Sandwiched between Glam Rock and Punk Rock came Pub Rock: a bunch of back-to-basics Brit bands, tired of the increasingly pretentious direction music was taking during the early 1970s, who unloaded their amps into the back-rooms of pubs. Will Birch's No Sleep Till Canvey Island
is an engrossing and breezily illuminating study of a previously ignored period in British pop history, summed up by Brinsley Schwarz's Nick Lowe as "the regrouping of a bunch of middle-class ex-Mods who had been through the hippie underground scene and realised it wasn't their cup of tea". The Brinsleys persevered, as did Graham Parker & The Rumour, Ian Dury, Bees Make Honey, Eggs Over Easy and Ace. Then along came Dr Feelgood. The Southend-based R&B quartet electrified everyone who saw them--and among the audience at their 1974 Guildford show were Paul Weller and Graham Parker. Pub Rock was turned on its head again by the arrival of one Andrew Jakeman--"the manager from another planet"--who within two years had transformed himself into "Jake Riviera", and DP McManus into "Elvis Costello"--but that's another book. The only problem with Pub Rock was that it was essentially a live phenomenon. Crowds packed into sweaty pubs to watch the bands pumping out high-energy R&B or English rock & roll, but the experience could never transfer effectively to disc--which probably led to its hung-over end: "the blind" as Birch writes, "were in most cases, leading the blind drunk!"--Patrick Humphries
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'An exhilarating anecdotal history' -- Q
'Illuminating ... what sustains the book is Will Birch's extraordinary attention to detail' -- Mojo
'Interesting ... knowledgeable ... 8/10' -- Loaded