Luke Haines - Bad Vibes (5 stars)

Luke Haines - Bad Vibes



‘I am a cruel and pious man,’ mourns Luke Haines. History hasn’t had much time for the 90s-vintage indie iconoclast, instead celebrating the more palatable same-but-different likes of Jarvis Cocker. Yet those whose memories stretch back to the Select-fuelled early days of Britpop will know the sometime Auteurs, Black Box Recorder and Baader-Meinhof frontman as an eloquent, cynical and incisively amusing songwriter and personality. This is his story of that period, and it deserves to open up a whole new career.

Extraneous biographical details of Haines’ life are ignored here as he examines the years 1992-97 through anecdote, tirade and sharp-memoried summation of his career ups and downs and decreasing mental state. There are cameos from Metallica, Oasis, Blur and 90s indie icon Lawrence from Denim, while every page contains at least one great story, blinding turn of phrase or sharply-observed comment. An indispensible parallel history of the 1990s in music, and a great advert for Haines as a writer.