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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Slade! Suede!
I read Bad Vibes in one sitting. It's a real page-turner, unputdownable, etc...

It's a POV history of the bad old Britpop days by the former frontman of The Auteurs. It's a swingeing, whingeing, barking, snapping, curmudgeonly masterpiece of a memoir, with Haines' ego on overdrive and dripping with vemom at every perceived and real slight and grudge that he has...
Published on 5 May 2009 by Black Mask

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New Brat In Town
All the more disappointing because Haines is one of my musical heroes and has shown himself onstage to be a witty, bitter man, but one capable of creating music of incredible depth and beauty. He seems embarrassed at the desperate scramble for fame and wealth, and so adopts the pose of the cynical outsider.

The problem is that he takes on the mantle of...
Published on 10 Jun 2009 by AK 1957-05


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Slade! Suede!, 5 May 2009
I read Bad Vibes in one sitting. It's a real page-turner, unputdownable, etc...

It's a POV history of the bad old Britpop days by the former frontman of The Auteurs. It's a swingeing, whingeing, barking, snapping, curmudgeonly masterpiece of a memoir, with Haines' ego on overdrive and dripping with vemom at every perceived and real slight and grudge that he has absolutely no intention of forgetting or forgiving. I found it immensely funny and accurate, but then I was never a Britpop fan. He seems prone to the same sort of enthusiasms as me (anti-art, avant-garde, conspiracy theories, murder, terrorists, utopian movements...) so maybe that helped. It's a full-on rant with the charm of Niven, Stanshall, Mark E Smith or Ignatius J. Reilly.

Try it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So you want to be a rock and roll star?, 10 Aug 2010
By 
Robert Machin (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I've read too many books on pop, but this is straight into the top ten (with a bullet), not so much for its insights on the music, but for what it reveals about the trials, tribulations and downright horrors of being in a band. To be honest, I knew little about the Auteurs or Luke Haines before picking this up, having always casually (dis)regarded them as also-rans in a scene which itself never much interested me, whose ambition almost certainly outran their ability by several miles. Oddly, I come away from reading this book with those opinions not greatly changed, but with a tremendous sympathy for Haines himself, and the rapidity with which his vocation was crushed to powder and blown away by the relentless grinding machinery of the music business, with the album driving the tour, the tour schedule demanding the new album, the need for novelty demanding changes in production and playing personnel which Haines can barely control, in a never-ending cycle, until every last vestige of inspiration has been wrung from our hero. It's an old story of course (over which the shadow of Spinal Tap casts a lengthening shadow), but Haines tells it with savage, caustic and hugely readable wit. Mums, Dads - if your kids want to grow up to be pop stars, make them read this book...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously bitter and twisted., 18 Feb 2009
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The best Rock Curmudgeon alive today. If you were even slightly a fan of all things Britpop - this is a must read. He hates everyone (except the drummer from Suede). His self-belief is unstoppable and his proclaimations of genius many. No one is safe from his scathing criticism,(yes, that includes YOU Justine Frishmann)and this book is all the more funny for it.
Recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New Brat In Town, 10 Jun 2009
By 
AK 1957-05 (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
All the more disappointing because Haines is one of my musical heroes and has shown himself onstage to be a witty, bitter man, but one capable of creating music of incredible depth and beauty. He seems embarrassed at the desperate scramble for fame and wealth, and so adopts the pose of the cynical outsider.

The problem is that he takes on the mantle of curmudgeon and is unable to cast it off - he snipes and sneers at just about everything, until we're crying out for him to say something positive about SOMEONE, just to balance the bile! As Morrissey said, "It's so easy to laugh, it's so easy to hate..."

As a history of the era, it's great, but it's nothing like as funny as you'd expect from the man. There are amazingly few direct quotes from him...a lot of the time he meets a loathed celeb or, perish the thought, someone SUCCESSFUL, and tells us what he FELT like saying, or what he was THINKING - very rarely does he actually employ his caustic wit on these offenders. He also seems to regard his pop records as acts of terrorism - Luke, Baader Meinhof is one of the best albums of the last twenty years but it's about as "dangerous" as Basil Fawlty not mentioning the war.

