Midwinter Memorandum

Festive greetings from the snowy moortops. Seeing as I have spent most of the year either a) locked away writing b) moving house c) living out of a suitcase – I thought it was worth sharing some of the bits & pieces I have published this year if you are curious to know more…

SHOP

I have set up a new shop page on Bookshop.org that contains links to all of my titles that are currently in print and available, plus a few books lists to whet the appetite such as Books of the Year and New Reads for 2022. Bookshop.Org is an online store for independent booksellers and authors in the UK that allows readers to order direct, thus letting us keep a healthy percentage of the sale instead of the dastardly Amazon!

ESSAY

‘Luxury Complex: New Faces in Hell’ is an essay on past-life regression, satanic panic and a hauntological group art show in Excavate!: The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall. It’s quite possibly the darkest thing I’ve ever written but had to reach the twisted depths of Mark E. Smith, H.P Lovecraft and the psychic realm to do the subject justice. It reads like a Fall LP sounds. Congratulations to editors Bob Stanley & Tessa Norton – Excavate! was Louder Than War’s #1 Book of the Year and was a Rough Trade, TimesMOJO, and Uncut Book of the Year. 

MEMOIR

Stay Alive Till ’75 is an exclusive pocket-sized edition featuring ‘The Humber Star’ poem, and two memoir pieces (or perhaps auto-fiction) set on the fringes of a religious cult in a fading East Yorkshire seaside town. It has been designed & published by Cally Callomon and is available at Ration Books, alongside new writing by Bill Drummond and Benjamin Myers. Visit their website for further info.

SHORT STORIES

Flashback: Parties for The People by The People is a fold-out publication from this year’s British Textile Biennial that tells the story of the infamous Blackburn Acid House parties. It contains a series of pamphlets including reportage, fiction, poetry and oral history by Alex Zawadzki, Anna Wood, Balraj Singh, Dorothy, Fergal Kinney & Jamie Holman. It also includes my anti-love story, ‘A Place Called Bliss’, a tale that revolves around the smalltown life of two friends and their doomed attempt to escape their daily drudge via the ecstatic promise of Blackburn’s legendary parties… in an Austin Allegro. You can order direct from Rough Trade Books

‘The Beautiful Game’ is a short story of football and shameful secrets that appeared in the debut edition of Ambit Pop (243) edited by Lias Saoudi. Copies are available via Ambit’s website

SPOKEN WORD

Sheffield’s Eccentronic Research Council have released a limited edition album soundtracking the recalled dreams (and nightmares) of friends, artists, actors, scientists, poets and filmmakers and a whole array of eccentrics and people with actual proper jobs. I was delighted to be asked to contribute a lockdown dream to this collection, it’s called ‘Adelle’s Dream’ (of course!)

JOURNALISM

If you subscribe to the Yorkshire Post, you can read some of my articles from the past year. If not, for just £1 you can purchase an Axate day pass (linked on the articles) and peruse everything in the YP’s online archive. Even the tightest Yorkshireman has to admit it’s a bargain! 

Todmorden: The Place for Good Music, Independent Shops & UFOs 

Ross Orton: Sound of Steel City 

Hebden Bridge: A Magical Town of Writers & Poets with an Independent Streak 

Andrea Dunbar: A Great Yorkshire Writer

EVENTS

I will be hosting an evening of Derek Jarman’s films at HOME on March 10thGlitterbug and The Queen is Dead will screen from 35mm prints. The event is part of Jarman at HOME: a retrospective of one of the most influential figures in contemporary British culture. 

COMING SOON

Described by Rolling Stone as a “jaw-dropping rollercoaster”, Ten Thousand Apologies is a wild tragi-comic account of the life & times of Fat White Family. I have co-written it with Lias Saoudi – the band’s lead singer – and have spent the past 18 months of lockdown interviewing, researching, writing, and stitching together the band’s extraordinary story. Visit White Rabbit to pre-order a hardback. 

AND FINALLY…

Some of you might have heard about The Gallows Pole, which is currently being adapted by Shane Meadows for BBC One. It has been a crazy few months up here in the hills, with a large cast sporting mullets, clogs and mucky faces. It is mindblowing to see how this local story of the Cragg Vale Coiners, dreamt up by Ben in our old Mytholmroyd attic, is being transformed for the screen. Following an open casting call involving 6,500 self-submitted videos, the show will also feature an ensemble of first-time actors from the area. It’s true, summat wicked this way comes…

“A jaw-dropping rollercoaster” in Rolling Stone

Chris Catchpole has interviewed Lias Saoudi in this month’s Rolling Stone UK as part of a 7 page feature on our forthcoming book, Ten Thousand Apologies: Fat White Family and the Miracle of Failure. Some of the book’s most outrageous photographs are included: it’s worth every penny of the cover price alone…

Buy a copy HERE

Ten Thousand Apologies Coming Soon at White Rabbit Books

My new book, a music biography based on the strange life and curious times of notorious UK band, Fat White Family, will be published in February 2022. I have co-written it with Lias Saoudi – the band’s lead singer – and have spent the past 18 months of lockdown interviewing, researching, writing, and stitching together the band’s extraordinary story.

Pre-orders for the hardback edition of Ten Thousand Apologies are now available via my Bookshop.Org page, at Rough Trade, Foyles, Waterstones, or your local independent bookshop. An audiobook (read by Emily Spowage and Lias) is also available on Audible.

