Punk Story relives '˜the thrill ride of music' in vibrant 70s Luton
A Luton writer has penned a new novel based on his experiences as a young journalist in the town's Punk scene.
Neil Rowland, 56, is launching his colourful novel, Punk Story, in which main character, Paul Bottle, and his next door neighbour, Stan, are “seduced by the vibrant scene”.
Set during the 1977 Jubilee year, EMI records are offering a record contract to the best local group, as Stan forms his own band, while gigs and music “explode around them”.
Neil said: “Paul Bottle is a bit like me, and a bit like other journalists I met. It’s slightly tongue in cheek!
“The battle of the bands is inspired by something that really happened around Luton - our Punk scene equalled those of London and New York!”
Neil remembers bands in the ‘Kingsway Tavern’ and tried form a club in the Upper George Street church until the deal fell through.
He is most proud of writing for Melody Maker Magazine, scooping an interview with New Order in 1980.
Neil added: “People think ‘Punk’ as angry, but it saw a strong feminist agenda, and brought together different cultures - younger readers can see how we created a movement without social media.”
Neil went to Luton Sixth Form College where he first discovered Punk music and worked for Luton Libraries.
He added: “Punk Story’s very satirical - if people don’t wet themselves laughing, I’ll be disappointed!”