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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real honest pop biography. Very refreshing., 5 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star (Hardcover)
Summer 1985 and I'm driving from Manchester to Hull to catch the ferry to Rotterdam. I've got Eden on the tape player, just released and eagerly awaited after Tracey's guest appearances on the Style Council's Café Blue and Working Week's Working Nights albums some months earlier. It's the new British jazz/pop sound which has caught us all so firmly and I'm loving it.

In those days, 30 years ago when drivers stopped for hitch hikers, I picked up a couple who were going to Hull who were also EBTG fans. They explained that the band got their unusual name from a furniture store in Hull that had it as a sort of strap line and took me past it to have a look.

Pre-Wiki, I simply didn't realise that Ben and Tracey didn't actually come from Hull and that they were juggling being minor pop stars with their university studies. Perhaps I should have read the NME a bit more, but I'd got to an age when that stuff was all getting a bit tedious.

Tracey's book is a superb read. I got it for Christmas and finished it by January 4th despite having loads of guests down for the period. It filled in a lot of the blanks for me. Contrary to her and Ben's reputation for being private she opens up her worries and insecurities for us all to see and it's a much better book for that instead of the usual music biog nonsense. There's also a really refreshing look into how her record collection was built up and how punk was over before she even bought her first punk record. No wonder she covered the old Rod song. She actually admits to liking Atlantic Crossing which no self respecting music fan, never mind musician would do. The fact that she actually knows what she bought when is revealing in itself - Tracey's a mad keeper of diaries and records to rival Bill Wyman.

There's one or two iffy bits. Thinking that the mums at school don't know who she really is until George Michael passes, stops, winds down the window and yells out "Tracey, how are you" much to the shock of the mums at the school gate. Yeah come on Trace. You ain't that naive surely?

It's also a shame she didn't explain where the EBTG name came from herself and the story behind it and it would have been nice to delve into her superb lyrics and get her point on them. For instance, although most people interpret Missing as a love song, I've always thought it was about a teenage leader of the gang that she hero-worshipped. It could have been a girl. Note that she says that WE'D walk behind as you would run.

Could you be dead?
You always were two steps ahead of everyone
We'd walk behind while you would run

If you're not an EBTG fan I doubt that the book will resonate with you but if you are, it'll be one of those books that you keep on the shelf after you've read it rather than putting it in the Oxfam pile.

Ask your loved one to buy it you for your birthday and if they won't or your birthday's too far away, treat yourself. You won't be disappointed.
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