Towards the end, he just seems to be padding, trying to fill up his quota of words. I found the trepanning segment dreary, and the lengthy acid trip just plain tedious.

And so I return to praying for a new Auteurs album...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An album on paper, 4 Feb 2009
By 
Sockpuppets (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Excellent first book and very pleasing to find Luke Haines can keep up the vitriolic persona for 250 pages of memoirs. So very very funny too, a home for the jokes and witticisms that just can't work in song form. Really wish there was an index though, maybe in the reprint?
A must have for anyone who was into music in the 1990s.
Roll on Volume II please.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damned funny, 10 April 2009
Old Haines does himself proud in this memoir, complete with David Peace puff on the cover. Which isn't that odd as Haines comes across as not unlike Brian Clough in his obsessions. You'll laugh out loud I promise.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Sweet Symphony, 23 Mar 2009
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I have happy memories of the Britpop era. Luke Haines doesn't. I'm not sure what musical landscape would have actually made him happier in the mid 90s, but it is hilarious reading this acidic critique of his contemporaries and where he fitted into the scheme of things. There are a few laugh out loud moments and the cynicism never turns the book too vitriolic. A great barbed read to get yourself in the mood for the Blur reunion.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starstruck, 5 Jan 2009
This is a, hate to say it, "must have" buy for all Luke Haines fans. That said, every release by the man has fallen into the category, but this, his first foray into print, is a real treat. It would work for both the devotee and the casual music fan, as a historical, completely biased treatise on that most diabolical of concepts, Britpop.

The book is disappointing in only one regard, and that is that we know little more about Haines the man than the public persona that he presents in his bitter, beautiful music. It's possible to feel some of his anger, and disappointment at his lack of commercial success, but he never makes it totally clear how he feels. Maybe I'm a little disappointed because last years amazing indie autobiography, Black Postcards by Dean Wareham was so candid that at times it felt intrustive, set an unrealistic benchmark for just how good any autobiography can be. Personally, I'd have liked to have learned a bit more about Haines as a person, and about the life experiences that have made him such a unique talent in music, and the forces and influence, on his person as much as his art, that made him write such brilliantly vitriolic and angry pop music whilst his contemporaries created such dirge and called it Britpop.

As this covers the period 92-97, I'd love to see a follow up. Arguably, Haines best work came after this - his solo efforts, and chart success with Black Box Recorder followed. It would be great to see this chronicled and laid bare.

Overall, a great book, but not as great as it could have been. As an aside, it is interesting to note the influence of his acquaintance David Peace, particularly GB84 on the style of the prose and structure of the book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trepanning, sir?, 14 Feb 2009
Luke Haines is a genius. He almost certainly hates you. These two facts are not unrelated. Your only choice is to buy this book and restore balance to the universe. It is as funny, spiteful and true as his records. The prologue is entitled "Is it ever right to strike a dwarf?"; the postcript "as a nation we have truly lost our way". Between these two poles lurks the dark heart of an unsung hero adrift in a lost age. Treasure him now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Puts the Boot into Britpop, 3 May 2010
By 
Duncan (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
The Luke Haines revealed in this loose trawl through the 'Britpop' years of 1992-97 is an arrogant, ego-driven, abrasive, misanthropic, irresponsible, embittered old git. And the book is all the better for that. He skewers many [admittedly easy] targets, from record company suits to Chris Evans to obsessed fans to 'the north'[although, perversely, Noel Gallagher is allowed some positive comment] and also doesn't spare himself - the archetypal 'nearly man' whose success never quite matched his undoubted talent. The Auteurs, Hianes's original band were there at the start of Britpop, along with Suede, but fell by the wayside and Haines eventually had his biggest success years later with Black Box Recorder. Recommended, and with this volume ending in '97, there's hope that a sequel may appear at some stage.
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