Remember Juke Box Jury? The old BBC show where overly polite guests would say diplomatic things about terrible records? Well, it was all a bit tame wasn’t it? The only time it really kicked off was John Lydon’s infamous appearance, during which the Sex Pistols frontman slated all the tracks and gave Noel Edmonds a hard time (watch it here).
Stokey LitFest’s cult panel show Juke Box Fury (6pm, Sunday 7th June, Town Hall – £6), now in its fifth year, channels this anarchic spirit. Instead of Noel Edmonds, the event is hosted by Richard Boon – former Buzzcocks manager, founder of influential indie label New Hormones and ‘World’s Coolest Librarian’. The straight-talking, no-nonsense pioneer of the Manchester music scene recently appeared in documentaries about Joy Division and The Fall, and pops up a number of times in Morrissey’s autobiography. Richard must have done something to wind up the irascible Smiths singer, who once dedicated a performance of ‘I Don’t Owe You Anything’ to him.
This year Richard will be grilling a panel of music writers about the tracks that inspired them. The line-up includes David Stubbs (author of Future Days: Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany), a seasoned music journalist, perhaps best known for his sweary, abusive ‘Mr. Agreeable’ persona in the pages of Melody Maker. If he doesn’t like another panellist’s choice, expect a four-letter tirade. New York born and bred, Guardian journalist Caroline Sullivan (author of Madonna: Ambition. Music. Style.) will no doubt hold her own and even give a bit back, defending her love of Madonna and the Bay City Rollers. Journalist and crime novelist Cathi Unsworth (author of Without the Moon and Weirdo) will have to adopt the hard-bitten attitude of her creations to ‘persuade’ the others that her track’s a Hit. The panel is rounded off by music writer and reviewer Stevie Chick (author of Psychic Confusion: The Sonic Youth Story) who, as ever, will say it as he sees (/hears) it.
Having built careers on their musical taste, Richard’s panellists will have to fight their corner to leave the Juke Box Fury stage with their professional reputation intact. Hit or Miss, sparks are sure to fly.
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