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Tenement Kid: Rough Trade Book of the Year

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I guess all nationalism is exclusive, not just English nationalism… When it happened, I thought, well, maybe this is English nationalism, which is, for me, frightening. I guess the number one trait of any "rock" musician is self belief, and Gillespie has this by the bucketload. A punk rock fairytale, razor sharp on class struggle, music, style, and a singular view of the world resulting in one of the world’s great bands.

There’s been a recent avalanche of books by musicians, including Sinéad O’Connor, Baxter Dury, Will Sergeant, Stevie Van Zandt, Carl Cox, Shaun Ryder and Dave Grohl, to mention just a few. Although Gillespie claims to be a lover, not a fighter, he revels in the chaos and was ripe for punk, providing an ecstatic description of the explosive effect of hearing The Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen.Er ego/reality check son…I think it was more the case that your drumming was so forgettable that you were so easily replaced by a drum machine. Published thirty years after the release of that seminal album, Tenement Kid cuts a righteous path through a decade lost to Thatcherism and saved by acid house.

People at the bottom felt through their newspapers or Facebook groups that the EU was to blame for their circumstances… It also became this emotional thing. We use Google Analytics to see what pages are most visited, and where in the world visitors are visiting from. He even made a pilgrimage to Midnight Records when he was in New York with the Jesus and Mary Chain. I couldn't care less for the horror that was Acid House music or his unabashed love of illegal drugs but always interesting to read an alternative point of view. And he comes off as very well informed about politics -- probably from his dad who was a leader in the printer's union.

I even listened to a few of the songs referenced, including older Primal Scream tracks and various remixes. One of my favourite aspects of the book is the detailed description of his early years in the Glasgow tenements and how that shaped his strong socialist belief. I wanted to get to the heart of adult relationships, to make an adult record that was appropriate to my age. When he was there, when he came up two or three times, he was on another planet, he was gone, he couldn’t play. sense – but more in the word’s original Blakean sense – emotion recollected in tranquillity, as the saying went.

PO Box, Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Argentin Last month, he and old friend, author and fellow Scot Irvine Welsh, got together to discuss some of the book’s themes.

Key players like Alan McGee (Creation Records main man) and core Screamers like Rob Young and Andrew Innes go way back as friends and mates. It's an entertaining if somewhat bloated read, a good social history of the 1970's and 1980's and the music scene as it transformed. I had no idea that Gillespie was at school with Creation Records founder, Alan McGee (McGee was in the year above him) and the origin story of that relationship made for interesting reading. If you are one of the lucky people who lived the party life and grew up on this amazing music then you’ll have so much to relate to….

Anyway the reason behind this long-winded memory is because that Tenement Kid is Gillespie’s memoir and it documents his childhood, his stint in Altered Images and The Wake, the formation of Primal Scream , his drumming days with The Jesus and Mary Chain. He draws a firm line between the Scream’s rock’n’roll heaven quest and the competition, in the form of all the ’80’s plastic pop like Wham, Spandau etc, or the limper House of Love type indie groups. A righteous journey, an elegy for the transformative power of rock and roll told with heart and soul. In this book, Gillespie takes us through the release of Screamadelica and the tour that followed as Primal Scream become the most innovative British band of the new decade.BG When I attempted to stop taking drugs and drinking, what helped more than anything was making a commitment to getting up in the morning, getting dressed and going somewhere, swimming, an NA [narcotics anonymous] meeting. Gillespie’s family lived in one room, sharing a bathroom with other families, later moving to a “room and kitchen” in the same tenement, with the then-family of four sharing a bedroom.

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