I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

John Fleming

Anyone for Tennis?

An engaging and self-deprecating meditation on getting on

See Here

The great photographers caught through the lens of a playful semantics

Red-brick Midas

I Wanna Be Yours, by John Cooper Clarke, Picador, £20, 480 pp, ISBN: 978-1509896103 The Sir George Robey. London. 1995. A scruff gathering of fans...

A Fog from Reykjavik

A participant-observer study of the making of The Fall’s 1982 album ‘Hex Enduction Hour’, recorded in Iceland and at a cinema in Hertfordshire, drips decency and likability. It could be profitably patented as a pragmatic template for art memoirs or biographies.

Dead Beat Descendants

Mark E Smith’s voice sounded like an anti-London weapon. The danger of his Manchester accent was quite distinct from the dense, literary ambition of his words and phrases; distinct too from the prevailing sneer of take-control-of-the-means-of-production punk and post-punk.

Sign Language

In his celebrated 1959 work ‘Mythologies’, Roland Barthes handed the reader a torch with which to illuminate for himself the semantic corners of his personal world. Peter Conrad, in his ‘tales for our times’, walks in the steps of the master and proves himself an entirely worthy successor.

Down Among the Dead Men

You cannot understand an old city if you are not tuned to the cacophony of tenancy claims that greet you in stairwells as you trudge up to a fifth-floor flat. You are dead inside if you do not heed the joyous calls from beyond the grave of deceased residents.

Post-Punk Polymath

It is no surprise that such an outstanding lyricist as Elvis Costello should be able to deliver such an engaging autobiography. And for a man who used to punch out an album with a free EP, plus a brace of singles with extra B-sides each year, it is no shock it should be so long.