Tag Archives: Francis Kemp

Mod in Glasgow – An Evening with Francis Kemp


I’m enclosing a copy of Mod in Glasgow, Francis Kemp’s memoir: you’ll anticipate, I’m sure, passages that will irritate and, not infrequently, repel the sensitive reader. (My own particular quibbles are boastfulness, name-dropping and the frequency with which Francis refers to himself as ‘yours truly’.)

Elisabeth, to whom I sent several chapters, also identified a ‘dark strain of misogyny’, though this seems a point of view dictated by her dislike of the author rather than any evidence gleaned from the book.  (Francis is a product of his era: you’d find similar attitudes, even more crudely expressed, in any number of films and novels from the period. I’m sure there are female equivalents whose yearning to be free is a source of consternation to those who’d like to control them.)

Revisions are certainly required – the dog-poisoning episode on page 67 is particularly hair-raising – but there’s potential, I think, for a one man show: Francis is better heard than read – I can see him in a facsimile of his sitting room, surrounded by memorabilia, regaling the audience with self-congratulatory anecdotes interspersed with appropriate records. Depending on demand, we might even stretch to Karen Keddie’s Exus Trek Dancers to accompany him between the ’60’s and the present.

In the wake of the Lomond Sound debacle, of course, the main problem might lie in locating venues in which he’s not persona non grata.

I’d be grateful for any suggestions.