Visit White Rabbit Books for further information.

A Place Called Bliss

Flashback: Parties For The People By The People is a new fold-out publication from Rough Trade Books that tells the story of the infamous Blackburn Acid House ‘parties’, the vital part this moment of counter-cultural history has played in the social, economic and cultural lives of the area itself, and more broadly, of the country as a whole. The collection contains a series of pamphlets of reportage, fiction, poetry and oral history by contributors including Alex Zawadzki, Anna Wood, Balraj Singh, Dorothy, Fergal Kinney & Jamie Holman.

This fold-out set includes my recent short story, ‘A Place Called Bliss’—an anti-love story that revolves around the smalltown life of two friends and their doomed attempt to escape their daily drudge via the ecstatic promise of Blackburn’s legendary parties in the neighbouring county. It is a shadow story of those lost weekends—a tale of frustrated desire and frustrated aspiration, where the small miracles of love and hedonistic transcendence appear all but impossible.

You can order direct at Rough Trade Books

The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game is a short story of football, dark secrets and masculinity that has appeared in the debut edition of Ambit Pop (243). This new strand of Ambit invites maverick artists to guest edit the magazine under their tradition of Poems, Stories, and Art.

The Ambit quarterly was (anti) established in 1959 by Dr Martin Bax to expand on the times. Editors including JG Ballard, Carol Ann Duffy and Eduardo Paolozzi published early work of many admired names, including David Hockney, William S Burroughs, Stevie Smith and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Copies are available for £10 via Ambit’s website

Stay Alive Till ’75 at Ration Books

An exclusive collection in miniature, Stay Alive Till ’75, is published today at Ration Books. The pocket-sized edition features ‘The Humber Star’, a poem commissioned by John Grant for Hull City of Culture 2017, a memoir in make-up called ‘4 Ombres Dior’, and an extended essay of creative non-fiction set on the fringes of a religious cult in a fading East Yorkshire seaside town.

The book is available to buy direct from Ration Books, alongside new writing by Bill Drummond and Benjamin Myers.

Visit their website for further info.

New Author Page at Bookshop.Org

I have set up a new author page on Bookshop.org that contains links to all of my books that are currently in print (including anthologies etc) and a few books lists to whet the appetite such as Bitter Northern Classics, Best Music Books, and 3:AM, Offbeat & Brutalist Writers.

Bookshop is a new online store for independent bookshops in the UK that allows readers to order directly through them and for booksellers to keep a healthy percentage of the sale. Please support your local bookshop by searching for them on the website, then selecting your lockdown/xmas books through the search engine. You can read more about it here.

Happy reading, comrades!

Portico Prize in The New Review

Anita Sethi has interviewed six shortlisted writers (including myself) for this year’s Portico Prize for the Observer New Review… with portrait photographs by Richard Saker (this one was taken in Mytholmroyd on a cold, blustery December afternoon)

‘Do writers in the north have to work harder to get published? Is there a northern aesthetic? We talk to the six authors shortlisted for the Portico prize – AKA the “Booker of the north”‘

Channelling the Spirit of the North

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile has made it onto this year’s Portico Prize for Literature shortlist, an award for writing that “best evokes the spirit of the North”. Other shortlisted titles include Saltwater by Jessica Andrews, Ironopolis by Glen James Brown, The Mating Habits of Stags by Ray Robinson, The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness by Graham Caveney, and Under the Rock: The Poetry of a Place by Benjamin Myers.

Here’s what the Bookseller had to say about it:

The shortlist of six was revealed on Monday (9th December). Six books were whittled down from a longlist selected by the Portico Prize’s newly formed Society of Readers and Writers. They were chosen by a panel of judges chaired by journalist and broadcaster Simon Savidge of Savidge Reads.

Savidge said: “This list defies the rumour that it’s grim up North. Yes, it can be gritty up North; yes, it can be gothic up North; but more than anything it’s glorious and great up North. These books celebrate the spirit of the people, the spirit of place and the wonderful diversity of the North…”

Sweating Tears with Fat White Family at Rough Trade Books

The good ship Rough Trade Books have published an exclusive new edition, Sweating Tears with Fat White Family. It’s a pamphlet that I have worked on alongside Lisa Cradduck (my long-term collaborator and partner-in-crime) and together we have created this beautifully sordid publication. This exclusive edition features demonic engravings inspired by Berber folklore and the grotesque 16th century drolleries of Richard Breton.

“A revealing examination of the dysfunctional songwriting partnership at the heart of one of Britain’s most unpredictable and controversial contemporary rock ’n’ roll bands, Sweating Tears with Fat White Family features candid interviews by author Adelle Stripe with Fat White Family singer Lias Saoudi and guitarist Saul Adamczewski. From childhood traumas to adult squalor and critical success, it is a tale of bitterness, humour, excess, cruelty, and the vile affections that bind this exceptional pairing on their continued Orphean descent into the underworld.”

Sweating Tears forms part of the Rough Trade “naughty series”, and is available to purchase online at Rough Trade Books, Drift Records, Bleep, Village Leeds and at Rough Trade stores. Copies are also available in galleries and bookshops across the UK, US and Europe. Check the full list of stockists here.