Recommended Read: Bad Penny Blues by Cathi Unsworth

BRIT GRIT, BRIT NOIR, Cathi Unsworth, London, London, punk fiction, recommended reads

At the start of the Swinging Sixties, a serial killer nicknamed Jack The Stripper stalked te streets of West London. In Bad Penny Blues, Cathi Unsworth smartly weaves together fact and fiction as she tells the stories of Stella – a young fashion- designer who is haunted by visons of the dead women – and PC Peter Bradley, a policeman who is investigation the killings.

First published in 2010 by Serpents Tail, Bad Penny Blues as been republished by Strange Attractor Press and now includes an introduction from no less than Greil Marcus as well as The Ghosts Of Ladbroke Grove, a revealing afterword from Cathi Unsworth.

Bad Penny Blues remains a cracking yarn with a great sense of time and place and is, of course, highly recommended.

The Seatown Blues – Episode One: Into The Valley

Close To the Bone, Craig Douglas, Paul D Brazill, punk fiction, Seatown, Short Story, The Skids

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The first issue of Close To The Bone Magazine is out NOW! It includes Into The Valley, the first episode of my serialized novelette The Seatown Blues. Cheers to Craig Douglas for making it look so cool!

You can check it out here, if you fancy!

download (1)

Recommended Read: The Not Knowing by Cathi Unsworth

BRIT GRIT, Cathi Unsworth, Crime Fiction, London, Paul D Brazill, Post Punk, Punk, punk fiction, Quentin Tarentino

Published in 2005, Cathi Unsworth’s The Not Knowing was her first novel. It is set in London in the early ’90s and what a great slice of London life it is. Diane Kemp is a journalist working for the trendy Lux magazine. When an uber-hip British film director goes missing she is dragged into the investigation. Meanwhile, a killer stalks the city.

The Not Knowing is a cracking murder mystery with a great sense of time and place and is a hell of a read.

The Not Knowing

via About Punk Noir Magazine

‘Both punk and noir are words that have been so overused and misused that they pretty much mean nothing now. They’re random adjectives that are regularly added in a scattershot way, so combining them allows a lot of scope for the site. No sense? Nonsense!‘

Punk Noir Magazine  is purportedly an online arts and entertainment magazine that looks at the world at its most askew, casting a bloodshot eye over films, music, television and more. There are interviews, reviews, news, poetry, fiction, micro fiction, and flash fiction.  And some other stuff too, I’m sure. Indeed, a veritable cornucopia of carryings on. If you want to submit something, let me know.

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A  CONSUMER was a regular feature in the New Musical Express back in the ’70s and‘80s. I always enjoyed it, so I thought I’d rip off the idea and revive it here.

Punk Noir Magazine editor Paul D. Brazills books include Last Year’s Man, A Case Of Noir, Guns Of Brixton, and Kill Me Quick. He was born in England and lives in Poland.

About Punk Noir Magazine

Paul D Brazill, punk fiction, Punk Noir Mgazine

Last Year’s Man Rides Again!

All Due Respect, ANTHOLOGY, Chris Roy, Close To the Bone, Craig Douglas, Last Year's Man, London, Near To The Knuckle, Paul D Brazill, punk fiction, The Only Ones

 

a time for violence

For those of you that enjoyed my book LAST YEAR’S MAN, the protagonist Tommy Bennett is back. The Tommy Bennett yarn ‘Baby’s Got A Gun‘ – title filched from The Only Ones – is included in the anthology A TIME FOR VIOLENCE: STORIES WITH AN EDGE.

The anthology is published by CLOSE TO THE BONE and is edited by Andy Rausch and Chris Roy.

It includes stories from Richard Chizmar, Joe R. Lansdale, Max Allen Collins, John A Russo and many more!

You can grab A TIME FOR VIOLENCE from Amazon.com and loads of other joints, in paperback and as an eBook.

