Category: Blog


  • Strange Little Girls by Tori Amos

    Strange Little Girls by Tori Amos

    The long-standing tradition of artists reinterpreting the work of fellow artists is often regarded as a stop-gap until the next album of originals is released. Obviously the cover album is meant to be a bonus, something for fans to enjoy, yet never to be taken into serious consideration. A cover album serves two functions. It […]

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  • My Brother the Cow by Mudhoney

    My Brother the Cow by Mudhoney

    Mudhoney are not Nirvana. They’re the grunge band who helped originate a musical shift, but they’re not Nirvana. Sometimes, when you read about Mudhoney in a music magazine, or an blog like this one, you can’t get too far without a Nirvana comparison. You may as well be reading about Nirvana, because they’re always there, […]

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  • Channel 4’s late night Manga mania

    Channel 4’s late night Manga mania

    Channel 4 was the coolest station back when only four channels were available. Sky didn’t count because we couldn’t afford it. So four channels were our entire world of television, but really, did we need anything more than Channel 4? The Big Breakfast, The Priory, The Divine David Presents, Eurotrash, The Ricki Lake Show, the […]

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  • The YA Years / 2013-2018 / what the fuck was that all about?

    The YA Years / 2013-2018 / what the fuck was that all about?

    I got my start in the Scottish publishing industry writing books for teenagers. They weren’t normal YA books but the weirdest, stupidest, strangest most cult fiction for teenagers ever – at least that’s what I told myself. Like most readers, I started reading as a child, visiting my local library every day, taking days off […]

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  • The diabolic horrors of brutalism gone bad

    The diabolic horrors of brutalism gone bad

    Strangers in a library. It is rare to meet a stranger when you work in a library. Most users are regulars and even when you don’t know their name, you know who them at first sight. This man, however, was a stranger. Also, a tourist and a fan of brutalist architecture. We get them every […]

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  • Cover reveal!

    Cover reveal!

    At last, I’m able to present the cover artwork for Sadie, Call The Polis. I wanted something that recalled the old Faber & Faber/Flamingo book covers of the late 80s/early 90s, which is an aesthetic I love. Strange, disembodied images, striking bright colour, and bold typography. Those novels looked like CULT FICTION to me, and […]

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  • Celebrity Skin by Hole

    Celebrity Skin by Hole

    This album is indestructible. It wouldn’t be allowed to fail even though everyone and their cat had already written off Courtney Love as a hasbeen widow who had her finest work subcreated by Kurt Cobain. You can’t imagine how much Courtney was disdained in the years before Celebrity Skin was released. The letters page of […]

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  • I prefer American book art and here’s why…

    I prefer American book art and here’s why…

    The list of sites on my bookmark is precisely four strokes of my fingertip long. One touch takes the page halfway. The second goes further. By the fourth I’m at the bottom of the list. My bookmarked sites are literally all about books. Most of them American literary pages that I read every day, keeping […]

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  • The Dreaming by Kate Bush

    The Dreaming by Kate Bush

    Madness as music is The Dreaming by Kate Bush. Later, she’d talk about the record in terms of the audience reaction, telling an interviewer that people regarded it as her ‘she’s gone mad’ album. Kate Bush is everything to so many people, but all we really know of her, the actual artist, is the stories […]

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  • Money matters, he said

    Money matters, he said

    The worst question you can ask an author is how much we make. Oh, the question can vary slightly, but the reply is almost always the same. “Don’t expect money if you want to be a writer,” I say, my tone always on the mild side of weary. If writers were paid by the hour […]

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