How Does It Feel?
A Life of Musical Misadventures
By Mark Kermode
The hilarious, self-deprecating, blissfully nostalgic memoir of adored film critic Mark Kermode's riotous attempts to become a popstar
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?
Mark Kermode is Chief Film Critic for the Observer and co-host of Kermode and Mayo's Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live. He is the author of IT'S ONLY A MOVIE; THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE MULTIPLEX; THE MOVIE DOCTORS (with Simon Mayo) and HATCHET JOB, hailed by Stephen Fry as 'the finest film critic in Britain at the absolute top of his form.' He plays double bass and harmonica in The Dodge Brothers, the award-winning skiffle-and-blues band, who also accompany silent movies. He has written and presented film and music shows on Channel 4 and across BBC radio and television. He holds two Sony Awards for his radio programmes, and The Dodge Brothers album The Sun Set was voted Blues Album of the Year 2013 by the roots music magazine Spiral Earth.
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- Publication date:
20 Sep 2018
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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
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
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
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
An engaging tribute to the under-sung glories of skiffle, written with the joyful enthusiasm of someone clearly dedicated to making music — JONNY GREENWOOD
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