Sunday 26 April 2015

Naked at the Albert Hall by Tracey Thorn

In her bestselling autobiography Bedsit Disco Queen, Tracey Thorn recalled the highs and lows of a thirty-year career in pop music. But with the touring, recording and extraordinary anecdotes, there wasn't time for an in-depth look at what she actually did for all those years: sing. She sang with warmth and emotional honesty, sometimes while battling acute stage-fright.
Part memoir, part wide-ranging exploration of the art, mechanics and spellbinding power of singing, Naked at the Albert Hall takes in Dusty Springfield, Dennis Potter and George Eliot; Auto-tune, the microphone and stage presence; The Streets and The X Factor. Including interviews with fellow artists such as Alison Moyet, Romy Madley-Croft and Green Gartside of Scritti Politti, and portraits of singers in fiction as well as Tracey's real-life experiences, it offers a unique, witty and sharply observed insider's perspective on the exhilarating joy and occasional heartache of singing.

Naked at the Albert Hall by Tracey Thorn is published by Virago on 30 April 2015.

Tracey Thorn doesn't do nostalgia gigs; she doesn't attend them, or play them. I kind of agree with her, it's always a bit of a let down when you realise that your idols age too!  I did make an exception a couple of years ago though, and went  to see The Who - I didn't regret it.

Naked at the Albert Hall is the perfect way to do nostalgia, I loved every page of it and it took me back to my younger days. Reminders of those Elvis Costello songs that I loved so much, X Ray Spex and Siouxsie; two of my heroines, and now that I'm middle-aged I can actually admit to how much I loved Karen Carpenter's voice.

Tracey Thorn's first book Bedsit Disco Queen told her own story. Naked at the Albert Hall explains more about singing as an actual process. I wasn't sure that I was interested in lungs and throats and how they work, but she writes with such passion, and uses such wonderful phrases, and I was hooked.

There is an honesty about Tracey Thorn that is refreshing. So many pop stars appear false and gaudy, not Thorn, she really is quite upfront about what she sees as her own flaws. I like that, it makes me want to read more, and it made this book so much more enjoyable.

Tracey Thorn is wise and witty, and this shines through in her writing. She is a naturally talented writer, of songs and of books. A must read for fans.

My thanks to Ursula at Virago who sent my copy for review.

Tracey Thorn was singer and songwriter with Everything But The Girl from 1982 to 2000, and since 2007 has released three solo albums, Out of the Woods, Love and Its Opposite and Tinsel and Lights. She is the author of the Sunday Times top-ten bestselling memoir Bedsit Disco Queen.

Find out more about Tracey Thorn, visit her website
Find her on Facebook 
Follow her on Twitter @tracey_thorn

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1 comment:

  1. Oh wow remember her as a singer didn't realise she had written books as well. Her books sound very intriguing.