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 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