The hilarious, self-deprecating, blissfully nostalgic memoir of adored film critic Mark Kermode's riotous attempts to become a popstar
'A rattling tornado of a tale' DANNY BAKER
'Wonderful and wry . . . it will increase your zest for life' RICHARD AYOADE
Following a formative encounter with the British pop movie Slade in Flame in 1975, Mark Kermode decided that musical superstardom was totally attainable. And so, armed with a homemade electric guitar and very little talent, he embarked on an alternative career - a chaotic journey which would take him from the halls and youth clubs of North London to the stages of Glastonbury, the London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall.
HOW DOES IT FEEL? follows a lifetime of musical misadventures which have seen Mark striking rockstar poses in the Sixth Form Common Room, striding around a string of TV shows dressed from head to foot in black leather, getting heckled off stage by a bunch of angry septuagenarians on a boat on the Mersey, showing Timmy Mallet how to build a tea-chest bass - and winning the International Street Entertainers of the Year award as part of a new wave of skiffle. Really.
Hilarious, self-deprecating and blissfully nostalgic, this is a riotous account of a bedroom dreamer's attempts to conquer the world armed with nothing more than a chancer's enthusiasm and a simple philosophy: how hard can it be?
Wonderful - such a terrific read. HOW DOES IT FEEL? hit me right between the eyes. It brilliantly captures the passion, commitment, searing self-knowledge and dizzy happiness that comes with loving music. An enchanting book — STEPHEN FRY
Oh boy! A rocking whirlwind of a tale. People get into bands originally for the sheer love of the life and the music. Few manage to retain that dizzying adolescent crush like Mark Kermode — DANNY BAKER
Mark Kermode's wonderful and wry book is a compelling combination of heartfelt enthusiasm, merciless self-analysis and a pleasingly full Rolodex of terrible band names. A true fan, he has the rare gift of making you want to discover things from the margins while never looking down on the mainstream. His writing feels like one of those letters you always wish to receive, one whose sole purpose seems to be to increase your zest for life — RICHARD AYOADE
Mark Kermode deftly and winningly manages to have one foot in knotty film criticism and one in popular entertainment . . . If you enjoyed [Danny] Baker's various volumes of autobiography, Kermode's romp through his own 'back story' will appeal too, since he has much of his mentor's style: breezily anecdotal, big on dialogue and set-pieces — New Statesman
Kermode's insistent perfecting of musical failure is madly funny. I loved this book and cringed at every awful stage fail, but his passion shines through. His unrequited desire to be a rock star in a time when every idiot had a band is bum-clenchingly funny and forensically recalled. How life isn't always the movie in your mind — GARY KEMP
Entertaining . . . wry . . . rendered with self-deprecating humour. Overwhelmingly, what comes through every anecdote is the author's genuine enthusiasm for music — Spectator
A delight. If Nick Hornby's HIGH FIDELITY and the Kinks' greatest hits had a baby, and that baby could play skiffle, it would be this book — HADLEY FREEMAN
An entertaining read by anyone's standards, but if you've ever been in a band, if you understand the idea of throwing yourself body and soul into making music with the absolute surety that what you're doing amounts to genius, even - and especially - when it definitely, definitely doesn't, then it's a book you're going to adore — Drowned in Sound
An engaging tribute to the under-sung glories of skiffle, written with the joyful enthusiasm of someone clearly dedicated to making music — JONNY GREENWOOD
From a garden with one person and a cat, to the Barbican Concert Hall. From a cassette recorder in a bedroom in North London to the legendary Sun studios in Memphis, Mark Kermode's self-deprecatory wit exemplifies and celebrates the wonderful unstoppable force of innocence and youthful dreams. Part Spinal Tap, part Nick Hornby, a rock'n'rollercoaster memoir of never giving up on your passions — SANJEEV BHASKAR
You know when you read a biography of your favourite band? And the best bit is the first few chapters where they're chancing it, sleeping on floors, borrowing amps and not believing they've blagged their way onto a bill with Rick Wakeman. Well, imagine that breathless, innocent excitement lasted their whole career. That's what reading HOW DOES IT FEEL? is like. It's the biography of your favourite band who never quite got famous — JOHN ROBINS