OTD in 1999 my novel CHARLIEUNCLENORFOLKTANGO was launched with a performance at Cabinet, in London (in the gallery’s former Northburgh Street premises). We had blue lights, and live musical accompaniment for my reading came from keyboard maestro, musician and composer Jamie Telford, whose credits include playing the Hammond Organ for The Jam. Here’s an archived copy of the invite ICYM.

And here’s the cover copy:

Charlieunclenorfolktango is the call sign of a bunch of English cops in a riot van. This astoundingly original novel opens with fifty ways some mad killer could do you if there weren’t coppers in this world. Problem is, one of these cops is not entirely human. The Sarge thinks it’s him, and Lockie — the narrator — thinks he’s right. Well it can’t be that dozy tosspot Blakie, can it? In between witnessing and committing various atrocities and acts of work-a-day corruption, and being experimented on by aliens, Lockie thinks aloud about cave blokes and cave birds, Charlie’s Angels, and “the kynd a fings that blokes & birds do ter keep the dark dark nyte at bay.”

CHARLIEUNCLE… (for short) was published by the former Hove-based indie Codex Books. What a great list that was to be part of: Jeff Noon, Steve Aylett, Jane Graham, Cheap Date, Stewart Home, Billy Childish, Kathy Acker live (on CD, IIRC), and many more…

CHARLIEUNCLE… polarised critics, but had a particularly good response among critics writing for the books sections of the then various city listings magazines around the country at the time (see selected press), and with readers.

The novel has been out of print since Codex sadly folded in the early 00s, but copies can sometimes be found on Abebooks if you’re quick ;)

I reintroduced the signature reading of CHARLIEUNCLE… back into my live sets around ten years ago, at the request of the late and sadly missed Malcolm Bennett – thank you Mally x

Tony White reading from CHARLIEUNCLENORFOLKTANGO at Beaconsfield, London. Photo © Marianne Magnin, 2015


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