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Paint My Name in Black and Gold: The Rise of the Sisters of Mercy

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Leeds, 1980. Amidst the violence and decay, the city was home to an extraordinarily vibrant post-punk scene. Out of that swamp crawled the Sisters of Mercy. Over the next five years, they would rise from local heroes to leading alternative band, before blowing apart on the verge of major rock stardom. Their path was strewn with brilliant singles, astonishing EPs, exception Leeds, 1980. Amidst the violence and decay, the city was home to an extraordinarily vibrant post-punk scene. Out of that swamp crawled the Sisters of Mercy. Over the next five years, they would rise from local heroes to leading alternative band, before blowing apart on the verge of major rock stardom. Their path was strewn with brilliant singles, astonishing EPs, exceptional album tracks and legendary live shows. Two classic line-ups were created and destroyed: Andrew Eldritch on vocals, Craig Adams on bass, Gary Marx and Ben Gunn - later replaced by Wayne Hussey - on guitars, and a drum machine called Doktor Avalanche. Hussey and Adams styled themselves as the Evil Children and played hard both on and off the stage; neither Gunn nor Marx were natural rock 'n' roll animals, but the latter performed with such abandon that it was hard to believe he also wrote the Sisters' most delicate and beautiful music. Eldritch was the most peculiar and compelling of them all, a singular and mesmerising amalgam of T.S. Eliot and David Bowie who staked a powerful claim to be the greatest rock star of his generation. Drawing on dozens of interviews with band members and key figures in the Sisters' journey, Paint My Name in Black and Gold is the most complete account yet of how - against the odds and all reasonable expectation - these young men came to make transcendent and life-changing music.


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Leeds, 1980. Amidst the violence and decay, the city was home to an extraordinarily vibrant post-punk scene. Out of that swamp crawled the Sisters of Mercy. Over the next five years, they would rise from local heroes to leading alternative band, before blowing apart on the verge of major rock stardom. Their path was strewn with brilliant singles, astonishing EPs, exception Leeds, 1980. Amidst the violence and decay, the city was home to an extraordinarily vibrant post-punk scene. Out of that swamp crawled the Sisters of Mercy. Over the next five years, they would rise from local heroes to leading alternative band, before blowing apart on the verge of major rock stardom. Their path was strewn with brilliant singles, astonishing EPs, exceptional album tracks and legendary live shows. Two classic line-ups were created and destroyed: Andrew Eldritch on vocals, Craig Adams on bass, Gary Marx and Ben Gunn - later replaced by Wayne Hussey - on guitars, and a drum machine called Doktor Avalanche. Hussey and Adams styled themselves as the Evil Children and played hard both on and off the stage; neither Gunn nor Marx were natural rock 'n' roll animals, but the latter performed with such abandon that it was hard to believe he also wrote the Sisters' most delicate and beautiful music. Eldritch was the most peculiar and compelling of them all, a singular and mesmerising amalgam of T.S. Eliot and David Bowie who staked a powerful claim to be the greatest rock star of his generation. Drawing on dozens of interviews with band members and key figures in the Sisters' journey, Paint My Name in Black and Gold is the most complete account yet of how - against the odds and all reasonable expectation - these young men came to make transcendent and life-changing music.

45 review for Paint My Name in Black and Gold: The Rise of the Sisters of Mercy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jack Bates

    Well, if you like the Sisters you'll find this fascinating I should think, I certainly did. Because there was no internet when I was a youth, it was almost impossible to find out stuff about bands that they didn't tell you in interviews. Because I missed the first iteration of the band - I was too young - everything that had happened before the release of 'This Corrosion' (when I was 15) was an almost complete mystery to be scryed from the run-off grooves of records (that had to be bought in Lon Well, if you like the Sisters you'll find this fascinating I should think, I certainly did. Because there was no internet when I was a youth, it was almost impossible to find out stuff about bands that they didn't tell you in interviews. Because I missed the first iteration of the band - I was too young - everything that had happened before the release of 'This Corrosion' (when I was 15) was an almost complete mystery to be scryed from the run-off grooves of records (that had to be bought in London), and tiny bits of info scrabbled together from other people. This extremely detailed biog of the band's early years fills in lots of detail. Andrews has done tons of research and spoken to everyone (even Eldritch himself, good heavens). Craig Adams' and Gary Marx's contributions are funny and incisive and as with every music biog ever, one is left exhausted and wondering how anyone ever gets anything done. I find the idea of the 'rock persona' endlessly intriguing and there's no debate that Andrew Eldritch is a particularly specific and intense example of this. Also, jeez, there's a lot of speed in this (unsurprisingly) and reading so much about it gave me a weirdly buzzy tight winter feeling which I hadn't realised I associated so closely with the band, even though they are famous, of course, for their amphetamine use.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    Everything you wanted to know about the story of Sister of Mercy and their first years. It was a fascinating and informative read that brought me back in time and made me discover new sides of this great band. It's strongly recommended if you want to learn about the early year of SM and its members. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine Everything you wanted to know about the story of Sister of Mercy and their first years. It was a fascinating and informative read that brought me back in time and made me discover new sides of this great band. It's strongly recommended if you want to learn about the early year of SM and its members. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  3. 4 out of 5

    Killian

    An essential read for Sisters of Mercy fans, great detail here

  4. 4 out of 5

    AJ C

  5. 5 out of 5

    David Galbraith

  6. 4 out of 5

    Simon

  7. 4 out of 5

    Russell

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steven Lumley

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ville

  11. 5 out of 5

    Darren Bilton

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mike Stead

  13. 4 out of 5

    Fredrik

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nigel Whitmore

  15. 5 out of 5

    Al

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary McCoy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  18. 5 out of 5

    MN Branco

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gary Naylor

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janne

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jack Lacey

  22. 4 out of 5

    G G

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine

  25. 5 out of 5

    Milla

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dom Conway

  27. 4 out of 5

    Logan Dalton

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark Milward

  31. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kami

  33. 4 out of 5

    Leykokaa

  34. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

  35. 4 out of 5

    Mattias

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  37. 5 out of 5

    carol :~)

  38. 5 out of 5

    Leo Goldsmith

  39. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  40. 5 out of 5

    Lee Robertson

  41. 4 out of 5

    Dean

  42. 4 out of 5

    Victoria (RedsCat)

  43. 5 out of 5

    Sarahpeacock

  44. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Faulk

  45. 4 out of 5

    Ann Batchelor

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