The Velvet Mafia wins the Penderyn Prize!

Omnibus Press is delighted that The Velvet Mafia by Darryl W. Bullock has won the prestigious Penderyn Music Book Prize! 

The Velvet Mafia tells the compelling story of the gay men who ran the swinging sixties, including Brain Epstein, Lionel Bart and Larry Parnes. It explores how the LGBT professionals at the heart of the music industry were working together and supporting each other at a time when being homosexual could mean the end of your career – or much worse.



Launched in 2015, the Penderyn Music Book Prize is the first UK based award specifically for music titles. It was described as 'the Mercury Prize of books' by the NME.

The prize is sponsored by the Penderyn Distillery and is awarded each year at the annual Laugharne Weekend festival. Darryl W. Bullock was interviewed on stage by the journalist and author Pete Paphides

Darryl W. Bullock at the Laugharne festival. Photograph by Emyr Young.

The announcement means that Omnibus Press is the first publisher to have won the award twice; in 2020, the Penderyn Prize was awarded to Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson by Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow.

Two other Omnibus Press books were nominated for the Penderyn Prize this year. A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan by Richard Balls made the longlist and Don Letts' autobiography There and Black Again was on the shortlist.

Now in its 8th year, the Penderyn Prize continues to celebrate the exciting diversity and quality of music book publishing. 

The news that Darryl W. Bullock had won the Penderyn Prize coincided happily with the announcement of his much anticipated follow up book: Pride, Pop and Politics, which is published on 9th June 2022.


Pride, Pop and Politics charts the development of gay culture and the rise of LGBTQ politics in the UK from the formation of the Gay Liberation Front to the present day. 

A huge congratulations to Darryl from the Omnibus Press team. Thanks also to the Penderyn Prize and hats off to everyone involved in publishing the array of great music books nominated this year. 

Leave a comment