It is just over a week ago since I was a guest at Quizfest, and I have finally found time to share some of the photos from the day. Fellow authors, signing their books, included Nicholas Parsons, Helen Lederer, David Hamilton and John Challis, aka Boycie from Only Fools And Horses, who was accompanied by Del Boy and Uncle Albert lookalikes. With a number of Chasers and Eggheads and TV stalwart Fred Dinenage also in attendance, it was a fabulous day full of familiar faces.
It is that time of year when I start to get overly excited as I pack my suitcase, ready to head off Solent bound. Yes, I am happy to say that Jack Up The 80s is now only days away.
This year’s line up includes Nik Kershaw, Jason Donovan, Alexander O’Neal, The Fizz (Formerly Bucks Fizz) and JUT80s favourites, From The Jam, who gave an incredible performance last year. I can’t wait!
As well as some great acts, the festival will also have an array of fantastic stalls, offering everything from food and fun to memorabilia and music.
For lovers of vinyl (the best way to listen to music) The Vinyl Countdown is a stall not to be missed. Not only will there be plenty of plastic for festival goers to choose from on the stall, but there will also be the opportunity to purchase my books at the stall, as the lovely Adam has agreed to sell them for me while I’m busy photographing and interviewing artists. We all like a freebie, so there will also be free 1″ badges, featuring designs from my book covers, for everyone buying a book or vinyl from The Vinyl Countdown. Well, until we run out of badges that is, so be quick!
I look forward to seeing all my fellow fans of the Eighties next weekend – come and say hello when you see me.
Tomorrow I will be signing copies of all my titles at Quizfest in Beaulieu, and the good news for everyone attending is that all of my books on sale there will be available at prices lower than their online price. Those who cannot make the event can still pick up a bargain though, as all my titles published by Fabrian Books (the Eighties trilogy) have offers running on their Kindle versions this weekend at Amazon.
With just over two weeks to go until Quizfest, I am beginning to get more than a little excited. Not only will I be signing copies of all my titles at the event, but I will be stationed on a stall in the Domus Hall, alongside the legendary DJ and presenter David Hamilton. I was told that we will be in a section dedicated to pop culture, but I can’t help wondering whether I’ve been put there to make ‘Diddy’ look taller!
Joking aside, it promises to be a fantastic day with book signings, ‘Meet the Stars’ from 2 – 4.30pm, and a quiz in the evening hosted by Christopher Biggins, all set in the beautiful grounds of Beaulieu’s National Motor Museum. I am hoping I’ll have time to have a look at some of the amazing cars housed in the museum too.
So, if you fancy pitting your wits against an Egghead or a Chaser, grabbing a new (signed) book or just coming to meet some of the many familiar faces who will be milling around, then Saturday 29th July is the day to put in your diaries. I look forward to seeing you there.
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I was a guest on Herne Bay’s Radio Cabin. I was in the studio to talk about my latest book ‘More Eighties’ on the Thursday evening Fishy & Chippy Show. When we came off air, it was suggested that I host a weekly 80’s show for the station, and I am delighted to announce that from Thursday 8th June I will be doing exactly that.
Following hot on the heels of my DJ pals Fishy & Chippy, the My 80s Radio Show will go out every Thursday from 9pm to 11pm. Those in the Herne Bay area can tune in old school style on 94.6 FM, whereas those further afield can listen online via the Radio Cabin website.
I am currently working on the playlist for the first show, and requests can be sent to me in a number of ways. Contact me via the station’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook and Twitter pages or through my own Twitter account: @MyEighties using the hashtag #My80s. I have also set up a Facebook page for the show @My80sRadioShow, so come and give us a ‘like’ and a track request.
There are no request rules other than songs must be from the Eighties but, even then, if it can be tenuously linked to the decade, a particularly good tune could still get on the show. Yes, that may well be my way of ensuring some of my favourite releases from The Jam and The Specials get played!
Without giving too much away, the show will include a couple of special request features, and there are also interviews planned with some lovely 80’s artists who have agreed to have a chat with me. During the show, I will be on social media so listen in, let me know what you think and let’s have some proper 80’s fun. Roll on 8th June!
It has been quite a week, with the publication of More Eighties on Tuesday, a radio interview on Thursday, a gig on Friday, and throughout all of that trying to learn the art of vlogging – no mean feat for a Luddite whose technical prowess peaked at the vertically split black and white TV screen, when adjusting the tracking on our Betamax video recorder!
As I mentioned in my last post, I marked the new book’s launch with a celebratory lunch with some fabulous friends. While we were in Dover, I visited Banksy’s latest offering and could not resist a little step up the ladder. I also recorded one of my vlogs there, which you can see below, along with the one I recorded at the gig featuring Jona Lewie and The Blockheads. All my vlog posts are available via my YouTube channel or my website, which also includes the link to the recording of my radio interview. Enjoy …
Tomorrow sees the launch of the third and final book in my trilogy on 80’s popular culture, More Eighties. Available in paperback or kindle version, the book explores how the decade provided a backdrop against which creativity and individuality flourished, the social and political factors which shaped the music of a generation, the changing role and influence of record companies, and why the era remains a golden age for so many of us.
Reflecting the diversity of the UK charts during that time, More Eighties offers recollections, insights and observations from those at the forefront of British music during the most exciting, transitional period in its history, and features interviews with David Ball (Soft Cell), Martyn Ware (Heaven 17), Dave Wakeling (The Beat), Pauline Black (The Selecter), Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction) Rusty Egan (Visage), Jona Lewie, Suzi Quatro, Junior Giscombe, Ian Donaldson (H2O), Karel Fialka, Andy Kyriacou (Modern Romance) and Nathan Moore (Brother Beyond), along with a foreword and commentary by Peter Coyle, former lead singer of the Lotus Eaters, songwriter, and the man responsible for introducing karaoke to the city of Liverpool, completing the eclectic mix. Having recently received and read his copy, Peter remarked that More Eighties “is a gem of a book”. I hope you will think so too.
To mark the book’s release, I will be having a celebratory ‘launch lunch’ tomorrow with friends, whose support has been invaluable during the writing of More Eighties, followed by more radio interviews later in the week. Details and photos to follow on social media.