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Live at the Front Page

The story of a legendary music club

Martin Lawson


‘Live at the Front Page’ is the true story of a little cellar music club where everyone loved to play. It includes authentic and untold comic moments in the musical story of the city of Carlisle from the sixties to nineties.
Jazz legend Ronnie Scott, sixties and seventies superstar Steve Marriot, Cream bass player Jack Bruce, and Pentangle founder Bert Jansch are just a few of the dozens of musicians whose stories intertwine with the Thatcher era of the 1980s. It is told through the eyes of the club’s joint owner who also worked as a journalist covering the industrial strife caused by the miners’ strike.

Mark Knopfler contributes his own thoughts about his background and influences during what he calls the ‘wilful’ destruction of the North’s industrial heritage.The surviving member of the Zimbabwean band the Bhundhu Boys, who made their English debut in the club, tells the tragic story of a group of young musicians wiped out by HIV.

In the background is a unique social experiment which controlled the entire city’s drinking habits, and shaped attitudes to the arts and entertainment for three generations.It is a modern musical history of Carlisle and a story of triumph over adversity during a decade in music, politics and social upheaval which influences life in Britain to this day.






Publication Date:

2020 October


Paperback; 210 148pp




Black and white photographs throughout