- 21 Apr 23
A coveted appearance at the International Festival of Literature Dublin is among the highlights of a tour that kicks off in Walthamstow, London on 18 May – a day before the book will be available in shops across Ireland and the UK
Paul Charles, whose brilliant memoir, Adventures in Wonderland, is set for publication on 19 May, has announced festival and other appearances, with the first in a series of public interviews set for the week of the book launch, in London.
One of the highlights of the tour is a coveted appearance at the International Literary Festival Dublin, on Friday 26 May, starting at 8pm. The festival takes place, this year, in the beautifully convivial surroundings of Merrion Square Park – with numerous other high profile guests starring in the week-long event, including Douglas Stuart, Joseph O’Connor, Mary Gaitskill, Stanley Tucci and Catherine Ryan Howard. it is indisputably one of the city’s cultural highlights of the year. The Guest Interviewer will be announced shortly.
The first UK appearance is set for The Rock ’n’ Roll Book Club, in Walthamstow, London on the evening of 18 May, kicking off at 7pm. The interview will be conducted by Mark Billingham, and takes place in the Wild Card Brewery. With the Tom Thorne series to his credit, Mark Billingham is a hugely successful crime writer, as well as an actor, screenwriter and stand-up comedian.
That Adventures In Wonderland debut date is followed on 19 May with an appearance at the Irish Cultural Centre, which has already been creating a real buzz of excitement. The Centre is located at 5 Black’s Road, Hammersmith, London W6, with Richard Mills doing the honours as guest interviewer.
The full list of dates already locked in reads as follows:
- Thursday 18 May: The Rock ’n’ Roll Book Club, Walthamstow, London, Guest interviewer Mark Billingham. Doors at 7pm
- Friday 19 May: Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith, London. Guest interviewer: Richard Mills. Doors 8pm.
- Sunday 21 May: Sunday 21 May: The Court House, Bangor, Guest interviewer: Kieran Gilmour. Doors 2pm for 3pm
- Tuesday 23 May: The Sound Lounge, 216-220 High Street, Sutton, London. Guest interviewer: Paul Sexton
- Friday 26 May: The International Literary Festival Dublin, Merrion Square Park, Dublin. Starts 8pm.
- Wednesday 7 June: The Stables, Milton Keynes, England. Guest interviewer: Peter Van Hooke. Stage Two @ 8.45pm.
- Thursday 8 June: Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Main St., Bellaghy, Co. Derry. Guest interviewer: Michael Bradley. Doors 7.15pm for 7.30pm.
- Friday 9 June: Charlie Byrne’s Bookstore, Galway, Ireland. Guest interviewer: Ollie Jennings. 6pm
Other dates will be added to what is shaping up to be a fascinating series of live events and appearances.
A riveting memoir, Adventures in Wonderland tells the story of how a music-mad youngster from Magherafelt in Co. Derry got caught up in the allure of rock ’n’ roll, took to London in the heady days of the 1960s’ music revolution and went on to become one of the most influential music figures ever to come out of Ireland...
Adventures in Wonderland will be available by pre-order from hotpress.com/shop in Hardback and Large Format Paperback, with a variety of special pre-order bonuses to be scooped up by book and music fans alike. Order your copy here.
Irishman Paul Charles is one of the leading music agents on the planet. Over the past 40 years, he has worked with some of the biggest names in music, at different times managing the careers of Van Morrison, Ray Davies of The Kinks, Gerry Rafferty, The Waterboys and Dexys Midnight Runners, and launching Tanita Tikaram – the teenage star whose debut album sold almost 5 million copies – into the world.
In addition, he has been agent and confidante along the way to The Kinks, Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Don McLean, Lonnie Donegan, Rory Gallagher, Marianne Faithfull, John Prine, Carly Simon, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Christy Moore, Taj Mahal, Buzzcocks, The Undertones, Hothouse Flowers, The Blue Nile, Shakespears Sister, Ronnie Spector – and dozens more of modern music’s brightest stars.
In his role with the Asgard agency, he has also promoted shows featuring many of the leading artists in the world, including The Police, U2, Van Morrison, Dire Straits, Carole King, Meatloaf, David Gilmour, BB King, Emmylou Harris and John Lee Hooker.
