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Cult Liverpool musician Paul Simpson’s memoir of a life less ordinary.
Cult Liverpool musician Paul Simpson’s memoir Incandescent documents one of the most potent periods in the city’s cultural history and the part he played in it. It explores Paul’s earliest experiments in music with school friends and future stars of Echo and The Bunnymen, and the part he played in legendary Liverpool punk club Eric’s. It documents his friendships and working relationships with, among others, Julian Cope, Ian McCulloch, Bill Drummond and Ian Broudie, and the making of ‘The Revolutionary Spirit’, hailed by many as one of the greatest of all independent singles. But more than just a list of achievements, Incandescent is also an explanation of what Paul didn’t do and why.
Battling depression in a business renowned for its cold-bloodedness, Paul always strived to create art without compromise or loss of dignity – often to the detriment of his career. Be it co-founding, naming and then leaving the Teardrop Explodes, fronting the Wild Swans, sharing a flat with Courtney Love or simply surviving the 80’s with honour when the pop bubble burst, Paul tells his story with coruscating honesty. For him, being in a band was never just about a cool haircut and a pair of vintage trousers, but about discernment, knowing when to say no as well as yes, and the belief that – in the right hands – art can be a greater revolutionary force than politics. With that as his guide, he set off in pursuit of a life less ordinary, a journey he now documents in Incandescent with insight, an eye for detail and wry humour.