I primarily know Mark Kermode – like most people, no doubt – as the UK’s leading film critic. So, this version of his life story, focusing only on his musical adventures, was like peering into an alternative universe. Yes, I remember him being in the house band on Danny Baker’s early 90s chat show (and on a more personal note, remember being an eighteen year old in his wife’s tutor group at Liverpool and Mark coming in to ask us about The Lemonheads as he was interviewing the band later and – at that point – didn’t know anything about them), but really when I think of Mark Kermode, I think of films. And, yeah, THE EXORCIST in particular.
But the man has, as well as being a stupendous film critic, built himself a quite impressive music career. Lord knows where he found the time.
We have it all here: the dodgy bands, the dodgy gigs, the dodgy haircuts. Anyone who has read his film books will know, he’s a genial narrator. Witty and self-depreciating to a point where he actually jumps up and down to advertise his flaws. Probably lays claim to flaws that aren’t really there, in fact.
I used the word ‘adventures’ above, rather than the ‘misadventures’ of the book’s subtitle. It seems like any man whose band has played the Barbican and Glastonbury, as well as performing solos at The Royal Festival Hall (even if all those things triggered imposter syndrome in him) has been on an adventure more than anything else. Besides, I listened to his current band The Dodge Brothers after reading this, and an Elvis fan like me can’t help but appreciate them. So, adventures it is and hopefully there are many more to come.
My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free. A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!