We love Tracey Thorn here, she’s a quintessential British popstar, one of which who has an extraordinary voice, one that is unique and truly distinct. She’s a sort of anti-popstar which is part of her charm and appeal – never needing to court the media in order to sell records. She’s also brilliantly hilarious and entertaining on Twitter too.
Yesterday, we finished reading her best selling memoir ‘Bedsit Disco Queen’, and it is by far the most wonderfully refreshing, insightful and funny read. There is a down-to-earth realness, poise and honesty in the way in which she writes using well chosen anecdotes, often told with self deprecating humour. It was also remarkable to discover the extent of her experiences, which was somewhat surprising – it serves as an education, providing the links between knowledge gaps.
The book begins with a large amount of time spent, charting her upbringing, set against her musical journey of discovery – the book features teenage diary extracts to great comic effect and in doing so creates an informal, relaxed tone which sets a precedent. It was fascinating to read how the musical influences of the day, shaped her outlook and guided the path she would take within her own career with Everything But The Girl. It was also intriguing to track the highs and lows of life in a pop band, finding success, watching it fade before seeing it rise again to even greater heights, what’s more it was curious to read the dynamics and workings of the personal relationship she shared with Ben Watt too. Each chapter ends with song lyrics that were written and which were inspired by the events described across the pages, which makes for an interesting insight to the music she and Ben produced and adds depth and greater meaning upon re-listening to the highlighted tracks.
Thankfully, the book doesn’t rely on sensationalist claims or outlandish revelations, it is simply a book which serves to offer a version of events and which is a wonderful thing – the way in which Tracey retells her account of Ben’s life threatening illness evokes the emotions, draws empathy and sympathy but she as a writer does not dwell on those occasions, instead there is a holistic realisation of the bigger picture. There are many moments which do bring surprising delight and glimpses of the famous – the drunken conversation with Liam Gallagher, recording with Paul Weller and the school gate encounter with George Michael – however, such events are merely to aid the wider point rather than being the sole focus which is what makes ‘Bedsit Disco Queen’ such a charming, riveting, witty, sharp and thoroughly entertaining, enjoyable read.