Music industry legend James Endeacott loves Do It Yourself

March 25th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

book cover2Great excitement at Cultured Llama HQ. We approached James Endeacott, the man who signed up The Libertines to Rough Trade Records (more about him below), to give an endorsement for Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway by Stephen H Morris. James has his own history in Medway – he was a supremely entertaining panellist at a conference for Medway musicians some 10 years ago; Pete Doherty played at the Tap’n’Tin in Chatham in 2003, and Carl Barat, formerly of The Libertines, formed a supergroup, The Chavs, (along with Tim Burgess from The Charlatans and Primal Scream keyboardist Martin Duffy and We Are Scientists’s drummer Andy Burrows) who did a secret gig at the same venue in 2004. Just one story from many in the book, showing how local bands and venues have an influence that spreads far beyond five small towns in north Kent.

Here’s what James Endeacott has to say:

Stephen H. Morris brings to life a vast array of colourful characters, inspiring music and small venues – along with a passion and belief in the music of The Medway Towns. Do It Yourself: A History of Music in Medway is a detailed and thorough account of the area’s musical history from the mid-70s to the present day; it’s also a picture of a small part of the south east of England that has never lost its faith in love and music. There’s a beating heart in those towns and long may it continue.

And here’s more about James:

Over the last 50 years, James Endeacott has worked in a record shop, played in a band called Loop, been an A&R man for The Strokes, run a record label called 1965 Records and tried to unlock people’s minds. He looks like Mick Hucknall, supports Crystal Palace Football Club and signed The Libertines to Rough Trade Records in 2001. He has been Up The Bracket ever since.

Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway is available from Cultured Llama. Go to the book’s page to buy a copy for £15 plus p&p: Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway

The book will be launched at The Barge, Layfield Road, Gillingham, Kent, on 23 April at 8.00 pm. As well as readings by the author, there will be performances from musicians featured in the book, including Stuart Turner and Nick Hughes. There will also be a prize quiz in aid of the Oliver Fisher Neonatal Trust: Are You a Medway Buff? (In reference to one of the many incarnations of Medway musician and artist Billy Childish – The Buff Medways).

The book will also be on sale at The Sweeps Festival, Rochester from 2-4 May. The Cultured Llama stall will be with the records and musical instruments stalls in Boley Hill car park, in the moat of Rochester Castle.


Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway by Stephen H Morris

March 11th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

We are now taking orders for the long-anticipated Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway by Stephen H. Morris. The March issue of WOW magazine has the book listed in their ‘Six really Good Things to do this Month’. Editor Emma Dewhurst says:

Having heard Morris read from a draft of the book last year, I can attest to to its entertaining, well-researched and zip-a-long account of Medway’s music scene from the mid-70s onwards. Reviewed in next month’s WOW.

book cover2

Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway, by Stephen H. Morris, is the definitive and indispensable guide to Medway music. Mixing oral history with profiles of the best singles, EPs and albums to come out of the Medway Towns since the mid-1970s, Morris tells the story of how performers such as Billy Childish, The Dentists and Lupen Crook have produced music whose influence extends far beyond the reach of five small towns in the north of Kent.

The Medway Towns have long played host to frenzied musical activity. The explosion of punk in Britain showed aspiring bands and artists in Medway that there were far more interesting things to do with music than covering Bee Gees songs in a dingy club. Ever since, musicians from Medway have applied punk’s Do-It-Yourself ethic to their own garage, folk and alternative rock bands. They have managed their own affairs, formed communities to support each other and peppered their songs with references to their home towns.

Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway is available for pre-order, with an expected publication date of the end of March.

The book will be launched at The Barge, Gillingham, Kent on 23 April at 8.00 pm. Expect performances from some of the artists featured in the book, readings and a quiz in aid of the Oliver Fisher Neonatal Trust, called Are You a Medway Buff?

The book will also be on sale at Rochester Sweeps Festival over the early May bank holiday, 2-4 May 2015. Cultured Llama’s stall will be amongst the record and musical instruments stalls in the Boley Hill car park in Rochester Castle moat.

Details on Events.

Order the book for £15 plus p&p here: Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway


Punk Rock People Management – Peter Cook joins the Cultured Llama stable

March 11th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Punk Rock People Management FRONT COVERWe are delighted to welcome Peter Cook to the Cultured Llama stable of writers. Peter has long been a supporter of Cultured Llama, helping us to develop our business practices, and particularly encouraging us to take on more non-fiction titles, which are now gathered under Curious Things. Now Peter Cook’s Punk Rock People Management is one of our Curious Things!

Here’s what you need to know:

Punk Rock People Management strips down HR to the bare essentials for busy people and those who are sick of HR jargon getting in the way of running a business. In the spirit of punk, each chapter is just one page long, which means that you can read a chapter in less time than it takes to pogo to a Sex Pistols or Linkin Park song! Punk Rock People Management is organised using the classic Life, Sex and Death HR cycle, in other words Hiring, Inspiring and Firing. If you have to get things done with people and can’t get no satisfaction from an HR textbook, try Punk Rock People Management for a refreshing difference.

The book can be ordered for £7.99 plus p&p here: Punk Rock People Management

Peter is a prolific blogger on the lessons that music has for business, and his journey from the frustrations of dealing with Amazon to the pleasures of being published by Cultured Llama are detailed in his blog on Stay nimble: How can a David avoid turning into a Goliath?

