If you’ve never been to a Word In Your Ear evening before, this is how it works. 

1174542_530554787014213_1246476187_nIt usually takes place at The Islington, which is helpfully located in Islington, not far from Angel tube station and King’s Cross.

The Islington is a comfortable little pub with a brilliant back room with a low stage which is ideal for the presentation of spoken word entertainment in front of seated audiences.

Word In Your Ear entertainment is usually provided by authors who written books around musical subjects talking to Mark Ellen and David Hepworth.

Our previo10488131_785319558204400_2298092153710349203_nus guests have included Danny Baker, Ben Watt, Simon Napier-Bell, Rick Buckler, Clare Grogan, Dylan Jones, Janice Long, Johnnie Walker and many others.

We usually talk around pictures which we display on their flat screen television handily placed between the sofas.


11052002_885151058221249_6274621762831476724_nWe start promptly at 7:30, pause for a break around 8:15 and the whole evening is over no later than 9:30, leaving you free to carry on with your normal life afterwards.

We record the whole thing for podcasting (wordpodcast.co.uk) but there’s no substitute for being there.

Our next one is on November 17th. Our guests will be: Jon Savage, the celebrated author of “England’s Dreaming”, who will be talking about his new book, which is all about 1966; we’ll also be talking to Howard Sounes, biographer of Bob Dylan and Van Morrison among others, who will be talking about his new book all about Lou Reed.


It’s the best quiet night out in London. You might be able to get a ticket here. If you can’t manage November 17th, make sure you get your name on the mailing list so that you get details of the next one.


Pictures from last night’s WIYE 80s at the Islington





We had a corking time at the Islington last night with special guests Clare Grogan, who was talking about her time in Altered Images, in movies and as the author of YA books about Tallulah and the Teen Stars, Dylan Jones of GQ and Janice Long of Radio Two who were talking about Live Aid almost exactly thirty years after the event. The podcasts of both will be with you soon. Keep August 25th and September 21st free for future unmissable WIYE evenings at the Islington and make sure you’re signed up to the mailing list.



Word In Your Ear 2014 season climaxes with Danny Baker, Smash Hits, Quantick and more


We’ve had brilliant words in your ear over the past few weeks with Danny Baker, whose highlight was an impression of Tommy Cooper which few who were there will ever forget, and Mark Frith and Sylvia Patterson talking about Smash Hits, the highlight of which was a live reading of an old Tom Hibbert flight of fantasy which was a live entertainment first.

Our next one is next Monday, December 15th, when David Quantick and Mark Billingham are going to be talking about their new book Great Lost Albums and Richard Balls is going to be talking about his history of Stiff Records. Plus, Mark Lewisohn, the world’s foremost Beatles expert, will be dropping in to tell us how he’s progressing on his mammoth three-part history of the Fabs.

It’s a cross between a Word podcast, a literary salon and a night down the pub. You can make sure you get the podcast here. You can get your tickets here.






One small step for Word In Your Ear, one giant stride for Monday nights in the pub

Benwattzoehow pic

Last night’s show was our best yet. Thanks to the people at the Islington we managed to get the visuals working and so we we could put on the kind of magic lantern show we’ve been wanting to do for a while. Zoe Howe, author of a new book about Stevie Nicks talked about Nicks’s songs, her insecurities, her shoes and her remarkable drive.  Then Ben Watt took us through the story of writing “Romany & Tom”, his acclaimed memoir of his parents, with some pictures from his personal collection.

On behalf of everybody on the stage I want to thank everybody who turned up for the contribution they made by giving everything that was said their undivided attention.

We’ll be putting these chats on line as podcasts and illustrated YouTube clips as soon as we can. If you want to make sure you don’t miss either go here and subscribe.



Stevie Nicks biographer Zoe Howe added to our Ben Watt live podcast recording

Stevie Nicks Visions Dreams and RumoursZoëFull

We’re delighted to say that Zoe Howe‘s joining us at our next Word In Your Ear Podcast recording at the Islington on September 22nd.  She’ll be talking to Mark Ellen and David Hepworth about her new book “Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams & Rumours” and her earlier experiences writing books about Wilko Johnson, the Slits, the Jesus & Mary Chain and rock star dads. The subjects of witches, hair products and the devil’s dandruff are bound to come up in what we confidently predict will be a lively display of insight and anecdotage.

Our star turn on the same night is Ben Watt, who’s going to be talking about his prize winning album “Hendra”, his justly-praised autobiographical works “Romany & Tom” and “Patient” and his many adventures in the music business.

It’s at The Islington, which is near The Angel. It’s got a terrific back room which lends itself to the live chat show format. The whole thing will be recorded for future podcasting but if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything you’d better get a ticket.


A Quiet Word with Ben Watt at the Islington

benwatt_studio1Ben Watt’s worn a variety of hats in the last thirty years: half of Everything But The Girl, solo artist, deejay, producer, club owner and independent label operator.

Ben’s had a new wave of acclaim in the last year, his solo record “Hendra” has won the Best Difficult Second Album award from AIM, and now “Romany and Tom”, his second autobiographical book, has been nominated for the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction, a prize which, as far I’m concerned, he ought to win.

On Monday September 22nd he’ll be with us at the Islington, talking to Mark Ellen and David Hepworth about all this and more and sharing some rare pictures with us. We’ll be recording the evening for a Word Podcast. If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, you’d better be there.

Tickets are £10 and available here.




An indiscreet podcast with Simon Napier-Bell – if you don’t want to miss any of it, you’d better be there

There’s not a lot you can say about pop music that isn’t true. Whatever your prejudices you’ll find in the history of pop music the evidence to support them. I don’t know whether Simon Napier Bell would call himself a cynic but since he’s the first person to write a history of pop music who’s also read a recording contract you could say it amounts to pretty much the same thing.

His new book, “Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay” is sub-titled “the dodgy business of popular music” so you couldn’t accuse it of having a hidden agenda. Napier Bell’s career goes back to the early sixties where he worked with Burt Bacharach on the soundtrack of What’s New Pussycat?, managed the Yardbirds and wrote the words for You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, and carried on through the seventies and eighties with first Japan and then Wham! whom he took on an unprecedented successful tour of China.

The book travels from the saucy song that provides its name through the minstrel shows of the turn of the last century and Elvis and The Beatles to the smoke and mirrors world of Live Nation and Pop Idol. It’s a vivid, wide-ranging history of just about every attempt to make money out of music since the 18th century and a tale as chock-full of rascals, rank opportunists and shameless twisters as you’ll find this side of a Mel Brooks farce.

Simon will be our guest in a special, never-to-be repeated live version of the Word Podcast on August 19th at the Islington in, er, Islington. On that night this world-class raconteur will be talking to world-class listeners Mark Ellen, David Hepworth and Fraser Lewry about his career and the colourful people he’s worked with. Some of it will be edited for further circulation via the podcast. The only way you can make sure that you don’t miss a single word is to be there.

Tickets are £10 and are on-sale here.

You can find out more about it here.