Book review: MARK BADGEMAN & ANDREW WOLFMAN – Memories of The Market Tavern Kidderminster 1990-96

Self-published [Publication date 16.11.20]

Even if you didn’t attend a gig at Kidderminster’s Market Tavern, if you’re a live music fan then there’s plenty here to enjoy.

This long defunct but fondly remembered and unique venue is celebrated in this labour of love tome. Mark Badgeman was responsible for booking some of the biggest and best names in indie and rock to play the back room of a flat-roofed Kidderminster biker bar that had actual cows looking at you when you went to the toilet!

Jampacked with photos, merchandise and memories from the fans and bands that played there, this full-colour, 200 page book tells the tale of Kiddy’s very-own CBGB’s, in all its grisly glory.

From the terrifying crush at an overcrowded Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine gig (including a condensation disaster with a DAT tape) to the embarrassing hush of just 123 people watching Radiohead (when the band were already in the Top 40), it’s all here: motorbikes on the dance floor, a human sausage roll, the man who tried to steal Frank Sidebottom’s head…

The book features bands big and small: Slowdive, Sebadoh, Radiohead, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Chumbawamba, Cardiacs, The Selecter, Fretblanket, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Wedding Present, Extreme Noise Terror, Autechre, The God Machine, Midway Still, Senseless Things, Carter USM, The Primitives, Adorable and hundreds more. Many band members have contributed their memories to the book.

My personal contribution is a write up of a 1993 visit to see Glen Matlock’s band The Mavericks. It turned out to be something of a financial disaster for Glen and his bandmates, and promoter Dean Moraity’s own poignant (but hilarious!) memories of this show, “The Time I Swindled A Sex Pistol”, is worth the price of admission alone.

With a fanzine style layout, anarchy reigns throughout in this tribute to a totally chaotic and definitely unhygienic West Midlands music venue as told by the people that were there. It’s a story that will only be told once, and Mark and Andrew have certainly done it justice. There’s also an active Facebook page for people to reminisce further. ****

Review by Jim Henderson

The printed version of the book is only available to pre-order until 16th October here

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