Louder Than Words Festival 2021

Louder Than Words is an annual festival dedicated to music and literature, of which we are very proud sponsors. Musicians, authors, journalists, readers, publishers and fans descend on the festival to hear conversations, panel discussions and interviews, to participate in music quizzes, buy signed books and generally soak up the atmosphere.

This weekend Louder Than Words returned in fine form. The festival is held in Manchester, with the option to livestream events from home. This year's venue was the INNSiDE Hotel. Situated in the Deansgate area of central Manchester, it is sandwiched between the site of the Hacienda club and the buzzing HOME indie cinema... a great place to spend a weekend immersed in music, social history and books.

It was great to see many lovely Omnibus Press authors at the festival. As usual, the line-up was packed with interesting talks. On Friday we caught a conversation between Eamonn Forde and Roisin Dwyer. It was a fast-talking, riveting journey through Eamonn's new book Leaving The Building, exploring the little-known world of music estates and the business of death in music. 


Eamonn Forde in conversation with Roisin Dwyer

On Saturday we joined the legendary Jordan in conversation with John Robb about her autobiography, Defying Gravity. Jordan gave us a fascinating peak into the making of Danny Boyle's forthcoming six-part Sex Pistols drama. Jordan, who will be played in the show by Maisie Williams, spoke about her conversations with the director and the pursuit of historical accuracy on set. 

Paul 'Smiler' Anderson and Mark Baxter shared a stage to talk about their book Scorcha!, a visual history of the suedeheads and early skinheads - one of the most diverse, fashionable and vibrant chapters in youth culture history. They spoke about finding treasure trove archives of original photographs as well as the ways in which football helped to spread fashions around the country, and how the impeccably tailored suedeheads managed to confound and play with class expectations.


Paul 'Smiler' Anderson and Mark Baxter talking with John Robb

Meanwhile Darryl W. Bullock talked us through some of 'the gay men who ran the swinging sixties', including Brian Epstein and Larry Parnes, in a conversation about his book The Velvet Mafia. It was a thoroughly entertaining and insightful look at the sixties, revealing how a group of gay men behind the scenes of rock'n'roll changed pop, politics and society for good. 


Darryl W. Bullock in conversation with Rosin Dwyer

Later on, Richard Balls answered questions about Shane MacGowan. It was a wide-ranging conversation about his new, definitive biography of the legend, A Furious Devotion.


Richard Balls in conversation with Heath Common

We were also really pleased to see two long-time Omnibus authors, Zoë Howe and Joel McIver, who did great work interviewing a number of the guests.

In-between events, we spent time browsing the huge array of music books on sale at the Blackwell's stall.


There were many opportunities to meet and hear from musical legends, including Will Sergeant of Echo & the Bunnymen and the charming John Illsley from Dire Straits. Whilst Barry Adamson, of Magazine, The Bad Seeds and beyond, was unfortunately unable to attend, tickets are available to join his livestreamed Louder event, which will now be taking place on the 16th December 2021. Barry will be talking about his acclaimed memoir, Up Above The City, Down Beneath The Stars

We want to give a big thank you to everyone who attended this year's Louder Than Words and an especially big thanks to the extremely hard-working and cheerful team of volunteers who make it all happen and to Jill, Phil and John Robb for organising a fantastic weekend.

We will hope to see you at the next Louder Than Words! 

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