Boom! This is what we want.
Blackheath Books have come up trumps with a new poetry chapbook. What sets Keep The Faith apart is the all the poems are born from Londoner Tim Wells’s suedehead passion for soul and reggae. His enthusiasm for his subject is infectious and after turning the last page had me reaching for the nearest Sam Cooke album and a clutch of Trojan releases.
Wells deftly joins the dots between black American and Jamaican artists in Chicago and Kingston, who created music as their way out of hard times, which resonates with British white kids from Dalston to Dundee who use these sacred records to dance their escape from the drudgery of the working week, dressed in their Saturday night finest. He captures the excitement of living for the weekend, that moment the needle hits the record, of music as a shared experience, and of being in possession of the secret key which unlocks these joyful moments to those in the know.
The twenty poems are all suitably clean, sharp, smart and to the point. Their direct style and subject matter attractive to folk more likely to be found scouring second-hand record shops than the poetry section of Waterstones.
Published as a very limited, numbered edition of 200, Keep The Faith (surely it’s time for moratorium on those three words and the associated clenched – or rather clichéd - fist) should sell out fast, so get in quick as soon it’ll be easier to find a copy of The Wailers “Diamond Baby” on Coxsone. Highly recommended for suedeheads, mods, soulies or anyone with a passion for music beyond the midnight hour.
Keep The Faith by Tim Wells is published and available from Blackheath Books, priced £8.