This witty, self-deprecating account (‘my enthusiasm outstripped my technique’) peaks with Kermode and his latest band, The Dodge Brothers, recording at the Sun Studios in Memphis where the ghost of his much-loved Elvis haunted him like a scene from The Exorcist.
They’ve played with any number of headline names but at the heart of this entertaining memoir is a little boy in his back garden in Finchley, banging out a rhythm on saucepans with a couple of wooden spoons.
This is a book which is happily content to move from one episodic reminiscence to the next. You don’t have to be a skiffle enthusiast to enjoy it, but obviously it presupposes a basic interest in the twists and turns of the author’s life. Overwhelmingly, what comes through with every anecdote is the author’s genuine enthusiasm for music... Many people who’ve kicked around in bands will recognise a lot of the situations here, generally rendered with self-deprecating humour: the dodgy equipment, the dodgy clubs, and especially the dodgy promoters.