Finally, former NME journalist Neil Taylor is about to release his in-depth book about C86 and the true story of the indie underground. The book is an in-depth exploration of the post post punk culture and the fascinating scene at the time.

For more information go to the website
Pre-order price is £15 (p&p free) UK for Trade Paperback, £20 (Rest Of World), and £20 (p&p free) UK for Ltd Edition Hardback, £25 (Rest of World)

Neil Taylor
November 30 2017, £17.99 Trade Paperback, £6.99 E Book

Cheap guitars, charity shop clothes, the Miners’
Strike, Thatcher and The Cold War … Welcome to the alternative ‘80s

C86 & All That: The Creation of Indie In Difficult Times comprehensively documents the rise of indie during the socially-divisive 1980s, tracing its ancestry out of Post Punk, Neo Psychedelia, Anarcho Punk, Garage, Trash and Goth and on to the landmark compilation C86 in the spring of 1986.

The Smiths were flag-bearers for the scene, the Jesus & Mary Chain bête noires threatening an ever more-bland music establishment. They were joined at the barricades by hundreds of others – the Wedding Present, the Shop Assistants, the Pastels, the June Brides, Primal Scream, the Membranes, Bog-shed, Big Flame and the Loft, to name a handful. New labels, clubs and samizdat fanzines publications sprang up to document the scene.

The book casts an eye over a period when indie was a passion not a brand, and places its rise firmly in the context of the turbulent political times. Based on primary source material – including scores of forgotten fanzines -it also draws in the views of many of the key players, opening a window on a period that, with its parallels, resonates strongly today.

Neil Taylor co-compiled C86 and is the author of Document & Eyewitness: An Intimate History Of Rough Trade. Since the 1990s he has worked in publishing.

‘Neil Taylor – the man who gave us help when help was needed. Enough said….’

Alan McGee

‘By cutting across the political and pop landscapes of the troubled 1980s, Neil Taylor unlocks new insights into how Post Punk dealt with the brutality of the Thatcher years and the hopelessness of the cause to keep kids positive: and I know, because I was there’

Greg Keeffe

‘Post Punk is where the action was when the generation of youth who had their minds scorched by Punk started to apply their own interpretation to music and culture. In this creative free for all barriers were broken and a fervent underground existed way beyond the mainstream. Neil Taylor has taken a dive into this bricolage culture and come up trumps as he tries to make sense of the senseless when a generation thought that music could change the world’

John Robb

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Hi, John. Whilst it’s great that you’ve promoted and reviewed this historically important book, I think it should me pointed out (and reported on Louder Than War – are you up for it?!) that 200 people pledged their hard-earned cash to Neil via a Kickstarter campaign https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/826456098/c86-and-all-that-indie-1983-86-a-history/posts/2019846?ref=backer_project_update
    back in 2014 but many have not yet received any of the promised C86 ‘goodies’ (including the finally completed book). Not only has Neil not responded to emails, Facebook messages and Kickstarter comments over the pat three years, he is now only responding to people who want to pay up for the recently completed book. For those of us who were there at the beginning of this project it is galling to know that there are people who now have the book (and other ephemera – postcards etc.) before those of us who already paid for them over three years ago! P.S. Looking forward to seeing The Membranes and The Cravats this Saturday!

    • Sorry about this lee – I will email Neil now – I’m sure there is a reason for all this! lets chat on Saturday – ae you getting there early?

      • I’d really appreciate you passing on a reply/response from Neil regarding the Kisckstarter rewards – I sincerely hope there’s a legitimate reason for him not responding to recent messages. I should hopefully be at the Flapper @ around 7pm if you have any answers!

      • We are still waiting on your response John. Or has he blanked you as well those who paid out many thousands of pounds back in 2014 and have been treated with total disrespect and diabolical rudeness. Interesting he’s been sending out product to new buyers and sending freebies to his musician mates and bloggers. Hmmm.
        How about an article on that aspect of Mr Taylor.

  2. Hi again. Sorry I missed having a chat with you last weekend (GREAT performance BTW), I ended up getting to the gig later than expected due to public transport problems1 Any news from Neil?

    • thanks Lee – wish we had met up but its always mayhem at the end of a gig – not heard back from neil yet but will speak to him next week – I’m sure this can all be sorted out…

      • Hmmm, still waiting for a response from Neil then John?
        So much for that old punk/new wave/alternative ethic. Same old, same old ‘f*** the public’ approach to doing commerce.
        What is it now? 55 days since boxed sets would be with us in 14 days….after, what, nearly four years of waiting?

        • Andrew, I passed your message on. there’s not much more I can do really as it’s Neil Taylor’s pledge and nothing to do with me. Could you try emailing him again?

          • I think what we’re most pissed off about over this is the fact we (the Kickstarter funders – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/826456098/c86-and-all-that-indie-1983-86-a-history) helped finance the C86 book, CD and ‘exclusive’ t-shirts three years ago and have received nothing, while Neil continues to sell these items (and make extra money) on Facebook/Twitter to anyone with a Paypal account. He’s ignoring emails and Facebook messages and has even deleted Facebook comments and blocked people who have politely asked when they’ll be receiving the items they paid for back in 2014. I for one was hoping for a Louder Than War expose on the charlatan that Neil Taylor has, disappointingly, turned out to be…

          • Lee – it’s not my pledge – it’s neil taylor’s pledge and I did mention to him about the orders and he said they had been sorted – theres not much more I can do – I’ve spoken to him about it a few times – if it was my pledge then it would be right to speak to me about it but it’s not.

  3. Hi John. Did you hear back from Neil? There are still a number of fed up people on the Kickstarter site – someone has even threatened to contact the police via Action Fraud online! All the best.


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