The inequity of redemption is the second novel I wrote based on my experiences living in Birmingham. Perversely, perhaps, it takes place earlier than my first story, A love foretold. That was set in the early 1990s; Inequity travels back to the mid-1980s and my first arrival in Brum’s fair city. As with the former book, Inequity takes real characters and events but recreates them in a very largely imaginary framework. There is a core of reality there, and an authentic timescale of gigs and parties, but much else is just my fantasy!
In this story as in the last music and seeing bands plays a large part in the characters lives- as it played in my real social life in the town. As a result, I offer a list of tracks to act as a background to reading to book. I hope you’ll enjoy the story if you read it and I hope that these songs might enhance that enjoyment.
- The Cult, ‘Sanctuary‘- My girlfriend and her gang in Guildford were heavily into the Cult and goth. She gave me the ‘Love’ album, just before I made that fateful decision to move to Brum to take the job- which pretty much killed off our love affair. Nevertheless, Paula, I still treasure the album and love this song in particular. It.s rousing, driving and brilliant;
- The Smiths, ‘Bigmouth strikes again‘ – Part of Paula’s ‘gang was the manager of the HMV in Guildford. He got me into The Smiths in a big way when I had been ambivalent before. Within weeks of moving to Brum, ‘The Queen is dead’ was released. A triumph- there’s nowt more say- except to note that, some girls are indeed bigger than others;
- The The, ‘This is the day‘- My partner of the time, Jennie, introduced me to Matt Johnson and his work. There are many fine tracks on the album ‘Soul Mining,’ but this is especially catchy and lovely with accordion and harmonica. Nice early 80s mullet, too;
- Julian Cope, ‘World shut your mouth‘- Me and ‘Kelly’ went to see the Arch Drude at the Irish Centre just when he was touring this single and the album it came from, St Julian. It’s damn catchy… Julian was at the peak of his pop skills at this time.
- Pop Will Eat Itself, ‘There is no love‘- I rather think these local boys (Stourbridge, actually) were supporting Mr Cope, but things are a bit hazy. Ace song though.
- We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Going to Use It, ‘Rules and regulations‘- Keeping it local, some Birmingham and Solihull lasses whose single I bought because the What’s On mag recommended it and because the cover looked so good. It turned out to be more than just pretty faces and scary hair.
- The Mighty Lemon Drops, ‘My biggest thrill‘ – I was given the Happy Head album for my 26th birthday in 1986, just as described in chapter 7 of the book. It was slightly embarrassing to be given such a cool album my a man in his forties, but I still treasure it nonetheless.
- The Pogues, ‘Sick bed of Cuchulainn‘- I discovered The Pogues thanks to a workmate just before I moved to Brum and then saw them on typical ramshackle form at the Powerhouse in 1987 (as described in chapter 8 of the book). Sadly the main memory of that night is the near death experience in the crush at the end, not the music.
- The The, ‘Infected‘- This was for me the stand out track from the album of the same name, although I have great affection too for ‘Heartland‘, both for its political message and for the apparent mention of Brum’s ‘Heartlands’ project. This turned out to be a failed bit of inner urban regeneration, but then many residents of the city probably thought that attempts to revive Nechells, Bordeseley and Alum Rock were doomed from the start…
For more details of my writing and blogging on music, please see my website.