Just a quick post to draw attention to ‘Punks Listen’, a book in which people into punk music write about albums that have had an impact on them, out this month. I have a piece in the book on my childhood love of Less Than Jake and the road it led me down.

I’m particularly proud to be involved in this, firstly because the book is entirely in aid of the Red Cross Ukrainian Refugee Appeal (in fact, producers the Hope Collective are even covering the print run, so it’s not so much ‘profit to the Red Cross’ as ‘entire cover price to the Red Cross). It also has a remarkable list of contributors including Suggs (from Madness), Amanda Palmer, David Gedge (The Wedding Present), Roddy Doyle, Mike Scott (The Waterboys), Henry Rollins and Andy Cairns (Therapy?). Which is the kind of company I could get used to!

It’s for sale now, here, priced at €15.

Here is a very brief extract from my own piece, which focuses on the Less Than Jake album ‘Hello Rockview’:

“When I turned 18, Less Than Jake toured the UK, and I followed them, to Glastonbury, to Reading Festival, and to a series of gigs across the south of England, blowing all the money from my supermarket job. My friends and I stood in the front row clutching a huge blue and yellow flag that said ‘I Stalk Less Than Jake’, a reference to their cult song ‘My Own Flag’. 

The band gave us plecs, and beers, and occasionally edited their setlist on the fly after we shouted out tracks. In Southampton, the whole band crowded around us, three feet away as they blasted ‘My Own Flag’ into the ether. In between, we explored record shops, and drank in parks, and wasted days in Camden, or Portsmouth seafront, or pulling donuts in car parks in a friend’s Fiat Punto that he later drove into an old oak tree.”

Huge thanks to Hope Collective for including me in this great project.


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