Thanks to Radio's 4 legendary PM programme for inviting me on to muse upon the enduring appeal of the break-up album, in light of Adele's new album '30' (you might have heard of it.)
Here's the clip in case you missed it! Interview/editing skilfully handled by Mitch Mansfield.
It was such fun to be back at premier music writing festival Louder Than Words (in real life!) in Manchester again. I had a hoot hosting conversations with two superb authors: Lesley Chow, discussing her fantastic new book 'You're History: The Twelve Strangest Women in Music' (Repeater) and Tom Clayton: 'When Quiet Was The New Loud', about the golden age of 'quiet' music in the late 90s/early 00s.
Thanks to Dylan for the pix!
Thanks to the Royal Literary Fund for allowing me to muse upon resisting creative strictures and not letting the bastards grind you down (or shove you back into a pigeonhole). Have a read here!
Female rock biographers: we're a rare & sometimes misunderstood breed! thanks to ace books website Shepherd for giving me the opportunity to big up 5 queens of the art (& for sharing my JAMC book too <3)
It’s All Souls and we're filled with the Hallowe’en spirit. Rock ’n’ Roll Witch Zoë Howe presents a cornucopia of seasonal rock ’n’ roll to celebrate the last Harvest of the year, as well as a very special chat with author and wise woman Byron Ballard, who shares her much-loved ‘Prayer for the Dead’, which became an international phenomenon during the pandemic. Plus apple spells, the spooky story of Tam Lin, new music from Elbrook Court and tunes from Fairport Convention, The Police, Jimmy Witherspoon, Wings, JAMC, Rowland S Howard & Lydia Lunch and more.
Listen again here on Mixcloud!
Well, I'd say Hallowe'en feels like a good time for a witchy cover reveal, wouldn't you? (That was a rhetorical question, you don't have to answer that.) Behold the fab cover Llewellyn Worldwide have created for my next book, Witchful Thinking (April ‘22). Written from the heart.
Deepest thanks to the eminent wise women who wrote such kind, considered endorsements for it. Here are some now!
"Zoë is the wise and seasoned guide I wish I had at the beginning of my magical journeys. 'Witchful Thinking' feels like sitting at the table with Zoë, enjoying a cup of tea, as she warmly shares practical, accessible and powerful methods for creating a mindful and enchanted life. Written with wit & genuinely solid life advice, this book is a sweet gift from a truly witchy heart." Amy Hale PhD, Anthropologist, Author & Folklorist
"Witchcraft is a way of independence & sovereignty," writes Zoë Howe in her wise, witty, important book. Packed with techniques for living your most empowered life, Witchful Thinking is the equivalent of a powerful magical toolkit. The author’s kind, warm tone makes this book accessible, however this is also a book of great significance. Many books teach how to “do” or “practice” the magical arts and this does, too. But this book goes further by teaching us how to develop our own “witchful thinking.” As Zoë points out, magical thinkingmust precede magical doing. Highly recommended.” Judika Illes, author of the Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells and more.
'Witchful Thinking' is here to inform and inspire: let the Rock 'n' Roll Witch take you on a magical tour through the practices that can make your life sparkle. With methods based on her own experiences, Howe also invites in other practitioners to offer expert advice, too. Turn up the music andmake some magic.' Dr Kate Laity, award-winning author, arcane artist, esoteric historian.
"Taking the archetype of the wise-woman and themes from the modern witchcraft revival, Zoe Howe lifts them to a refreshing guide for a magical life. Encouraging us to forge our own way guided by intuition, imagination, heritage and preferences, this is both personal magical primer and an enchanting self-blossoming guide. We are led to consider our own extramundane connections and become aligned with them, to benefit ourselves and the wider community, letting magic flow into the real world of here and now.’ Caroline Wise, Starfire Publishing
‘Something I've always loved about Zoë's work – from contributing to The Slits claiming their place in history with her debut ‘Typical Girls?’ to her work with luminaries from the worlds of music, art & more – there's a constant theme of compassion, curiosity & commitment to telling stories that might not otherwise be shared, along with that punk grit of courage, tenacity & creativity to get it done. This is a woman who brings her irreverent rock'n'roll stardust to everything she does, while always having the guts, know-how & commitment to back it up.’ Jane Claire Bradley, author, editor, therapist, practitioner
‘Zoë has created an engaging new work of witchery for the modern era, studding it with gems from her personal magical experiences, British folklore and her family’s own traditions. Zoe’s warm personality comes through the page as she welcomes everyone to join her on the journey of the Wise Woman. We agree with Zoe: let’s all bring more ‘witchful thinking’ into our lives!’ Sue Terry & Erzebet Barthold Magickal Women Conference
'The author presents us with a plethora of information and guidance drawn from our wonderful eclectic journey that is Witchcraft. With a little history and personal experience thrown into the mix for good measure. A practical and useful guide for those wishing to embark on working and living a magical life in today’s modern age'. Rachel Patterson, Author of Curative Magic, The Kitchen Witchcraft series and many others
I think I omitted to share this at the time (my website was under construction, I think!) but I was really happy to be invited to talk Dr Feelgood and more on the wonderful MG Boulter's fascinating Clifftown podcast. We had a lovely chat. Matt is a Southend legend in his own right, so have a listen to his beautiful album Clifftown, and check out our chinwag here:
TODAY! (Monday October 18th) 12-2pm Soho Radio, my Rock ‘n’ Roll Witch show flies again! We’re talking GHOSTS (and listening to The Fall, The Pogues, Howlin’ Wolf, Purson, Joan Baez, Psychedelic Furs, The Tiger Lillies, new music from Tizane and more). And reflecting on Samhain (Halloween), the Witches’ New Year.
