(3 / 5)
Nicky Blue is a UK comedy writer and author based in Brighton, and not on my radar before this book came into my possession.
Gary Numan is a name most music fans will know, of course, so there’s no need to give any background to the electronic-pop legend here.
Mr Blue pens a “dark comedy” tale about two Gary Numan tribute acts that are out to get each other! The chap known as “Five”, idolised Gary Numan and felt it was his destiny to become the world’s leading tribute act.
His band, The Romford Bombers became an instant sensation in Essex. On top of the world, Five had no idea things were about to turn savage when a new group, The Storm Troopers, fronted by a geezer called Ross, burst onto the scene.
With the Romford and Dagenham Gary Numan Fan Club going into liquidation, they organised one final competition. The all-time battle of the Numan tribute bands. Five will do absolutely anything to win it. The problem is, so will Ross……
Then the bonkers begins…………..
Not being into spoilers, I’ll leave those who fancy a bit of light-hearted fun – available in paperback or digitally – to grab a copy and find out what happens – and who wins.
It has its comedy moments, and could well make a decent 30-minute one-off TV comedy show, like Phoenix Nights meets The League Of Gentlemen on LSD – or maybe a short film to bang into the film festivals, if done right. Maybe even a stage play for the Edingburgh Festival – they seem to like “completely crackers” up there!
It is well written – Barry has three previous books published. He used to be in (and he wrote the songs) an alternative rock band, before going back to university to study English Literature and Philosophy, and then writing comedy and sci-fi fiction.
Some Numan fans could well feel it is sacrilege to use Gary’s name in this way. I am told that Gary has been given a copy of the book via his wife, but I have had no response so far to my request for a comment from Gary, via his ‘people’.
Not the best book I have read lately, but certainly not the worst. It’ll be a Marmite moment for most. Some will be content with chuckles and ‘mildly amusing’, rather than belly laughs and slick wit.
While there will surely be others who will not even pick it up in the first place, after sight of the cover image, a read of the synopsis and the various beyond their tell-by-date cheesy quips about the author. “Poor Nicky , they make him write in space because he smells.” If I were not reviewing it, I’d probably have given it a swerve based on the description, but I have no regret in reading it.
There are plenty of localised references about Essex, that might be lost on those outside of that area. But it is what it is and as I said, it’s fun and daft, and was never going to be considered for the Booker prize!
There are two disclaimers: “Be warned, this book does contain middle-aged men wearing eyeliner”. It also adds a note of caution for those who dislike bad language: “If you are offended by bad language, then you have come to the right place. This book is specifically designed to offend you”.
There are worst things to do with a few hours of one’s life, in these lockdown days, for sure…………….Housework, mind numbing daytime TV or Numan v Numan? You do the maths!!!
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’