Seven things…

Hey, ho ho ho

I hope you’re all keeping well. I haven’t sent one of these in a while. I’ve been meaning to, but life keeps getting in the way. I could go into detail about my knee physio or root canal surgery, or having my ears syringed, but I’ll spare you.

Anyway, gonna dive straight in with seven things to tell you about….

First up: THE KINGS OF CAMDEN – Chronicles of a Toilet Venue Band Promoter (working title)

I am excited to report I have crossed the finishing line. Just shy of 100,000 words clocked up in Scrivener, and now comes the fun process of deleting the not-very-good words for better ones.

Over the last year or so, I kept getting lost or stuck with the scale and shape of this story, but now I’ve sussed the beginning, the muddle and the end. In pottery spiel, I have moulded the putty into shape, and I think it’s a horse, but it might end up being a donkey.

Anyhoo….Kings will be a stand-alone book and a sequel to my first effort, Anoint My Head, where our protagonist crosses the Rubicon to live the rockstar dream vicariously through more talented others as band manager/promoter.

It might also be an attempt to celebrate the heyday of the glorious Camden toilet circuit through all the fab bands and artists that cut their teeth in the pub backrooms and venues, from Madness to Amy Winehouse via Britpop and Bum Gravy.

And lastly, if I’m clever, I will reveal a formula for rock n roll success – the answer to why some bands make it and the vast majority don’t.

It’s a bit like in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where the answer to the mystery of the universe is 44. (Or is it 42?)

Anyway, I am growing in confidence that The Kings Of Camden will be available for your reading pleasure at some point in 2024.

So watch this space.


In the meantime, I give you a new made-up true short story. Or a ‘wee bird’ as I like to call them. It’s a short but sweet tale called A Sense of Relief and features a golden retriever named Max, a service station on the A2 and a Lucozade bottle.

Warning: you may not think of Lucozade bottles in the same way ever again.

Here is a snazzy orange cover courtesy of Matt Law. Click on the cover to read or scroll to the bottom of this email for a sample to try on for size.

Third up: A Short Story Collection?

I have stockpiled 12 of these made-up short stories and am quite proud of them. All the tales seem to be about winging it in the workplace and/or thwarted ambition. The stories also commonly feature indie rock, serial killers and dogs.

Ideally, this collection is a companion to Anoint My Head and Kings Of Camden. These stories work in their own right but don’t quite fit the narrative of those two books, like b-sides and extras for the completists.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to figure out if/how/when to publish them as a collection, and then I had a cunning plan, mud…..

Fourth up: Substack

The cunning plan is to publish one story a month next year over at my new home on Substack. There are 12 stories, after all.

So that’s what I am going to do in 2024.

I have only recently discovered the publishing playground that is Substack and realised it’s exactly the platform I have been looking for.

I am setting up a publication to feature stories and videos of me reading stories, songs, and throw-away silly stuff.

But then I thought it might also be a good place for this…

Fifth up: PLUNGE! – The Diary of a Cold Water Swimming Bore.

Over the past few years, I have kept a diary on my phone (in notes) about the joys of cold water swimming.

Apparently, the high you get from diving into cold water is similar to the effects of snorting a line of cocaine but lasts much longer.

A line of ‘Charlie’ makes its user talk shit for 9 minutes, whereas the buzz from cold water lasts for two and a half hours.

This is why us cold water swimmers bang on about it because it is basically like doing *gets calculator out – 2.5 hours = 150 minutes divided by 9*

= x16 LINES!

This might also explain why I felt compelled to keep this diary. Anyway, these entries have been sitting on my phone, and Substack feels like the ideal home for them.

So, I’m in the process of moving them over in the hope they will be mildly diverting — reflections by the side of a pool if you like.

Here is the artwork which I love.

I wanted someone diving into a gin and tonic.


Or is yellow better?

Anyway, you can read/watch/follow me here on Substack. It’s a work in progress, but you will get the idea…


In bitter-sweet news, after 25 years, Big Slice (the band that followed the pointy birds) finally got a record deal. The deal is with our drummer, William, who decided he wanted to hear the 20 Big Slice songs on vinyl. So, he set up a label to do such a thing. His first release, a no-expenses, spared limited pressing double album on coloured vinyl is called Last Orders and ties into the drinking themes of the previous two big slice compilation albums, Dont Mind If I Do (2021) and One For the Road (2023).

Here is a picture of the vinyl:

It seems fitting that after all these years of trying to make it while everyone around us became famous (our Moog player, our manager, the shop where I worked), we should eventually get signed by our drummer.

But the vinyl looks and sounds lovely.

Hopefully, we will play a show next year, and then anyone who comes along can have a copy as a present.


Lastly, but not leastly, a quick Xmas plug for my book Anoint My Head – How I Failed to Make it as Britpop Indie Rockstar.

It’s not too late to order your family and friends a copy this Xmas.

Incredibly, it was this time three years ago it was first published.

It’s been a fantastic ride: It hit number one in the Amazon music book charts, t’was adapted for the stage as a one-man show at Edinburgh Fringe, and there is currently a very snazzy 25-page treatment doing the rounds with various TV/film producers. I am not sure how this story ends.

Plus, the book sales keep ‘ticking away’ through ‘word of mouth’, which is fab. I thought I would sell four copies to the rest of the band members, but the story of the pointy bird’s inability to take off has flown far and wide, and every sale is a brucey-bonus that makes my heart flutter.

Here she is…

Click to order for Xmas, go on….

Isn’t she a beauty!

Phew, that’s it.

There are no live shows to tell you about at the moment. Although rehearsals are taking place for something exciting, I’ll fill you in on that next time.

I’ll end with a few things I’ve enjoyed this year.


Young Fathers

Lil Yachty

Billy No Mates

The Clientele

Hamish Hawk

Beth Orton

The National


Big Slice

Doctor Da Vinci and his Elephant



The Greatest Show Never Made

Top Boy

Colin From Accounts



Past Lives

Get Back/Wham/Robbie docs

Made in Chelsea

And special mention to Ange Postecoglou and his revolution at Tottenham. COYS!

Enough of my yakkin’

Happy Xmas!


Andy x

website | substack

PS Here’s that story sample. Hope you enjoy.


Click here to keep reading this on my website

Or you can read it on my Substack. You can also watch me attempt to read the story until my phone rings half way through and have to take the call. Never leave your phone on in live events. I need to repost that.

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