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Our Xmas event has been reviewed by Lilian Pizzichini in the Daily Telegraph: "In Bloomsbury, hosted a reading by young novelists. The line-up was suitably roguish for a website that aims to be an online Fitzrovia. It included the novelist Matt 'New Puritan' Thorne and Daren King, whose novel Jim Giraffe will be published by Cape in February. Thorne read from his newly completed novel, Cherry, which won't be published until 2005 since Faber is launching him as a children's author later this year and Cherry contains 'scenes of an adult nature'. King's story of a lewd ghost giraffe has already been promised cult status in two broadsheets, as well as in Penthouse magazine -- under the circumstances, King said, 'that's the one I'm most pleased about'.

Also reading were Toby Litt, one of Granta's top 20 Young British Novelists, and the art critic Matthew Collings. Perhaps it was the company, but Collings confessed to feeling disaffected with artists' illiterate conversation and drunken habits. Certainly his wife is encouraging him to lead a more temperate life. For Christmas she gave him three months' membership of Holmes Place." More "illiterate conversation and drunken habits" coming to a 3AM event near you soon!


3am favourite Daren King is launching his second novel, Jim Giraffe, at The Garage (20-22 Highbury Corner, London N5, admission free) on Thursday 5 February. This is what Daren has to say for himself: "The event *was* just a reading, but considering:
a) it just happens to be on publication day
b) it's in a bar, so there'll be booze, and
c) giraffes are fun

I have decided to make it double as a launch party! I shall be reading for about ten minutes, so will Matt Thorne. Other than that, it's just booze and/or conversation, depending on ability. It's open to the public so bring as many people as you like (though note the bar is rather small). If you see copies of the novel lying around, I think you have to pay for them, they don't belong to me I'm afraid so I can't give them away. The event isn't arrange by my publisher or myself, it's a Vox'n'Roll event. You have to pay for booze, too. Interesting fact: last night I dreamt I was a big Paul McCartney fan. Can anyone top that?" Daren King will soon be interviewed in 3AM. (Picture: Daren King reading an extract from Jim Giraffe at 3AM's Xmas bash by Andrew Gallix.)


Don't miss George Berger's interview with Marco Pirroni of Adam & The Ants fame which we'll be publishing very soon. Here's a sneak preview: "This is one in a long line of bad taste things I say, but the whole Columbine shooting thing: I think 'yeah, if I 'd have fucking had a gun, I would have done it too. But I had an outlet: they didn't have an outlet." (Picture: Marco Pirroni at home by George Berger.)

LIFE'S A CABARET 01/27/2004

3am's Bertie Marshall and Herr Donald R are doing a DJ thang at Crash (66 Goding Street, London SE11 5AW, nearest station: Vauxhall) on 31 January (11pm). The Ping Pong Bitches and Scissor Sisters will both be playing live sets! On the other side of the Channel, another 3AM contributor -- Laurence Rémila -- is getting ready for some live action: Parisian art-rock sensations Gülcher will be returning to Le Pop-In on 9 March. While you're at it, check out Rémila's interview with Maurice G. Dantec in Technikart. (Pic: Bertie Marshall in Paris, 2003 by Andrew Gallix.)


The latest issue of The Barcelona Review has gone online. Our friends at Spike have a great interview with JG Ballard. There's some great pix of Franz Ferdinand live in New York in New York Doll and a review in Earlash. DBC Pierre has won the Whitbread First Novel Award. The Whitbread Novel Award went to Mark Haddon. The Guardian on weblogs. Another interesting litlog: Spurious. The Pixies reform! An interview with the world's oldest man. Revisiting John Cage. Britney blames wedding on Vegas!


3am's Richard Cabut (pictured) on the late Jeff Nuttall:

"RIP writer, artist, teacher, poet Jeff Nuttall, who died on 4 January. He was most famous for his 1968 work Bomb Culture, one of the coolest beatnik books, detailing the rise of the underground.

I had the pleasure of playing in a band (Brigandage) with Jeff's son Tim who, seemingly living out his father's work, was definitely part of the capital's mid-80s underground.

At that time, Tim lived in a semi-derelict Victorian housing association place-cum-squat. It made the Withnail and I abode look like a glittering palace -- and, indeed, some of the behaviour that went on there made Richard E Grant's character look like a lightweight.

