Welcome To The Heady Heights by David Ross – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Welcome to the Heady Heights …

 It’s the year punk rock was born, Concorde entered commercial service and a tiny Romanian gymnast changed the sport forever.

Archie Blunt is a man with big ideas. He just needs a break for them to be realised. In a bizarre brush with the light-entertainment business, Archie unwittingly saves the life of the UK’s top showbiz star, Hank ‘Heady’ Hendricks’, and now dreams of hitting the big-time as a Popular Music Impresario. Seizing the initiative, he creates a new singing group with five unruly working-class kids from Glasgow’s East End. Together, they make the finals of a televised Saturday-night talent show, and before they know it, fame and fortune beckon for Archie and The High Five. But there’s a complication; a trail of irate Glaswegian bookies, corrupt politicians and a determined Scottish WPC known as The Tank are all on his tail…

A hilarious and poignant nod to the elusivity of stardom, in an age when making it’ was ‘having it all’, Welcome to the Heady Heights is also a dark, laugh-out-loud comedy, a heart-warming tribute to a bygone age and a delicious drama about desperate men, connected by secrets and lies, by accidents of time and, most of all, the city they live in.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Welcome to the Heady Heights was a refreshing read and just what I needed after some I have read recently. It takes place during the heatwave in 1976, a summer I remember well, in Glasgow. Archie, the lead character was a brilliant creation. Working class, widowed, out of work, caring for his father, and he has conversations in his head with Jim Rockford from the TV show The Rockford Files. He also has dreams about his future as a pop group manager after convincing  Heady who is the host of a talent contest that they can do it. The minute that Heady was introduced I imagined him looking like Tony Angelino from Only Fools and Horses. For those who don’t know him he was a night club singer who changed his appearance completely for his stage act. I imagine though that the similarity ends there. 

It isn’t only about the talent show scene. There is focus on the lifestyle of the working class. The alcohol and chip shop meals consumed. The larger than life characters and the untouchable wealthy. There is a journalist who refuses to stop asking questions and there is a female police officer who refuses to just be there to make tea. It’s very funny, and with the help of google at times in translating some of the Glaswegian slang it made an entertaining read. But alongside the humour there is also sadness. Archie’s loyalty to his father and the memories of his wife especially. It is a long time since I’ve read anything like it.