I’ve a confession. I’ve never been to a rave! So when I was asked if I would like to be part of the launch celebrations for Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave by Richard Williams I simply couldn’t say no. My thanks to Julia Forster at Ruth Killick Publicity for inviting me. I’m delighted that Richard has agreed to stay in with me this evening.
Staying in with Richard Williams
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Richard. Thanks so much for staying in with me. I have a pretty good idea, but tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
Hi Linda! I’ve brought along Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave, published by Graffeg. It’s my debut novel.
(Oh, how brilliant. Congratulations.)
What can we expect from an evening in with Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave?
In a nutshell, the reader can expect a charming and gentle introduction into the world of rural Pembrokeshire and its characters, which then quickly escalates into an exciting plot and troubling sub-plots that seek to disrupt the adventure. The title may give the impression of a simplistic storyline; but there are a few surprises en route to the rave –suicide, murders and a good dose of old-world village humour.
(I love the sound of this. I must add Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave to my TBR!)
The stories in the book span generations and unlikely friendships are made between the village folk of Little Emlyn, who pull together to overcome adversity. Mostyn, a sixty-four year old debt-laden farmer is the main protagonist along with Jethro, a suicidal nineteen year-old rave DJ. They meet under precarious circumstances and hatch a plan to hold a rave on Mostyn’s secluded land to help pay off his debts. But dark events prevail en-route to the rave with the involvement of Weird Head, the loan shark to whom Mostyn is indebted.
A disparate cast of village waifs and strays are at hand to help: John the Ghost – an elusive farm worker who disappears each winter to probably work as a hitman; Chicken George –the local painter and decorator/village idiot; Boutros – a retired UN diplomat; Daisy – a surfing goddess with balls of steel,and Biscuits – Jethro’s troubled best friend.
(So a cast of quite ‘normal’ folk then!)
The novel probably falls into the crime thriller genre, with some funny moments (I hope). The key topics being the farming and rural community crisis of the early 1990s intertwined with rave culture, and the paradox these unlikely bedfellows produced.
(I think Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave sounds utterly brilliant Richard.)
What else have you brought along and why?
Since we’re having a stay-at-home-rave tonight (we’re no spring chickens any more), I’ve brought my record bag – filled with vinyl from the early rave days. Before I fire up the turntables we’ll crack open a few cans of Red Stripe, the beer of choice of the rave generation out west. Those that want to smoke can go outside.
(Those that want to smoke can go outside and at least half a mile away thank you!)
Our special guest for the evening is DJ Sasha, the man who inspired a generation with his inimitable style of pioneering house music that transformed the UK electronic music scene between 1992-1994, when he was dubbed “Son of God?” on the cover of Mixmag magazine, the raver’s bible.
I’ve put a few copies of Farmer’s Weekly magazine from 1994 in the WC in the hope my guests will peruse and learn a little about the significant issues faced by rural farming communities back then, and the impact those issues had on real people and families.
(I wondered why there was such a queue outside the downstairs loo!)
But mostly, tonight is about celebrating life out west in wild and woolly Pembrokeshire. We will discuss the virtues of community life there, how it has changed and how there is still hope for future generations through institutions such as the Young Farmer’s Clubs.
(Actually, to be serious a moment, it is really important to keep rural communities alive I think Richard.)
Here is the playlist for the evening. Since we’re at home it’s more of a post-club ‘after-party’ compilation of carefully selected tracks from the heady days when the novel is set. These tunes should wind us down and help us float on into the sunrise. Sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy!
The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds (Album Version)
Belfast – Orbital
Papua New Guinea (7” original) – The Future of Sound London
Smokebelch II (David Holmes remix) – The Sabres of Paradise
Gat Décor – Passion (Original Mix)
Jumbo – Underworld
Cowgirl (remastered) – Underworld
Shades of Rhythm – Sound of Eden (Original Mix)
Massive Attack Ft. Horace Andy – Hymn of the Big Wheel
(That should keep us going a while Richard…)
Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat about Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave Richard. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our evening in. Now, let’s get that music on!
Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave
When Mostyn, an ageing Pembrokeshire farmer on the brink of bankruptcy, runs into Jethro, a young raver, his fortunes appear to take a positive turn.
The pair secretly mobilise the locals of the village pub to help put on the greatest money-spinning event in the history of Little Emlyn: Lewistock.
The tension ramps up as the clock ticks down to the August bank holiday rave and young revellers begin to pour in from all corners of the county.
But things do not go to plan; moneylenders, drug dealers, the county council and the bank all set a collision course with Mostyn and Jethro.
It’s not clear who will get out alive…
Published by Graffeg on 8th November 2018, Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave is available for purchase here.
About Richard Williams
Richard Williams was raised on a dairy farm in north Pembrokeshire and was an active member of the rural rave scene in the 1990s. After studying development studies Richard worked as a technical writer at the newly-created Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. He later set up a chain of successful casual dining restaurants in Switzerland, where he now lives. Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave is his first novel.
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