By the time most people hit 30, they've managed to do one of the following things:
1. Grow up
2. Meet one of their heroes
3. Move on a bit from the music they were obsessed with at the age of 17.
Clive Beresford has failed to do all three. He mopes around, drinking too much, wondering why life has forgotten him, disgusted at the deletion of the bands he loves (Carter USM, The Wonder Stuff, Ned's Atomic Dustbin et al.) from the world's musical hard drive, quietly lamenting his never-was career as a music journalist. To make matters worse, his best friend has turned into a boring old fart and his bank account is so empty it's actually developed an echo. But all - or at least some - of that is about to change.
One otherwise unremarkable Saturday morning Clive sees the biggest alternative-pop star of them all walking down the high street with his dry-cleaning: Lance Webster, disgraced ex-singer of Thieving Magpies ('the biggest British band to emerge from the late-eighties indie-boom' - Rolling Stone). Determined to grab the scoop of a lifetime, Clive hatches a ramshackle plan to befriend his idol, although Webster - whose charmed, platinum-selling life plummeted headfirst into a rancid festival toilet before the eyes of the indie cosmos one wretched summer night in 1995 - proves to be in no mood for discussing the past. But the pair quickly realise they have things in common neither could have predicted, forcing them both to revisit a period they thought they'd left behind: the sweat, feedback, T-shirts, stage-dives, hitch-hikes, snakebites and hangovers of British alternative rock at the start of the nineties; to quote Lance Webster himself, 'before Britpop came along and fucked everything up'...
The Alternative Hero is that rare gem - a novel about popular music in which every sentence is completely, totally right. And it's very, very funny.