How to describe this book? Part history, part autobiography, many songs and some poetry - but all good. Simon Armitage takes highlights of his life, as rooted by a series of gigs by a selection of 70s and later bands, and provides stories to illustrate his state of mind at the time. So his development, both as a person and as a poet (if the two are divisible), is linked by a series of musical events - some of which were cancelled.
The poetry is inevitably good: readable, accessible in the best sense and never less than deserving of several re-reads. The song lyrics from the films he has made for TV (and which I must now try and find on DVD) are similar, but with the addition of a feeling of desperation - perhaps not surprising as they are written as the words of prisoners.
Varying between moving, laugh out loud funny and a witty and dry observation of the world, this book is one of the best of the year; not least because, in the end, this man can really, really write.