Renowned for being lead singer of Everything but the Girl, Tracey Thorn was at the forefront of English music in the 1980s and 90s, but her childhood and teenage years were in the seventies, which is where she takes us with her most recent biography, Another Planet. Detailing what she failed to do, forged together through diary entries in that decade, this book is precisely what has brought Tracey to Aye Write in Glasgow for an evening of humour and sadness.
In a 1970s commuter town, which was built as a suburb out of London, Tracey Thorn’s teenage life was made up of what failed to happen, according to her diaries. They were packed with entries about not buying things and not being able to make it to the disco.
Long before she would conquer the charts in Everything but the Girl, Tracey was a bored and cynical teenager, who would find happiness in making it to house parties, buying clothes and beyond that, the female pop icons who were fortunately around in her teenage years to hint.With her trademark wit and insight, Thorn reconsiders the Green Belt post-war dream so many writers and artists have mocked, and where so many have come from.
Chaired by Janet Smyth of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, there was an informed and experienced aspect to this discussion and she had quite obviously an interest in Thorn’s biography, particularly this new one. And yet, Thorn had us in the palm of her hands from her down right amiable and grounded personality. Her wit was pleasing, particularly in that tale of when Bedsit Disco Queen came out, and her dad exclaiming I never knew Tracey was so into music. She mentioned that it was an overwhelming sense of boredom that permeates the diaries but out of that came an urgency to make things happen. The book concerns the formation of a person rather than as a musician, which makes it all the more interesting, and certainly relative. It’s a discussion that tempts me to go out, pick up a copy and get a signature, it more than performs it’s function this evening, warm and nostalgic in form.
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