Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nathan Bateman goes to Glastonbury...and Cannes

John Niven's Kill Your Friends is a hilarious, withering and thoroughly cynical portrait of the 90s music business and a rattling good read. It has some brilliantly well-observed anecdotes that provide a raucous backdrop for a story of depravity and ambition. John Niven, who used to work in the industry, has created a totally foul character, the morally barren Steven Stelfox, who swims with the sharks of the A and R world. Stelfox's awfulness owes more than a nod in the direction of Charlie Brooker's grotesque Nathan Barley (from TV Go Home), even using some of the same phrases (startling payload), and the darkly sadistic scenes are right out of American Psycho. But it's a rattling read. I really liked the references to rubbish bands and the soliloquy on how the music business works for newly signed bands. It's also fun trying to work out who is really who - the council estate Spice Girls (Saints Aloud), the angry rapper Rage (Goldie?). Not much difference either between MIDEM and the gigs in Cannes I've been to - MIPCOM and MIPIM. I couldn't put it down, very funny and one for Roger Cashman.

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