Peering through his mop of curly ginger hair, and displaying a natural can't-be-bothered ambience, Tim embodied the prevalent all-over-the-fucking-place Camden squatter ethos.

He spent much of his time poncing money, staring at the wall, growing his fingernails, and trying not to waste his time on superfluous activities like washing or eating.

He also liked his liveners -- too much, sometimes. I remember heading round to his gaff to pick him up for a gig. The way his eyes rolled in different directions alerted me to the fact that something was slightly awry with our Timbo. When he started talking in tongues and flinching from invisible blows, I realised the crazy fool had overdone the speed, and psychosis had set in. One of the symptoms of Tim's disorder was the belief that he needed to piss constantly, and the cab ride from Camden to the Fulham Greyhound was eventful, to say the least. The cabbie wasn't best pleased to have a raving loon in the back for starters, and his mood rapidly went downhill after being asked to stop every few hundred yards so that Tim could try to empty his already-empty bladder. Unfortunately, our boy's self-awareness and co-ordination was not what it should have been, and the image of Tim careering back to the taxi in Green Park with trousers round his ankles, cock flapping in the breeze, is an enduring one.

Despite all that kind of malarkey, Tim was -- and still is hopefully (sorry if this is starting to sound like his obit) -- a very talented bloke. Check out the Brigandage tape-only release (FYM on FO Records, contact me for details -- rare) if you don't believe me -- or, ask Roland Gift who, before joining the Fine Young Cannibals, used to jam with Tim.

So, Tim, sorry to hear about your dad. And, if you're reading this, have you got that tenner I leant you back in 1986? But, hey, don't worry about your share of the cab money to the Greyhound that time…

Next week: the day Pinky, future wife of Ripped and Torn writer AL, ODed on tuinal, fell several floors from her tower block squat, and woke up next day in a big metal rubbish bin. Oh, how everyone laughed!


On January 4, the Sunday Times published an article by Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk in which he describes his father's gruesome murder. Boyd Tonkin, The Independent's literary editor reckons Mark Watson will be the next Britlit whizz kid. This "hideously precocious" 23-year-old got a First from Cambridge, a Perrier Award nomination as a stand-up comic and is currently working on a sitcom for the BBC: "He's a fledgling Nobokov for the era of Big Brother". His debut novel, Bullet Points, will be published by Chatto & Windus in February. The truly amazing Franz Ferdinand are this week's NME cover stars. Free Williamsburg on Bands Against Bush. Susan Hill on diaries in The Guardian which also profiles Edward Albee. The BBC's Sound of 2004 poll (Franz Ferdinand come second). Ilya Gridneff on Otto Muehl in Metamute. The Big Read. Luke Jenner of The Rapture tells all about how good his wife smells and the impact of marriage on his sexuality: "You experience sex in a different way. It's not like you're masturbating in somebody's vagina. It's different every time. I think sex has become a lot fuller since I've chosen to have one partner, because when you have sex with a lot of partners, you don't really get to know them or their bodies or who they are." 3AM contributor Laurence Rémila was one of the organisers of the Arthur Cravan walk which took place in Paris on January 3. Give the holiday snowglobe a good shake. Scarlett Thomas, Jah Wobble, Geoff Dyer, Mark Simpson and Matt Thorne were all recently spotted listing their favourite books of 2003 in The Independent. Kitty Empire and Simon Price ("They'e a shambles. But what a shambles!") on The Libertines.


