Confessions of a Local Celebrity
by Mike Soret
(Belgravian Press, 190 pages, $10 softcover)
The smallest of the small presses can be the most fertile places to hunt for marginal voices; I think of margins as places filled with lost or undiscovered treasure.
Mike Soret’s memoir is good loot — his Confessions . . . begin in 1995, which is when he led (and eventually destroyed) a Vancouver-based revival swing band called The Molestics. Frankly, sometimes offensively, the book explores five or so years in the life of an unknown band trying to build its audience.
Labelled Dixieland-punk, or “hokum” music, the Molestics gained a reputation for putting on wild performances that focused on making memories over making fans. Soret writes: “My lyrics were never very clever, my horn playing never very good. But as an actor, I brought something.”
And as a memoirist, Soret brings more: with few prospects for any legacy, or enough royalty payments to buy rose-coloured glasses, he uses hindsight to zero in on the tragic-comic theatre of the music industry from the perspective of fleeting celebrity. It’s a reader’s good luck, he’s still putting on a good show.
- Review by Dan Evans