 

 

Short, Sharp Interview: Tom Pitts

Crime Fiction, Down and Out Books, Paul D Brazill, punk fiction, short sharp interviews, Tom Pitts

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PDB: You latest book is called 101. What’s it all about?

In a nutshell, it’s set against the Northern California pot business on the cusp of legalization. A kid on the run from trouble in San Francisco goes to hide out there and brings a whole lot of trouble with him. There’s a wild array of characters who’re in on the chase and they race back down the 101, converging in Oakland to settle their scores.

PDB: How has pot legalisation changed life in America?

The worst is yet to come. So far, in California, all we’ve seen is more and more laws and regulations. They’re coming up with new ones every week. If it keeps up, the black market will be back in business. A lot of the laws seemed designed to cut out the little guy, the small-time grower who previously flourished. It takes a pile of money to get in on the legal side now, the kind of money that comes from corporations and tech and venture capitalists. Out on the street things are generally the same, except you can smell weed everywhere. No exaggeration.  Bars, malls, restaurants, billowing out of cars.

PDB:  What’s best, critical or commercial success?

Critical. No question. There’s the pragmatic in me that says take the money. But, the truth is, you create what you create. If it’s going to last, it’s got to be good. You don’t need millions of dollars to be happy. You know what’ll make you happy? Leaving behind something great. If a critical success is also a commercial success, then good for the creator. Pretty unlikely it’ll happen with one of my books though. But if you start off looking for commercial success, you’ll end up with something watered down and forgettable. This is what I learned from music. Forget about what the audience wants and just create. Then, if it’s good, it’ll resonate.

PDB: Do you judge a book by its cover?

You have to judge a book by its cover. You do it whether you want to or not. Are there exceptions? Of course there are and I don’t want to discuss them. The reality is, if you’re standing at the store, staring at shelf, it’s the cover that’s got to pull you in. That’s its job. The word-of-mouth, the oohing and awing over blurbs, sizzling sleeve description all come after.

PDB: Was Huey Lewis right, is it hip to be square?

Perhaps he was right. Out here in Silicon Valley we’re living a real-life revenge of the nerds.  I, unfortunately, was way too cool back then, so I’m now part of the ostracized, marginalized sect.  The calculus majors and computer labs kids are now running the world, so fire up your bong, stream your Netflix, and let go of the steering wheel. Someone else is in control.

PDB: What’s on the cards?

tom pittsFor me? My novel American Static just came out as an audiobook, it’s up there on Audible, Apple, and wherever else. 101 is out on November 5th, ask any bookstore to order it, or you can find it on line. I’ve got another book coming out in 2020 called Coldwater, but until then I have to roll up my sleeves and get to work. These babies don’t write themselves, you know.

Bio: Tom Pitts received his education on the streets of San Francisco. He’s recently been called the underworld bard of the Bay.  He is the author of AMERICAN STATIC, HUSTLE, and the novellas PIGGYBACK and KNUCKLEBALL. His new novel, 101, will be released by Down & Out Books November 5th, 2018.

 

Recommended Read: Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill

BRIT GRIT, Crime Fiction, Fahrenheit Press, Hull, Hull Noir, Nick Quantrill, P I, Paul D Brazill, punk fiction, recommended reads

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Nick Quantrill’s Broken Dreams is a cracking book. It’s the story of a Private Investigator following a muddy and bloodstained trail through a battle scarred Northern city. PI Joe Geraghty- like his hometown Hull-  has both taken many a good kicking and is trying to get back on his feet. Broken Dreams is realistic and romantic – in a Joe Strummer way.  It takes you by the lapels and drags you along on a gritty, griping journey. Recentley rebooted by Fahrenheit Press, Nick Quantrill‘s debut novel is highly recommended.

Recommended Read: I Swear I Was There by David Nolan

BRIT GRIT, Buzzcocks, David Nolan, Granada, magazine, Manchester, Paul D Brazill, Post Punk, Punk, punk fiction, sex pistols, Tony Wilson

i swear I was there.David Nolan’s  I Swear I Was There – Sex Pistols, Manchester and the Gig that Changed the World is a hell of a yarn that ostensibly tells the story of the Sex Pistols’ impact on the Manchester music scene in the mid-1970s. 

