The Coral’s Nick Power premieres second book ‘Holy Nowhere’ on new culture website Coney’s Loft.
With its poetic evocation of small town strangeness and nostalgic coming of age adventures, ‘Small Town Chase’, Power’s debut collection of poetry, loosely chronicled growing up in a provincial town in the north of England.
The collection sold far beyond Power’s expectations, achieving mass critical acclaim from luminaries such as the BBC’s Janice Long.
‘Holy Nowhere’ (Out 5 December 2015) premiering on new culture website ‘Coney’s Loft’ on Thursday 19 November and published by Erbacce Press, builds on ‘Small Town Chase’ but in a more sinister way.
Nick said: “The work is almost teenage paeans to love and violence. I began writing ‘Holy Nowhere’ just as Small Town Chase was being finished- they overlap a little and are related. But Holy Nowhere is like a less polite Siamese twin! I’ve been reading people including David Peace, James Ellroy and Malcolm Lowry.”
“I’m giving people a sneak preview through Coney’s Loft as a little taster of what people can expect from the book. I commissioned collage artist Low Coney to respond to my work, so it seemed like a natural fit to showcase the work on his new site.
“’Holy Nowhere’ is a view of a city from a high vantage point over the river. Much of the prose is set at night high up on construction cranes or warehouses and electricity substations.
“A recurring symbol in the book as seen on the cover, is the pharmacy crucifix. It crops up in a few of the pieces to represent how the cult of religion and the cult of drugs are essentially the same.
“A lot of the work concerns heightened emotion about love, death and hopelessness – but in a way a teenager would feel.
Written with his band The Coral on hiatus from Number One albums and a string of hit singles, Nick has put his lyrics through what he feels is perhaps a wider, more accommodating frame.
Coney’s Loft is also premiering the comic format of Matt Barton’s infamous blog ‘What Would Matt Barton Do’.
Barton’s work, completed with illustrator Stephen Lucas, chronicles an important time in Liverpool’s music history when around the turn of the century bands like The Coral, The Zutons and Barton’s own Tramp Attack began to breach the national music scene.
Barton’s cautionary comic musings on life in an upcoming band, became a cult online hit, going viral across Merseyside and beyond.
Barton is currently a currently a writer, teacher, workshop provider, musician, tour guide and occasional hotel receptionist. But in a previous life he was the singer in a band called Tramp Attack. Boasting former members including the Zutons’ Dave McCabe, Tramp Attack released two albums at the turn of the 21st century.
Matt said: “It’s great to be selected for the launch content on Coney’s Loft, along with high profile talents like Nick Power and Austin Collings. I’m proud of the comic and it’s nice to see it brought it to life as a comic with illustrator Stephen Lucas.
“Despite both Tramp Attack albums having almost no chance of commercial success, I was convinced they would at least get me off the dole. Accepting this had been a delusion led me to write a blog called ‘What Would Matt Barton Do?’
“Now a comic, it’s part cautionary tale, part nostalgic waffle. From the start, I intended the story to be one of disillusionment. I wanted people to hear a tale that biographies don’t usually tell of how art can be so disappointing it starts to feel like a tragedy of sorts. The world is full of ‘should-have beens,’ grinning politely but raging inside they still have to dig holes for a living. I don’t feel like that now but I have done in the past. I’m fascinated by the subject that I’ve even written a screenplay about a particularly depressing afternoon in the life of Pete Best. I only wrote it in my head, but it’s a classic. And very sad.
“I always thought the democratisation of self releasing art through the internet was a good thing, but in reality, a world without those traditional ‘gatekeepers’ can be scary – there’s just so much content out there and not enough time to wade through it all yourself. Sites like Coney’s Loft are a great way of guiding people through the mire.”
“As far as I know, this is the only written document of the music scene in Liverpool at the start of the century. This is probably because the ‘scene’ made very little major cultural impact outside of the city. This isn’t to say that I don’t think it’s worthy of being looked at in detail-after all, I’ve just written thousands of words about it.
“But my story is largely a personal one. It could just as easily be about some no-name band from the Sheffield scene around the time The Arctic Monkeys broke big.
“Perhaps people should revaluate the music made in Liverpool at this time, but it’s not my place to do it. It was largely a ‘could’ve been-should’ve been’ scene. It reminds me of the bit in Fairytale of New York where Shane McGowan sings “I could’ve been someone,” and Kirsty McColl replies, “Well so could anyone.” I am still convinced that one day I’ll make things up instead of going to work. If anybody would like to make this a reality for me, I’d be grateful. I will write pretty much anything. If you don’t believe me, go on Soundcloud and listen to my two rejected radio jingles. One is for a local cab company, the other for Fruitella. Fruitella sent me a kind rejection letter and a box of sweets. The cab company are yet to reply.”
Founded by analogue collage artist Low Coney, from his loft art studio, culture website Coney’s Loft launched on 19 November 2015 and features band sessions, a culture publication and shop selling carefully curated art and premium vintage clothing, imported predominantly from the USA and Europe.
Low Coney has illustrated on projects including bands and Nick Power’s poetry, He has also exhibited in galleries across the country and in stores such as Urban Outfitters. Low has also been featured in New York based magazine Secret Behaviour and on Design Week.
Coney’s Loft is also premiering new work from Austin Collings who is Mark E Smith’s biographer and author of ‘The Myth of Brilliant Summers.