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Turn it Up! is part-memoir of Michael Witheford’s time as a musician and journalist, and part-pop history, examining some of the unsung or more interesting bands which he’s connected with in some way since he began listening to the radio as a kid.

“It begins with my first concert experience as a thirteen-year-old watching Ike and Tina Turner,’ Michael explains. “I then revisit the records that impacted on me as a young teenager and the music that spurred me on to play myself when I was older. I weave in and out of my chequered progress in music, while pausing now and then to shine a light on the way rock music evolved in the eighties and nineties. The mood is studious and knowledgeable but also light and comedic as I revisit some of my more eventful interviews I conducted with acts such as Bjork, Nirvana and Pulp.”

“Throughout the book I detail the way my own bands became successful, but not quite successful enough, and detail the various catastrophes which may have contributed to that. I introduce the reader to some of the more eccentric characters I have met through music, from Lenny the Launceston punk, who burned down his own shop accidentally, to Kevin Shields from the band My Bloody Valentine who took 55 minutes to answer one question I’d put to him.”

“The book is not dissimilar to Giles Smith’s Lost In Music, but that book is very much of the UK in the ’80s, and doesn’t examine the strange dynamic between the interviewer and the interviewee, which can veer between both parties wishing they were doing something else, to a more edgy encounter where the possibility of a ‘scoop’ gets the blood rushing. The book ends with some reflections on why music can be the most constant and loved companion in our lives.”

You can order Turn It Up through all the good online book stores, such as Booktopia

OR you can try to win a copy here!

To enter, email us at:, leave your name and address and tell us the name of the artist Michael first saw in concert. Competition closes Friday September 1st

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