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tagesmann

Bedsit Disco Queen

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Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to be a Pop Star.

 

Tracey Thorn is probably best known as one half of Everything But the Girl. This biography tells us about Tracey's early interest in music and her contributions for fanzines during the later punk/new wave era of the late 1970's; through her early involvement in producing music with The Marine Girls (one of Kurt Cobain's top 50 bands) and on to her mixed success with Everything But the Girl.

 

It only touches briefly on her relationship with Ben Watt (her partner in Everything But the Girl, his illness, their subsequent marriage and their children. Mostly this is a fairly straightforward chronology of Tracey's music career from 1981 to 2007.

 

There are a few amusing touches such as the time that George Michael pulled up in his Range Rover to chat with Tracey while she was waiting outside the school gates with the other mums. Or when her son asked her "Mum, did you use to be famous?" There is also a reoccurring theme of how the industry, press and fans didn't always recognise how dark so many of the band's songs were - mostly because their music wasn't.

 

It is a very easy read which I found interesting enough to devour in one sitting.

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I'm a huge EBTG fan. I was that lonely girl in a bedsit during the eighties, along with Lloyd Cole, Prefab Sprout, The Smiths they provided the soundtrack to my life. So I very much enjoyed this unexpected glimpse into Tracey's life and found it surprising. There was always this idea that EBTG were shy to the point of crippling immobility and while she mentions her shyness, she doesn't put it as central to her life experience as maybe the lazy journos of the time would have us believe. Good.

 

As Tag has already said, the story telling is quite straightforward, almost to the point of being underwritten but she compensates for this in the last third or so of the book where she's a lot more reflective on her whole 'pop star' experience. If you're a fan, I recommend reading the book and also following her on Twitter, she's a funny lady.

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I recommend reading the book and also following her on Twitter, she's a funny lady.
I follow Tracey and Ben on Twitter. She talks too much X Factor and he talks too much Barnet FC. But otherwise often amusing.

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I follow Tracey and Ben on Twitter. She talks too much X Factor and he talks too much Barnet FC. But otherwise often amusing.
Ha! Agree!

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I read this recently. Really enjoyed it - she has a refreshingly self-deprecating take on fame.

 

I didn't know about Ben Watt's illness, and I found this one of the most moving parts.

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    • By Minxminnie
      This is the second book by Tracey Thorn, the singer of Everything But The Girl, and it is a sort of follow up to her autobiography. In a way.
       
      Thorn was a reluctant pop star, and has taken a long break from performing. She decided to investigate the whole idea of singing,and it's a fascinating read.
      She looks into why we sing, why we do so in public, how we decide what accent to adopt when we sing, how we remember the words, and lots of other aspects. She moves happily between "Wheels on the bus" and opera. It was a really interesting read, and very accessible, not at all dry or theoretical. Highly recommended.
       
      (And the title refers to a nightmare, not an EBTG gig that you missed...!)
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