Mark Kermode recounts his utterly foolhardy attempts to fulfil his dreams of becoming a pop star – from building an electric guitar from scratch while at school, to playing tea-chest bass on the kids TV show Utterly Brilliant, to becoming the musical director of a major TV show – all without ever learning to read music. This will be a hilarious evening in which the film critic recalls falling in love with Slade as a teenager, forming his first proper band, and recording an album at Sun Studio as an ageing old ted.
Special Guests, tonight only, are The Railtown Bottlers. Formed with Mark in Manchester in 1987, the Skifflebilly aces and St Ann’s Square regulars went on to win praise from Folk Roots magazine, nab the International Street Entertainers of the Year award in 1991 and become the house band on BBC1’s Saturday night chat show, Danny Baker After All.
Mark will be signing copies of his book after the show.
Mark Kermode began his journalistic career in Manchester in 1986 writing film reviews for the old City Life magazine. He is Chief Film Critic for The Observer and co-host of Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live. Hailed by Stephen Fry as ‘the finest film critic in Britain’ he is the author of several books about film.
He plays double-bass and harmonica in the Dodge Brothers, the award-winning skiffle-and-blues band who also accompany silent movies with Neil Brand. Mark has written and presented film and music shows on Channel 4 and BBC 2, and on BBC Radio stations 1, 2, 3, 4, Five Live and more. He recently presented a second series of Celluloid Jukebox on BBC Radio 2. He holds two Sony Awards for his radio programmes, and the Dodge Brothers album The Sun Set was voted Blues Album of the Year 2013 by the roots music magazine Spiral Earth.
“As a teenager I wanted two things: watch movies and be a pop star. The first ambition was fairly straightforward – the second proved more tricky. Yet somehow, more through persistence than talent, I kept that ridiculous dream alive, with frankly preposterous consequences.”