Book - The Vicar Chronicles: Chronicle The First + 2nd

The Vicar Chronicles: Chronicle The First + 2nd

Steve Taylor-Bryant reviews a very funny take on the music industry whilst a mystery plays out as he reads The Vicar Chronicles: Chronicle The First + 2nd by Punk Sanderson...

A single volume containing the first Two Vicar Chronicles - "The Mysterious Case of Billy's G String" and "The Absurd Nonsense of the Orange Eyebrow". A series of whodunnits, based around the character of the legendary music producer and great British eccentric: The Vicar, as seen through the witty, irreverent eyes of his assistant Punk Sanderson. The Vicar protects a famous singer from a campaign to sabotage her career, while fighting her crooked manager over unpaid royalties. Oh yes, and a trip to France, where Punk's hopes of stardom are overshadowed by threats from an oddball with an Orange Eyebrow. Not forgetting a mad flirtation with his housemate, Venus Crappenleigh, who is not all she seems...And just why is he so worried about a photocopier?! Seemingly real-life dramas and wondrous tales of misdeeds in the music industry.

Comedy and music. Add in copious amounts of drink and drugs and it's every drummer's idea of a great night. I've been around bands and the music industry in general since I was 5, which is 30 some odd years, and the one thing you get used to is that nothing makes sense and it's just a journey that some are lucky enough to survive. What Punk Sanderson has produced is a satirical mystery written like a memoir. As someone who is writing their own memoir about being nuts, seeing it written as a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python, I was impressed from the first page.

Don't get me wrong, this is not an award winning literary masterpiece. There is a lot wrong with it if you read your novels as grammatically correct text books but, if you open your mind and disappear into the irreverence of it all, a superb satire emerges. The mysteries are not brilliant but this isn't about a detective story, this is the Airplane of the music world, Monty Python's Life of Punk, if you will.

Punk Sanderson is a multi-talented artist. A video blogger, a musician (ok, a drummer), and graphic novelist. His name is changed because he would inevitably get sued for libel. He is a joke to some and hero to others and,whilst I don't know the guy personally, I am certainly edging more towards hero.

I loved this book. Two tales, ‘The Mysterious Case of Billy's G String’ and ‘The Absurd Nonsense of the Orange Eyebrow ' that could be real life told humorously or fiction written strangely. Not for everyone's tastes, and I get why, but a superb take on the music industry I both admire and despise. I can't help but read it again and again.

Image - Punk Sanderson.
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