Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Johnny Remember Me by Cathi Unsworth

This is a limited to 250 cassette (because cassettes are cool, even though CD-Rs are a lot more practical) featuring a reading of a short story by one of my favourite authors Cathi Unsworth, read by Cathi herself and Pete Woodhead (Not sure if this is the same Pete Woodhead who had a hand in the Shaun Of The Dead soundtrack).

The story hits on all the usual cornerstones of Unsworth’s writings, music, a cool-London happening in the past and shady characters. The story revolves around Johnny, a singer in The Buccaneers who is apparently cursed by a spurned lover and whose life quickly falls apart, probably due to his belief in gypsy curses. It is inspired by the film Beat Girl, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates and Joe Meek.

The Pete Woodhead side is a lot clearer, and if it bothers you the story is from a male perspective so can be easier to lose yourself in his version rather than Unsworth. There is a character in the story that is meant to be from the West Country with a West Country accent but is trying to speak Received Pronunciation. There is a problem with both readings of this character, Unsworth moves from Welsh to yokel halfway through, while Woodhead stays true to the yokel version. They should have got me in to do his part, as that is essentially my accent.

Overall this is a fine effort and puts you in the time and mood of the period and is a great way to lose an hour or so without having to go to the hassle of straining your eyes.

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