My guest is the artist and GHost Formula mastermind Sarah Sparkes, and we have the most marvellously spectral chat about her work (including her 101 Ghost Paintings project - one beautiful example pictured here) and we even swap a few ghost stories of our own. (Some actual spooky doings happen to the recording of our chat too.
Listen 12-2pm www.sohoradiolondon.com (NYC+Culture stream).
Listen again here!
I wrote an article for RLF Collected about how we can use writing for transformation and healing. Take a look!
Many thanks to Punktuation Magazine for including our Poly Styrene biography in this formidable list of top drawer punk and ska books.
thanks to 'Sounds Like Us' for the Brazilian Mary Chain biography love! See more here. (It's in Brazilian Portuguese so you may possibly require assistance from Google Translate - either way, the pictures are mighty pretty.)
Fancy getting your mitts on a copy of the book? Go here!
In case you missed it! Celebrating another turn of the wheel - and a gorgeous harvest moon. Get in the autumn mood & lend your ears (of corn or otherwise) to the September edition of Rock 'n' Roll Witch on Soho Radio for full-blown autumn magic, a chat with Ben Edge Art about 'Ritual Britain' and his film 'Frontline Folklore' & more X https://www.mixcloud.com/soho.../rock-n-roll-witch-06092021/
And don't forget, you can catch up with all previous Rock 'n' Roll Witch shows etc here.
We're thrilled that our documentary film 'Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché' has been shortlisted for a Grierson award. More information can be found here. NME also named it one of their 50 best music documentaries of all time - read the full list here. Further information about our documentary here.
I'm thrilled to be returning to the fabulous Louder than Words Festival this November - I'll be in conversation with Lesley Chow on Saturday 12th November, discussing her excellent book 'You're History: The Twelve Strangest Women In Music', and with Tom Clayton, about his awesome publication 'When Quiet Was The New Loud'. For further details and to see the full programme, click here.
Can it be? Yes it can - a real, live, physical event! How exciting. Celeste Bell and I will be part of the brilliant Primadonna Festival in Suffolk on July 25th, 2pm, after the screening of our film 'Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché', discussing the film and also our book 'Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story'.
More details here. (The whole line-up is incredible!)
I had a super chat with US book blogger Michelle Dunton about all things Stevie Nicks, and about my biography of the great lady herself: Stevie Nicks - Visions, Dreams and Rumours, which was released by Omnibus Press a few years ago. Thank you, Michelle, for your support!
I had so much fun talking to Foxy (DJ legend Peter Fox) on his show for the tremendously cool Deal Radio the other week. We go quite deep, and he invited me to share my top ten favourite songs that mean something to me. Expect tales of eating crisps while playing the drums for Kelly Osbourne, the mystery of my REAL first book (all about bottoms), witchery, wonder and much more. It was so lovely to speak to Foxy, he was a wonderful host and a true gentleman! And his use of sound effects is a thing to behold in itself.
ICYMI! Last week's interview with rockin' Robert Elms on BBC London about Aurora Metro's '50 Women In The Blues', by photographer Jennifer Noble, edited by Cheryl Robson, featuring extended essay by mostly moi x
Thanks to all who caught Prof Lucy Robinson, Celeste & moi chatting Punk Women / Biography for the Sussex Festival of Ideas, in collaboration with Vivienne Westwood's Intellectuals Unite.
We discussed Dayglo, 'Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché', The Slits, Tracey Thorn's 'My Rock 'n' Roll Friend' & Lindy Morrison, Helen McCookeryBook's ace 'Lost Women of Rock Music', Vivien Goldman's 'Revenge Of The She-Punks' and more - I'm told a link will be available for people to watch the chat.
Don't be fooled by our expressions on this picture, we really did have a lot of fun.