Cultured Llama is an entrepreneurial micro business, which publishes poetry, literature, cultural interest books and “curiosities”. They approached me after noticing that I was experiencing difficulties in sourcing copies of my own books from Amazon Create Space who manufacture them. Create Space manufactures all its books in one US location and this adds considerable cost in terms of international postage costs and time delays, it can take several months to obtain books.

I’d written to Amazon four times in as many years asking them to simplify, by using a printer in the UK who would fulfill the order locally at local postage costs in less than three months. I was told that this was difficult due to the size and complexity of their operations. Like James Dyson, I became frustrated and posted a message on social media to see if there was another way.

There was! Cultured Llama work with a large but also nimble POD (Print On Demand) company. The partnership of David and Goliath enables me to get small runs of books that I need for events and personal use, whilst also preserving all the advantages of the larger sellers, as the books remain on Amazon and all major outlets. Both Amazon and the small enterprise prevail in this arrangement, but Cultured Llama also supports small entrepreneurial businesses that would otherwise be unable to trade effectively via Amazon.

Read the full article at Stay nimble: How can a David avoid turning into a Goliath?

A further title by Peter Cook is to follow, The Music of Business.

A Mermaid on a Vespa? It must be In Margate by Lunchtime by Maggie Harris

March 11th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

In Margate by Lunchtime is Maggie Harris’s second collection of short stories; a follow-up to Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning. Not only did she write the stories, but her drawings feature on the book’s cover – parakeets, which now live wild in the seaside towns of Thanet, and a mermaid on  a Vespa against the background of Margate sands.

9780992648534-front coverHere is what John Lavin has to say about the stories:

A complex love letter to the Kent coastline that Harris moved to when she was a teenager, In Margate By Lunchtime is an accomplished examination of displacement and discovery. Written in a vibrant prose style that – especially in its use of colour and poetic rhythm – also recalls the landscape of the author’s native Guyana, these stories linger in the mind, posing difficult questions and providing unexpected answers.

John Lavin, Fiction Editor, Wales Arts Review

You can buyIn Margate by Lunchtime for £10 plus p&p by going to the book’s page: In Margate by Lunchtime

Add in a copy of Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning for another £10 and Postage and packing is free.

Maggie will be launching In Margate by Lunchtime at The Beaney, Canterbury on 16 April 2015. There will also be a creative writing workshop on 18 April at the same venue. For more details, go to Events.

New poetry from Julian Colton; reviews – Michael Curtis and Vivien Jones

March 6th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink


Front Cover040315Our latest poetry collection is Cold Light of Morning by Julian Colton. Not only are the poems marvellous, but there is also a beautiful cover image, a photo by Rozee Colton. Let’s add a quick word, too, in praise of our unsung Llama-hero, designer Mark Holihan, who makes our book covers so attractive. But it’s all about the poems, and here’s a word or two about them:

Cold Light of Morning strips the world down to its elemental and dialectical parts – birth and death, war and peace, landscape, love and loss. Drawing on the Scottish Border Ballads, by Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg, Colton writes about the flora, fauna and folk of the Borders with a strong sense of place and a bleak sense of foreboding for the future.

Andy Croft, Smokestack Books

To find out more about the book, and buy a copy at £8 plus p&p, go to: Cold Light of Morning.

Rave reviews continue to arrive for other recent poetry books. The Fire in Me Now by Michael Curtis is reviewed by Liz Bahs in The Frogmore Papers:

Michael Curtis’s twelfth collection of poetry begins by dealing with an undercurrent of rage […] As the collection continues, the poetry moves through images of war and grief to the beautifully developed third and fourth sections […] Here Curtis immerses the reader in the ‘ripeness’ of desire, the arrival of love and the ruse of safety in a world where ‘pandemonium’ may be just around the corner. One of the gems of the collection is the poem ‘Chalk’, a trapeze swing into and away from fear: I throw myself to him / over rows of upturned eyes / fly on grace, on sparkling legs.

Go to the book’s page to buy a copy for £8 plus p&p: The Fire in Me Now

Short of Breath by Vivien Jones is reviewed by Greg Freeman for Write Out Loud:

The collection includes ‘Patna to Sauchiehall Street’, reflections on a meandering bus ride through hills where “the coal’s long gone”, leaving “thin men with starved spirits” leaning against the wall of a “boarded up-institute”, and ending in a racist confrontation in Glasgow that leaves its perpetrators “secretly shamed”.

Another poem explores the characters and stories revealed by graffiti in a rural bus shelter – Murphy and Shanks, Bella, queen of the Jelly Fish Prozzies, and the Spoons Boys. Jones revels in the Rabelaisian accounts she finds in the shelter, and imagines that “Murphy is deep in Bella’s cleavage / … when Shanks heads for the bog, / he is followed by a smirking Spoons Boy.”  (‘Graffiti Tales’)

Jones faces up to the years to come. A poem about anticipation and dread of losing a partner is titled ‘After Kerouac’s Visions of Cody’:  “The black side of love is fear of loss, / and one of you is going to get it.”

Read the full review here: Write Out LoudGo to the book’s page to buy a copy for £8 plus p&p: Short of Breath

You may have noticed that the books on our website are now sorted into Poems, Stories and Curious Things. Some, of course, belong in more than one category, like Digging Up Paradise: Potatoes People and Poetry in the Garden of England by Sarah Salway, which offers poetry, history, writing prompts and curious things about 26 gardens in Kent.  A perfect gift for gift for Mothers’ Day, go to the book’s page to buy a copy at £12 plus p&p: Digging Up Paradise: Potatoes People and Poetry in the Garden of England

Buy two or more books to get free p&p.

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