Paul has also been involved since the early days with Glastonbury Festival, with his artists topping the bill on more than one occasion before he was invited by Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis to take on the daunting – and inspiring – task of booking the Acoustic Stage at the festival every year, a role he has carried out for the past 30 years.
Oh, and he is also a successful crime writer and a songwriter, whose work has ended up on albums by Kendrick Lamar (in his K.Dot guise), Talib Kweli and Norah Jones – as well as on the four original albums released by the Northern Irish band he started out with, Fruupp, and with whom he enjoyed the kind of mad adventures which only bands that fall just short of the big time have the very dubious pleasure of experiencing!
All of these extraordinary escapades, as well as his encounters with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Police, U2 and more, are brought together brilliantly in his marvellous new book Adventures In Wonderland. A riveting memoir, it is the story of a music-mad kid from Magherafelt in Co. Derry, Northern Ireland who went on to work, and become friends, with many of his rock and roll idols.
Paul Charles says: “There are times when I have to stop and think – did all of that really happen to me? And the frightening answer is: yes, it did! There have been incredible highs and devastating lows along the way. I have tasted extraordinary success – and on more than one occasion feared for my life. It’s been a proper rollercoaster ride. But I hope readers of Adventures in Wonderland will also recognise how much I have enjoyed being involved in so many different aspects of music – and working closely with artists of outstanding creative ability. It has been an incredible privilege – and wonderfully exciting. So far!"
Packed with jaw-dropping stories, including the time when he was almost burned alive along with his precious record collection, and pen pictures of the kind of stars we all want to know more about, Adventures In Wonderland is also one of the most complete insights into the world – and the business – of music that you will ever encounter. It is a must-read for every music fan – and for students of how the world of rock ’n’ roll works alike.
Best-selling author John Connolly says of Adventures in Wonderland: “A book defined by an abiding love of music, a deep affection for musicians – despite their occasional follies – and a clear-eyed view of the sometimes harsh realities of the music business. This may well be the best memoir of its kind yet to come out of Ireland. A very fine piece of work, and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Best-selling author Joseph O’Connor says: “All music fans will relish this fascinating, revealing, wonderfully enjoyable memoir, which is itself the work of a lifelong fan. Full of anecdote, insight and heart.”
Tom Thorne crime writer Mark Billingham says: “Adventures in Wonderland is a fabulously entertaining book from a writer who’s been there and done it all! A must-read for every music fan.”
Glastonbury creator Michael Eavis says: “When I had the crazy idea of running my own Festival the first thing I needed was bands to play! I got a list of agents to phone from the ‘white book’ but had very little luck getting what I wanted. Fortunately though, I had one person who actually phoned me back with two of the top bands of the day that I wanted – that was Van Morrison and Jackson Browne. That’s when the festival started to take off – and it was Paul Charles who helped me to make that happen."
Irish Times music critic Tony Clayton-Lea says: “From working with superstar rock stars and the créme de la créme of singer-songwriters to bringing The Clash to Ireland, The Undertones to the UK, and Van Morrison into the mystic, Paul Charles knows the music business inside out – and Adventures In Wonderland spills the beans in fine style.”
Rick Bayles of Americana UK says: "Paul Charles has written one of the most enjoyable music industry books you’re likely to encounter this year (and probably any other year)… Guaranteed to raise a smile – as well as the occasional eyebrow."
Hot Press editor Niall Stokes says: “This is a unique and brilliant book that recounts the fascinating journey of a young man from Magherafelt in Co. Derry to the heady heights of rock ’n’ roll, in a marvellously colourful way. Throughout, Paul Charles offers penetrating insights into the music, the musicians and the stars who have entertained, inspired and influenced us all – while also making readers laugh out loud. We’re really looking forward to seeing the reaction to Adventures in Wonderland. It’s a book that should be read by anyone – and everyone – with an interest in music.”
Powerfully honest, often hilarious, frequently touching, and packed with unique artwork and memorabilia, Adventures in Wonderland is a marvellously joyous trip that will inspire readers to fall in love with music – whether for the first time or, better still, all over again…
Published by Hot Press Books, Adventures in Wonderland will be available nationwide from Friday 19th May 2023
- Film & TV
- 01 Jun 23