It focuses on three events – the Sex Pistols‘ first gig at Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall on 4 June 1976, their second showing at the same venue one month later, and their first televison appearance on Granada TV‘s So It Goes.

I Swear I was There is a cracking read for anyone interested in the music and culture of the time and like all cracking yarns it’s choc a block full of great chatacters- Tony Wilson, Jordan Mooney, Howard Trafford, John The Postman, Slaughter and The Dogs and many more. Great stuff! 

SMALL TIME CRIMES’ SOUNDTRACK

Music, Near To The Knuckle, Paul D Brazill, Post Punk, Punk, punk fiction, Sandra Ruttan, Small Time Crimes, Teeside, Toe Six Press

SMC

Well, I’ve certainly lifted plenty of story and book titles from songs over the years. Small Time Crimes, my new collection, has more than a few yarns with titles nicked from songs I like.

Chelsea Girls

I suspect most people would think that the title Chelsea Girls was pilfered from the 1967 Andy Warhol film and perhaps, indirectly, that’s true. It is, in fact, named after art rockers Simple Minds’ second single. I liked their first single, ‘Life In A Day and ‘Chelsea Girls’ too.  I saw them live around the same time -1979 – at Middlesbrough Rock Garden and always associate the gig with beer and marmite.

In The Devil’s Name

The shadow of the shadow of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band hangs over this yarn. SAHB recorded a song about the Scottish witch Isobel Goudie and the pub in the story is called The Swampsnake. SAHB were one of my favourite bands in pre-punk times.

Life After Life

‘Lord Let us pray for life after life,’ sang Sniffin’ Glue founder Mark Perry in a cod reggae song.  It was actually one of my least favourite of their singles but I bought it at the time and still like it.

New Dawn Fades

In rain soaked Leeds in September 1979, I saw Joy Division as part of the Leeds Futurama Festival- along with The Fall, Public Image and many more top turns. And JD made an impression for sure. Their first album Unknown Pleasures certainly did. This was before synthesisers softened their sound. They were still hard edged as well as mournful. They still had punk energy.

Band On The Run

Wings were ‘the band The Beatle’s COULD have been’ according to Alan Partridge. I certainly liked them more than The Fab Four as a kid. The cover of Band On The Run was well talked about at school in 1973, spotting the celebrities, most of whom are probably dead now.

The Friend Catcher

Before Nick Cave turned into the Goth Billy Joel, he was in The Birthday Party, an essential band that mashed up The Stooges with Pere Ubu and more. The Friend Catcher is a spooky ditty that always reminded me of The Child Catcher in Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang.

Yesterday’s Wine

I suspect Willy Nelson sounded old and nostalgic even when he was a child and this is for sure a fitting title for a story about growing old.

Right Place, Wrong Time

This LP was always in the 50p section of the second-hand record shop where I worked but it was years later when I actually listened to it. See what I did then?

Sheila Take A Bow

Morrissey’s tribute to Shelagh Delaney, writer of A Taste Of Honey, Charlie Bubbles and more. Mozza pilfered many of her lines for his songs over the years of course, so it was the least he could do, really. From a time when The Smiths were more than just a soppy student band.

Small Town Creed

The Kane Gang, a bunch of working class lads from the north east of England in love with the sound of Detroit. Back in the ‘80s they had a couple of big hits in the UK but are mostly forgotten these days, sadly.

Pretty Green

One of The Jam’s best tunes with a typically great bass line.

Life On Mars

My older brother Eric gave me Bowie’s Hunky Dory in the early ‘70s and I remember not being able to make head nor tail of the lyrics but bloody well trying! It’s all about our insignificant little lives, isn’t it?

Train In Vain

I saw The Clash in 1978 when the front doors were literally pulled off Middlesboro Town Hall. This song is smooth sounding aim at the American charts but it still has its appeal. They were always a conventional rock band, after all.

