By Celeste Bell and Zoë Howe
Poly Styrene was many things: a pop star, a punk, a songwriter, a single mother, a woman of colour, a Hare Krishna convert and an artist, but she is best known as the singer of X-Ray Spex. Dayglo is the definitive statement on Poly Styrene as an artist.
Poly Styrene was a singer-songwriter, an artist, a free-thinker, a post-modern style pioneer and a lifelong spiritual seeker: a true punk icon. But this rebel queen with the cheeky grin was also a latter-day pop artist with a wickedly perceptive gift for satirising the world around her - her brightly coloured, playful aesthetic sharply at odds with the stark monochrome style and nihilism of punk.
Here, for the first time, the vibrant jigsaw of Poly's inspiring and often moving story has been lovingly pieced together by her daughter, singer-songwriter Celeste Bell, and writer/artist Zoë Howe (author of the acclaimed Typical Girls? The Story Of The Slits, amongst many others). From growing up mixed-race in Brixton in the 1960s, to being at the forefront of the emerging punk scene with X-Ray Spex in the 1970s, to finding faith with the Hare Krishna movement, to balancing single motherhood with a solo music career and often debilitating mental health issues, the book honestly and openly explores Poly's exceptional life, up until her untimely passing in 2011.
Based on interviews with those who knew and loved Poly whether personally or through music, this oral history book includes testimonies from Vivienne Westwood, Don Letts, Glen Matlock, Jonathan Ross, Neneh Cherry, The Slits' Tessa Pollitt, Thurston Moore, Jon Savage, and many others.
Heavily illustrated throughout including personal photographs, flyers from the punk scene and hand-drawn artwork and lyrics for X-Ray Spex and beyond the book beautifully captures Poly Styrene's creative and personal legacy, reminding us that if anyone had the power to turn our worlds dayglo, it was her.
‘The life and times of a true rebel, by those who knew her best… with a clear-eyed sense of honesty. She was a true artist and a genuine one-off, and Dayglo is the celebration she deserves.' Classic Rock, 8/10
‘A portrait of the singer-songwriter, visual artist and spiritual traveller. A richly illustrated oral history of the woman and her singular work. A complex, inspirational and moving story.’ Mojo
‘Lovingly compiled’ NME
Publication Date: 28.03.19
Extent: 192 pages
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