Monday June 28th, 12-2pm BST on Soho Radio NYC+Culture stream, the Rock 'n' Roll Witch show is back on the air. I'll be ringing in Midsummer with groovy medievalist, noir author and cultural polymath Kate Laity, who shares tales of Nordic summers and flower crowns, ancient charms, fairy warnings and much more besides, with the usual rock ’n’ roll magic and cultural musings woven in, and some love for Ben Edge's Ritual Britain exhibition at the Crypt Gallery in London.
Listen again here:
Join Suede bassist & novelist Mat Osman and myself on Thursday 20th, as part of Louder Than Words Festival's monthly online events. We’ll be discussing Mat’s magnificent book ‘The Ruins’ and more... ticket info here.
My monthly Rock ‘n’ Roll Witch show is back on Soho Radio (NYC+Culture stream) TODAY (Monday May 17th) 12-2pm GMT.
This month's show is dedicated to the power & symbolism of HAIR, magically & also politically. Guests are director Cathy Heffernan & artist Maral Mamaghani (pictured) both filmmakers with brilliant new platform Hear Art (https://hearart.co.uk), an initiative dedicated to promoting the projects of deaf creatives. They discuss their film ‘Hair Uncovered’, Maral’s use of hair in her art, hair & identity and more.
Show also features tributes to Anita Lane, John Hannon and NY witch Marion Weinstein, musings upon the enchanting work of artist Cathy Ward, & music from CSNY, Goldfrapp, Fleetwood Mac, Son Of Dave, Led Zeppelin, Daughter, Television, Suede, Cha Wa, Sqürl and more. With thanks to Cindy Sasha, Abi Borsbery and all who brought this together
Had a wonderful time hosting the conversation with Tracey Thorn at Writing On The Wall Festival last week. We discussed Tracey's new book 'My Rock 'n' Roll Friend' and much more besides. Watch here!
Holy Maypoles, Batman! You can listen again to Rock ‘n’ Roll Witch - the pink moon / Beltane edition - now as it is up on Soho Radio’s Mixcloud.
Feat. Dr Amy Hale on the occult artist Ithell Colquhoun, astro musings, folklore and spring magic, music from Fontaines D.C, Ronnie Lane & Pete Townshend, Lew Lewis, Grant Hart, Shangri-Las, Clifton Chenier, the Jesus and Mary Chain and much more
Writing On The Wall are celebrating 21 Years of Radical Writing in 2021, and I’m delighted to be joining them again - this time hosting a chat with Tracey Thorn about her new book 'My Rock 'n' Roll Friend' on May 12th - alongside a host of other brilliant writers, filmmakers, campaigners, musicians, spoken word artists, activists and many more.
Find out more here: https://www.writingonthewall.o...
Here's a pic of Celeste and I, snapped by Jemma Street, when were at the festival two years ago, promoting 'Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story'!
Our documentary on the wonderful Poly Styrene from X-Ray Spex has been released! We had a fabulous preview watching party and panel event on March 4th, the day before the film hits cinemas. The panel featured directors Celeste Bell and Paul Sng, designer Pam Hogg, Art & Music Books co-editor David Sheppard, with yours truly hosting. You can watch it here.
The film is available to watch via cinemas nationwide as listed on Modern Films from 5th March
On Sky Arts March 6th 9pm.
Super proud to reveal that the historic occult book publisher Llewellyn Worldwide has signed up my next non-fiction book, 'Witchful Thinking' (appropriately my 13th book project) which will be out the second half of 2021. A bold step out of the broom closet! Stay tuned...
My first book, 'Typical Girls? The Story Of The Slits' (2009) is available again via Omnibus Press, and I've recently added an 'afterword' and some other goodies too. Order here.
Great fun to be on Word In Your Ear's lockdown extravaganza Word In Your Attic for a bit of show and tell. Dr & The Medics, Minder and Marquee Moon feature. Expect a great deal of waxing about Detective Sergeant Chisholm, one of the great TV characters of all time.
I loved hosting an online q&a for Doc 'n Roll with director Graham Bendel about his new music film 'Upstairs Planet: The Cleaners From Venus and the Universe of Martin Newell'. Watch it again here!
Truly lovely to host the Q&A for Ron Mann's beautiful music doc 'Carmine Street Guitars' for Curzon Living Room, featuring Ron himself, Rick Kelly and Cindy Hulej from the shop itself and the mighty Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group) who even sang me a little 'thank you' song at the end (OMG). We had so much fun. Click here to view.
The lovely people at Female First asked me what I'd like my readers to know about me. And I ruddy well told them. Take a read!
Just found this long-lost interview conducted by the lovely people at the Florence + The Machine Fan Club (PL). I have a quick chat about writing 'Florence + The Machine: An Almighty Sound' (Omnibus Press). Have a look.
