Sunday 14 March 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Twenty Seven Club - Lucy Nichol

It’s 1994. The music industry is mourning Kurt Cobain, Right Said Fred have re-emerged as an ‘ironic’ pop act and John Major is the country’s prime minister. Nothing is as it should be.

Emma is hurtling towards her 27th birthday, riddled with anxiety that her idols Joplin, Hendrix and Morrison all died aged 27, and now Kurt Cobain has gone too. Will Emma be next to join The Twenty Seven Club?

Emma, a working-class rock music fan from Hull, with a penchant for a flaming Drambuie and a line of coke with her best mate Dave down The Angel, is troubled. Trev, her whippet, has IBS, and her job ordering bathroom supplies at the local caravan company is far from challenging. So when her dad, Tel, informs her that her music idol, Kurt Cobain has killed himself aged 27, Emma is consumed with anxiety.

Why have so many legendary musicians gone aged 27? Is there a link between the members of the so-called Twenty Seven Club? Is this why her mum had an affair and left them? And could Emma be about to join The Twenty Seven Club too?

The 27 Club is a nostalgic, often humorous, drug and booze-infused tale of friendship, discovery and anxiety as Emma tries, for once, to focus on life, rather than death.

What did I think?

Oh wow!  This book is simply awesome!  After reading the blurb, I knew I was going to enjoy it but I didn't expect so many laugh out louds, gasps of shock and eyebrow-raising nostalgic reminders.  

Lucy Nichol's writing is very fresh, raw, honest and edgy and, with an underlying sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll beat, it reminded me of Irvine Welch's Trainspotting but with nicer, funnier and more relatable characters.  Emma is such a multi-dimensional character that it is impossible to keep her on the page; I felt like she was talking to me and she could have popped out of the book at any moment, especially if I had any Drambuie in the house (which I don't).

As we follow Emma's life as she struggles with anxiety in the period after Kurt Cobain died, it's like being inside her head and walking in her shoes.  I loved reading about her drunk nights out with her friend Dave but her whippet Trev provided the best entertainment; his shenanigans providing many laugh out loud moments.  It's probably not a good idea to be drinking anything while reading this book as I frequently couldn't contain my laughter and there would have been drink spurting everywhere if I'd been drinking and reading.

Set in 1994, I expected some nostalgia but my eyebrows virtually shot up into my hairline when Emma meets John, a Geordie who reminisces about nights out at the Mayfair in Newcastle.  Although it wasn't part of my Friday night out, I knew all about the infamous rock club at the Mayfair and having been demolished in 1999, it's almost obligatory (for anyone old enough to remember it) to say: 'eeeh remember when this was the Mayfair' when visiting the cinema or restaurants at The Gate.  I didn't know that the Mayfair was such an historic music venue until I googled it following Lucy Nichol's reminder.  Although it's my local city, and I knew it hosted The Tube in the 80s, I didn't realise Newcastle had such a renowned music scene but then again, any excuse for a party in the toon.

Nostalgic, hilarious and surprisingly feel-good, The Twenty Seven Club is an absolutely fantastic read.  You will read it and weep, both tears of laughter and sorrow as a full rollercoaster of emotions is experienced in this awesome book.  I really can't recommend it highly enough; just buy it, immerse yourself in the 90s music scene and get a guaranteed smiley face.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Lucy is a mental health campaigner and PR consultant, and a former columnist with Sarah Millican's Standard Issue magazine.  She has written for The Independent, The I Paper, NME, Red Magazine, Den of Geek, Men’s Fitness, Metro and Huff Post.  Her first book, A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes, a non-fiction mental health memoir, was published by Trigger in 2018. Lucy has worked with the media in PR and marketing for almost 20 years and has experienced Generalised Anxiety Disorder for even longer.  

The Twenty Seven Club is immediately available in paperback from Amazon and an official launch will take place on 3rd March 2021 when the e-book will be made available along with the book’s playlist. You can also sign up to Lucy’s author newsletter.

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