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Tenement Kid: Rough Trade Book of the Year

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The resulting track, Loaded, became Primal Scream’s debut hit and the gateway to the Screamadelica album, 30 years young and still a classic. However, once you grow used to both that and Gillespie’s tendency to smack the reader repeatedly over the head with his political views, (we get it; socialism - good, Tories - bad), the book really comes alive. Meanwhile, Primal Scream toil away in the indie underground to minimal impact, until Gillespie gloms on to the burgeoning acid house scene. BG When I attempted to stop taking drugs and drinking, what helped more than anything was making a commitment to getting up in the morning, getting dressed and going somewhere, swimming, an NA [narcotics anonymous] meeting.

I had no idea that Gillespie was at school with Creation Records founder, Alan McGee (McGee was in the year above him) and the origin story of that relationship made for interesting reading. As a Glaswegian myself so much of this is familiar to me, from school aggro, to city centre clubs, and a thoroughly enjoyable read. I did a timeline from when I was born up until Screamadelica, and I wrote themes to discuss: class, my parents, my lack of schooling. Leaving school at 16 and going to work as a printers' apprentice, Bobby's rock n roll epiphany arrives like a bolt of lightning shining from Phil Lynott's mirrored pickguard at his first gig at the Apollo in Glasgow. I’m pretty good, I’ll always take four months off at the start of the year and go back on drinks and drugs on April Fools’ Day, do it for the summer, and then October, November, December off again.Earlier this year, Gillespie released Utopian Ashes, an album of duets with Savages singer Jehnny Beth. After a somewhat disappointing year of reads in 2022, 2023 has started with something I literally never wanted to end.

Page 1 Bobby is ripping into the fact that his local area is being torn down due to Edward Heath's policies in the late 60's. Much like the Brett Anderson split autobiographies, this ends where things are about to really take off but it doesn't feel anticlimactic.This, as his enjoyable memoir Tenement Kid confirms, is a true believer steeped in politics and pop culture .

What makes Gillespie interesting is that Screamadelica still sounds amazing today - even contemporary in some ways - while Nevermind and Nirvana sound like some relic of a bygone age. Ever since Primal Scream unexpectedly crashed into the mainstream consciousness in 1990 – after six years, two flop albums and several dramatic U-turns in musical direction – their frontman has perfected a piquantly preposterous interview technique. It kind of cements that unemployability, you dig yourself in, five years, 10, 20, nobody’s going to touch you for anything else. I really recommend this audio book, the narration is captivating and the story and anecdotes will interest any music/pop-rock culture nut, Primal Scream fan or otherwise.

Where it is less enjoyable is the occasional burst of politics (which is like having someone rant at you in a pub, stop and then glare at you daring you to contradict them) and some of the other commentary.

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