BAFTA-winning director Norman Stone’s 2008 film ‘Florence Nightingale’ is on, feat class act Laura Fraser as Flo, Roy Hudd (RIP), Andrew Harrison & YES, ME, playing Queen Vic. T'was a thrill to be in this production, not least because I’d already moved into writing & this would be the last thing I did in that respect, thanks to makeup artist Ann Fenton remembering me from a shoot & recommending me for an audition. Thank you Ann! Behold the trailer.
Thrilled to be a guest on Postcard From The Past's excellent podcast alongside the marvellous Andy Miller (Backlisted, Tilting At Windmills). The episode is called 'I've Got A Haunted Postcard Of Keith Moon' (I do) and here it is. Download them all, subscribe! You'll be glad you did.
My Lee Brilleaux book has just been featured by Shortlist as a 'great rock biography'. Thanks to Robyn Law at Blackwell's! I also joined the dashing Mark Ellen and David Hepworth for a Brilleaux / 1971 Word In Your Ear sesh at The Islington on April 12th - check out the Word podcast here.
Thanks Big Issue North for inviting me to write an 'Off The Shelf' column (it's about girls and gigs!), and to Bryony Hegarty at Louder Than War for this lovely review of 'Shine On, Marquee Moon'.
Thanks to Nick Hutchings at Velvet Sheep for inviting me to contribute a 'Song For Ewe' - take a gander/a listen!
I had a great time being a guest once more on the esteemed Bigmouth culture podcast, hosted by Andrew Harrison and Siân Pattenden, alongside crime writer William Shaw. We had a hoot discussing Rosamund Pike movie 'I Care A Lot', the new album from The Anchoress, the new Zappa documentary directed by Alex Winter and much more. Listen here!
My magical Soho Radio show 'Rock 'n' Roll Witch' (formerly 'The Witching Hour') is gliding through the radio skies on its bejewelled broomstick to a brand new daytime slot! Mondays, monthly 12-2pm. Tune in for witchy musings, magical cultural picks, celestial guests & mellow rock 'n' roll. I'll also be part of Soho Radio's annual International Women's Day programming on March 8th - tune 8-9pm to hear my IWD special! For all shows, check out the archives here.
I had a lovely chat with #NewnhamNews Newnham College, Cambridge. Newnhamites (and non-Newnhamites) can find out about my background as an author & my role as the new Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the historically radical and rebellious Newnham College and Selwyn College Cambridge. Includes a couple of my favourite golden writing rules as well as a mention of The Slits, Soho Radio, lipstick and my teapot. If that's not enough to hook you in, I don't know what is. Read here.
Thanks to Duncan Seaman for featuring my Slits book / Ari Up session with Roisin Dwyer at LTW as a 'highlight' of the weekend - much appreciated and I'm in excellent company, alongside Bob Geldof, Daryl Easlea, Lucy O'Brien, Rhoda Dakar, Don Powell, Dave Ball and many more. Read here!
Honoured to take the 'Celebrity Gloominess' spot on artist Sadie Hennessy's final 'Gloomy Sunday' radio show. I share my favourite gloomy song (well, one of them) which may or may not be Mary Chain-related. Have a listen!
Proud to have contributed the introduction to this special Aurora Metro Books publication, '50 Women In The Blues' (big thanks to Sister Cookie, Ed Mitchell and Deitra Farr) feat. the photography of Jennifer Noble. What a subject! The blues is a woman <3 https://www.aurorametro.com/product/50-women-in-the-blues/
STOP PRESS, MAY 2020: THANKS TO THE JAMC tor publishing the first chapter of my biography of the band 'Barbed Wire Kisses: The Jesus and Mary Chain Story' on their official website.
Thrilled to hear that 'Shine On, Marquee Moon' has been included in the NME's 'Things We Like - Objects Of Desire' list! Should YOU desire it, click here.
My biography of Stevie Nicks - 'Visions, Dreams & Rumours - is out now in paperback via Omnibus! Check out the ace Bigmouth podcast, which features a chat about the tome. The b-format edition of 'Lee Brilleaux - Rock 'n' Roll Gentleman', meanwhile, was released with a Warners box-set this summer, sleeve-notes by yours truly.
Much fun hosting this with Helen McCookeryBook, Gina Birch (Raincoats), Tessa Pollitt (Slits) & Jane Woodgate (Mo-Dettes) at British Library. Post-Q&A the merry throng - myself included (on cardboard box) - performed 'Oh Bondage, Up Yours'. Poly Styrene RIP. I'm also thrilled to have recently recorded drums on a song of Helen's, watch this space!
The fab folk at Swiss music site Rockette conducted a Q&A with me based on their findings on my Instagram! Check it out here.