Esquire (Singapore) - - Mahb -

fall­ing in love with Suede co-founder mem­ber Jus­tine Frischmann, plac­ing the ad­ver­tise­ment in the NME that would sum­mon gui­tar ge­nius Bernard But­ler, and the gen­eral life­style of a young band try­ing to catch a break in the Nineties (ap­par­ently a lot of “salad ke­babs” were in­volved).

If there was coke, how­ever, An­der­son’s not men­tion­ing it (come on, fella, we were there too), and nor is he go­ing to talk about some of the more juicy stuff, like Frischmann mak­ing off with Da­mon Al­barn, which would cause her to leave the group and cre­ate one of the great Brit­pop era ri­val­ries; he writes only: “At some point dur­ing early 1991, while all this was hap­pen­ing, Jus­tine had met some­one else”. He will, how­ever, make a pass­ing men­tion of “groups of pa­tro­n­is­ing mid­dle-class boys… mak­ing money by ap­ing the ac­cents and cul­ture of the work­ing classes”. We can’t think who he means.

And yes, there are times when An­der­son’s writ­ing style, so ob­vi­ously reach­ing for lit­er­ary flour­ish, can come over a bit Monty Burns, as when he de­scribes his time spent study­ing at Manchester Univer­sity: “I grew tired of the gag­gles of over-ex­cited, toga-draped pranksters.” But when he writes about the strong­est emo­tions— heart­break, grief, love—his prose can be stir­ring. More sur­pris­ing, he’s even ca­pa­ble of jokes, as when he de­scribes buy­ing a lemon-yel­low suit at Top­man in the 1980s in the hope of em­u­lat­ing Bowie, though “the truth was I prob­a­bly looked more like a cut-price Cliff Richard”. Who knew, Brett? Who knew?

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