Bedsit Disco Queen

by Tracey Thorn

There's a certain kudos about being in a band. Not so much that bunch that string along a number of covers in your local on a Friday night, who strangely sound better with increasing alcohol consumption. The kind that cut a record, get played on the radio and get to tour the world.

boom book reviews - Bedsit Disco Queen by Tracey Thorn

But not every band that makes it has the same kind of success as U2. The music industry is littered with those that had a brief fling with success and the fame that comes with it. And some can make a damn good living from it without being όber famous – being talented certainly helps.

Tracey Thorn is a name that won't instantly been known – unless you were a die-hard fan of her particular brand of eighties pop with Everything but the Girl – but you will recognise her distinctive vocals.

Along with her musical and life partner Ben Watt, the pair have to date released eleven studio albums. OK none of them made it to the magical number one spot (in fact only one of them made it into the top five, with their 1996 album Walking Wounded peaking at number four) , but they had a loyal fan base that kept them ticking over musically.

It wasn't until 1994 when Todd Terry remixed their single 'Missing' that they got a massive success on their hands. And Tracey later collaborated with Massive Attack on the singe 'Protection' which was also a huge hit.

In this book, Thorn gives a refreshing account of her time in the business known as music. From the time she started in her first band the Stern Bops, right up to the surprise success that her and hubby later found with Everything but the Girl.

What this book isn't is some kind of sleazy kiss and tell. In fact, it's about as far away as you could possibly get from such a thing. What it is, is a fascinating account of being in a relatively successful pop band from ground zero.

Thorn treats her extended brush with fame with a delightful down-to-earthness that belies her considerable talent. At times she comes across as a surprised contest winner, who just so happens to be performing on Top of the Pops. It's a fascinating read that proves that she's got a good head for words and not just lyrics.

Not only is Bedsit Disco Queen a gloriously smart little time machine, that sends its reader back to a time of bold musical curiosities, it also serves as a delightful message in a bottle, of more adventurous had in the music industry. And if you weren't a fan of Thorn's the first time around, there's every chance you will be after this.

we give this four out of five