing how they started to take on rock bands and which bands appeared in each venue. The supporting characters are also larger than life including the late Barney Bubbles and manager Dave Robinson and later founder of Stiff Records.

The book also features an exhaustive bibliography, select discography and a chronological timeline of the pub rock movement up until 1977. Very readable, hugely enjoyable and recommended for any 70ís music fan.


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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