Liberating Books of Lockdown
April 2021

Steve with a selection of books read during lockdown

Photo © Jo Hackett

As well as recording and mixing another new album (broadly rock with orchestral undertones), in my downtime I've been reading five books at once, in my usual style. I recommend the following...

The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts

This is the sequel to the brilliant Shantaram. Both books follow the true tale of an Australian ex convict, set in Mumbai's labyrinthine underworld. Eloquent and gripping with a poet's touch, this story is wrought out of darkness's edge.

Nico - Songs they never play on the radio by James Young

This is simply the most acerbic description of the music business I've ever read. Wonderfully creative - from the keyboard player who wittily observes the twilight world of a lifelong junkie whilst accompanying her on a 1980s world tour. James sees Nico through to her ultimate end. The somber story of a death she always courted.

Brian Eno's Diary

Brian is full of ideas. It's his sheer enthusiasm for everything which communicates, whether it's artwork, songs or his family. I remember his input into Lamb Lies Down on Broadway - a breath of fresh air, with no agenda except the desire to enliven our project with a dose of smelling salts.

The Happy Traitor by Simon Kuper

The story of George Blake. The anatomy of a spy who felt he was doing the correct thing by righting the balance of terror in a lethal nuclear age. A moral man, compromised by the conundrum of nationalism versus humanitarianism.

Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield

A dark rich prose verging on Dickens at his best. By turns, endearing and mystical. Where will it all lead? Into a watery grave, or will the story be washed clean at the end? I don't know. I'm still fascinated reading it as the journey unfolds...