Book Review: Grammar Free In The UK – The Lockdown Letters by Derek & Dave Philpott

Some months ago we reviewed the weighty tome Dear Mr Pop Star by D&D Philpott. It was an enjoyable and humorous read, with my only real complaint being that it was quite large. The authors could have made it into two books and doubled their sales. This lesson appears to have been learned with Grammar Free In The UK, which weighs in at a more manageable 160 pages or so.

This time the focus is on old punk acts, with the usual tactic of hugely misinterpreting their latter-day lyrics and seeing if they cotton on to the wind up. Attempting “punk’d” on punks, as it were.

In pretty much every case, they jump on board and get in on the joke. Some respond with similar madcap lunacy, others try to explain things more sensibly, while a handful reveal opinions or events that may not have cropped up in more formal interviews. In every case, though, the “victims” respond in a manner that really puts them in a good light. Verbose, intelligent and witty… hardly the image that many would have portrayed back in the day.

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Now I’m not a massive punk fan, but even I recognised a huge number of the names present. Cockney Rejects, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, The Stiffs, The Vibrators, Ruts DC, Chumbawamba (who I’d never thought of as a punk band but hey), Sham 69… These and a huge number more exchange missives with our erstwhile duo about all subjects from the legal position as regards the ownership of Earth’s sole rocky satellite to how best to pack your shopping at the supermarket checkout.

A nice, short book that you can dip into when you have a spare minute and pretty much guarantee a giggle each time.

You can order the book here right now (or from here) and a portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to a punk worthy charity.

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May 20, 2024 10:05 AM

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