Death Of an Unsigned Band by Tim Thornton (www.vintage-books.co.uk)
Yes I bought this book on the strength of the title that made me pick it off the shelf and a front page that bears the legend “Death of an unsigned band a novel by tim thornton unsigned bands never become signed bands. They have to die first.” Yes that was enough to make me buy it.
Thankfully it is not a zombie or ghost or vampire story. Instead it is a good look at what it’s like being in a unsigned band whose only ambition is to be signed to a major label. It’s set mainly in London in the period from about 1997 to 2001 which is of course in the internet era but before social networking took over much of the music business and being signed to a major label became almost irrelevant.
From the start you are in no doubt that the band who are never really named that we follow are pretty good live but missing something and are searching for what it is.
The inter band fights over what is the missing ingredient are funny and real and often a little sad, they play the sort of venues most of us gig hounds are more than familiar with. But when you call your demos things like Demo, The Yellow Cassette and Hook Laden you are hardly helping yourself.
Yes if you’ve been in a band or worked with any the fights will be familiar as will the odd question about who you would replace in order to get a deal, you know would you change the singer? The Guitarist? The Songwriter? or maybe the drummer? well you’ll need to read the book to find out who or what they change for the chance at the main shot.
The book is very easy to read and a lot of fun and if you love live music and even if you never wanted to be in the new JJ72 as this lot do, you will enjoy this book.