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An English Trip: John Doran aka 'Jolly Lad' Book Tour
B Arts
Stoke-ON-Trent United Kingdom
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An English Trip: John Doran aka 'Jolly Lad' Book Tour
The Quietus Presents, An English Trip: Arabrot featuring John Doran. An evening of spoken word and music with readings from the book, 'Jolly Lad' and incantations concerning murder, black holes, ghosts and regional bus time tables.

More acts to be announced.

Doors open at 7.30pm

'JOLLY LAD' by John Doran

Published in hardback, paperback and electronic edition by Strange Attractor in June 2015.

Cover art by Simon Fowler and illustrations by Krent Able.

Hardback Edition comes with free CD of readings and music from Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers, Abi & Neil of British Sea Power, Eccentronic Research Council, Teeth Of The Sea, English Heretic, Grumbling Fur, Mark Dicker, GNOD and Bronze Teeth.

JOLLY LAD is a memoir about the recovery from alcoholism, habitual drug use and mental illness. It is also about the healing power of music, how memory defines us, the redemption offered by fatherhood and what it means to be working class.

In 2011 VICE magazine asked music journalist John Doran for a weekly column. The only instruction they gave me was simple: "You can write about whatever you want but it can't be about music."

The column ended up being called MENK  a shortened version of 'mental' used in some, but by no means all, parts of Merseyside, to mean intellectually feeble or mentally handicapped rather than mentally ill. Doran grew up round the corner from the largest Victorian insane asylum in Europe, Rainhill Hospital, and this harsh epithet would be shouted at him by other kids when he got off the bus after school.

The column ended up being about the minutiae of Doran's life. It was about gentrification; being diagnosed bipolar; attending Alcoholics Anonymous; living in a block of flats on a housing estate in London; the psychological damage done by psychedelic drugs; depression; DJing; factory work; friendship; growing old; hallucinations; street violence and obsessive behaviour  especially regarding music and art.

The column proved relatively popular  or at least no one asked him to stop writing it. By Spring of 2014, after three years, he had filed 66 chapters of MENK so decided to take a hiatus while he worked on this book. Instead of releasing an anthology of columns however, he decided to completely rewrite the material into a narrative, which would concern his recovery from alcoholism, the attempt to cope with mental illness and becoming a father.


B Arts (View)
72 Hartshill Road
Stoke-ON-Trent ST4 7RB
United Kingdom



Minimum Age: 18
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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