Years ago I fronted a punk band called The Hedgehogs. One of our songs (which sounded suspiciously like Sham 69's "Ulster Boy") was called "Sid Vicious Was Innocent". This is precisely what Alan Parker argues in his book, Vicious: Too Fast to Live which comes out (in Britain) next month. Here's an extract from yesterday's Independent on Sunday: "Sid Vicious was innocent -- and, more than that, he was probably murdered by the man who really did kill his girlfriend. Astonishing new claims about the Sex Pistol's final months before he died from a drug overdose in 1979 make the notorious punk rocker the victim of a double-killer, and clear him of murdering his lover Nancy Spungen. . . . The real culprit -- according to Parker -- was most likely Rockets Redglare, a popular, well-known East Village actor, who in the late 1970s was a drug addict, dealer, and a minder of Vicious. . . . However, Parker's theory about Redglare has been rubbished by the Sex Pistols roadie, John Tiberi. 'It's bollocks,' he told The Independent on Sunday. . . ." More on Sid Vicious here. Talking of the Pistols, John Lydon will be appearing in I'm a Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here!, and the latest issue of The Illustrated Ape includes work by Jamie Reid. Chris Mitchell of Spike has revamped ahead of the publication of the author's new collection of short stories, Dr Mukti and Other Tales of Woe. Will Self also featured in yesterday's Observer: "Back in the Eighties, I drew a cartoon strip in the New Statesman about a middle-class Andy Capp whose response to the recession was never to get out of bed. I'd always been a frustrated writer and the captions got longer and longer and the drawings more rudimentary until I dispensed with the drawings altogether. . . . Having children is the point at which you have to be who you are. Up until then you can assume another name, change your group of friends or move to another part of town, but once you have children you can't unwish yourself because that's to unwish them. . . ." 22-year-old playwright Lucy Prebble, author of The Sugar Syndrome, is touted as one of the faces of 2004: "Precocious Prebble won a student drama prize for her first one-act play while at Sheffield University. Her next, The Sugar Syndrome, was a delicate treatment of the relationship between a middle-aged gay paedophile and a bulimic teenager. It went down so well at the Royal Court, they've commissioned her to write another piece, and she's giving up the day job -- her secretarial post at the National Theatre." The second issue of lit glossy Ink is out now. lager and striptease! An interview with Neal Pollack in (check out our interview). Jonathan Lethem's latest novel reviewed in The Guardian. Mod webzine Positive Energy of Madness have published interviews with Garry Bushell and Don Letts: "I like seeing London from a street level, watching all the positions of all the different cultures especially against old England. Driving around with my sound track! The right track comes on your stereo and every thing seems to click and for that moment it's beautiful. It may be a girl walking across the road or a bit of street drama over there" (check out our interview with Don Letts). Sue Thomas, with whom we organised our conference on literature & the Internet, has published a short story in the latest issue of Careless Talk Costs Lives is no more, but Everett True is launching a new music monthly called Plan B. Glasgow's Herald on the Underground Literary Alliance. Ethan Gilsdorf will be reading along with other poets on Monday 19 January at the Highlander Pub, 8 rue Nevers, 75006 Paris (under the archway near Pont Neuf bridge). Download The Futureheads' new video. The Guardian have published an exchange between Courttia Newland and Helon Habila about black writers' duty. Morrissey to release his first album ("You Are the Quarry") in seven years. The lingerie guide for men.


Here's Andrew Stevens' post-X-mas bash report extracted from Joe Bloggs: "The 3AM 'New Rock'n'Roll' Xmas Bash on 30 December was very well-attended, with a keen and eager crowd packing out the Aquarium Gallery in the Euston district of North London. Myself, Andrew Gallix and Richard Marshall curated the event and 3AM Co-Editor Bertie Marshall was also in attendance. First up was Black Amber author Alex Wheatle, who read from his novel The Seven Sisters -- a tense account of life in a children's home. He was followed by Ali Catterall, who gave an amusing account of an encounter with Southeast London celebrity gangster Dave Courtney. East London's favourite purveyor of banned lesbian fiction Charlotte Cooper then gave an 'interactive' talk on the pitfalls of life within a multinational corporation, with several audience members walking away with all manner of executive toys and corporate promos. In an unscheduled appearance, the legendary Stewart Home gave a (very) brief reading, which (some might say) made up for Mark Simpson and Tony White's cancellations. We were then treated to a lively talk from Matthew Collings, which we felt was something of a coup for 3AM because of his high profile TV work. Preethi Nair, whose One Hundred Shades of White was released a few days later, gave an inspirational account of how she fled the world of management consultancy to become a novelist. Paul Crooks was able to give us an interesting reading from his intensively-researched novel Ancestors. Toby Litt, Matt Thorne and Ben Richards provided some top drawer contemporary British literary talent to the evening, airing some fine fiction of theirs. Finally, we were fortunate enough to have Daren King read a few sections of his eagerly-awaited Jim Giraffe, which is likely to figure highly in 2004 British publishing. . . ." Thanks to all those who took part and all those who came along to watch them (including novelist Dan Rhodes and Yuki, the famous fotologger, who took a few pictures of the event, including this one of me and my childhood mate, Mark. Cheers Yuki!) More pix coming soon in the 3AM Fotolog.


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