Seven Minutes To Midnight

Melodrama from Pete Wylie, the only one of The Crucial Three that I could bare to have a pint with. All sound a fury signifying quite a lot.

Fiery Jack

Flash fiction is sharp and spikey, as were The Fall, and as is this song from my favourite Fall period.

Getting Away With It

The Smiths meets New Order meets … The Pet Shop Boys? Much ridiculed at the time, I think, it was a top 20 hit in the UK and still stands up. And don’t we all like to think we’re getting away with it?

I made a You Tube playlist here 

(This post first appeared  at Toe Six Press)

David Nemeth interviews me at Do Some Damage

BRIT GRIT, David Nemeth, Do Some Damage, Humour, Interviews, Jason Michel, Last Year's Man, Music, Paul D Brazill, Poland, Punk, punk fiction, Small Time Crimes, Spain, TEFL

MY XMAS NOIR AT DO SOME DAMAGE

David: I enjoyed one of your latest books, “Last Year’s Man” which displays the wit in your writing. So, what makes Brits funnier than Americans? Kidding. A bit of a safer question, what is it that makes the English so damn funny?

Paul: I think the Brits revel in our own ridiculousness, we know that life and people are absurd. After all, there are two types of people in the world and they are both preposterous. The most preposterous are the ones that don’t know they are, of course.’

Rear the rest of the interview over at DO SOME DAMAGE.

Small Time Crimes’ Soundtrack at Toe Six Press

GUEST BLOGS, Music, Near To The Knuckle, Paul D Brazill, Post Punk, Punk, punk fiction, Sandra Ruttan, Small Time Crimes, Teeside, Toe Six Press

36779294_10217033446690927_2585961570827763712_n

Well, I’ve certainly lifted plenty of story and book titles from songs over the years. Small Time Crimes, my new collection, has more than a few yarns with titles nicked from songs I like.

Over at Toe Six Press, I talk about those songs.

Chelsea Girls

I suspect most people would think that the title Chelsea Girls was pilfered from the 1967 Andy Warhol film and perhaps, indirectly, that’s true. It is, in fact, named after art rockers Simple Minds’ second single. I liked their first single, ‘Life In A Day and ‘Chelsea Girls’ too.  I saw them live around the same time -1979 – at Middlesbrough Rock Garden and always associate the gig with beer and marmite.

In The Devil’s Name

The shadow of the shadow of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band hangs over this yarn. SAHB recorded a song about the Scottish witch Isobel Goudie and the pub in the story is called The Swampsnake. SAHB were one of my favourite bands in pre-punk times.’

If you fancy, you can read the rest here.

Because The Night is at Pulp Metal Magazine

flash fiction, Paul D Brazill, Pulp Metal Magazine, Punk, punk fiction, Short Story

PULPLOGO (1)Pulp Metal Magazine is shutting up shop, at least for the time being. And my contribution to its funeral is a little yarn called Because The Night.

Mark Finney’s footsteps echoed as he walked across the rusty, metal railway bridge. A steely fog was spreading itself across the town and he could no longer see the trains creeping slowly below him. He walked carefully down the steps and paused at the bottom. Smudges of streetlamps trailed off into the distance down Lothian Road. Finney headed off along the cobbled street, past the rows of partially demolished terraced houses that looked like broken teeth. ‘

Read the rest here.

No One Is Innocent at Retreats From Oblivion.

BRIT GRIT, BRIT NOIR, Cullen Gallagher, London, Lou Boxer, noir, noircon, Paul D Brazill, punk fiction, Retreats From Oblivion

retreats-from-oblivion-logo-011

Noir Con‘s online journal –Retreats From Oblivion– have published a slice of my Brit Grit called No One Is Innocent.

‘Marjorie shuffled through the door to the snug and switched on the lights. She pressed a button and the dusty Wurlitzer jukebox burst to life. Jane Morgan belted out ‘The Day The Rains Came.’ In French.

Check out the rest here, if you fancy