Gavin Friday – The Light and Dark

Gavin Friday – The Light and Dark

A documentation of the first four years of Gavin Friday’s solo career, published in 1991. Currently sold out. An updated version will be published in 2010.


NME – Gavin Martin
There’s always been an eccentric Euro cabaret strain to the solo work of ex-Virgin Prunes frontman Gavin Friday, so it’s not too surprising that a Dutch journalist as chosen to document his post Prune life. Which is surprising is that an artist as peripheral and irascible as Friday should be the focus for a book – he’s only made one LP and that hardly made a grand impact.
But thankfully, commercial considerations don’t get in the way of the author’s thoughtful, inquisitive approach. Through personal observation, interviews with former Friday associates, friends and Dublin pundits, she builds up a good picture of him and the peculiar environments that shaped him. Drawing on the traditions of Brecht and the pre-war German and Dutch cabaret scene, she sets Friday’s now defunct Blue Jaysus club and the music that grew out of it in a persuasive context.
Van Oosten is obviously something of an obsessive and this book is very much a fan’s labour of love. Her subject’s personality remains elusive throughout, a failing even though the book is meant to be a snapshot in time, not a biography. It manages to do that, conjure up the sights, sounds and smells of Friday’s hometown and give an insight to the alternative Irish music scene.

Music Collector
Expensively printed to the very highest quality. And the photo reproduction is meticulous, almost like art prints. Clearly someone has taken a great deal of trouble over the print quality, producing a work that is as much an art book as it is a biography. Gavin Friday – is a highly detailed affair. With such quotes from Gavin as: ‘I made more money out of painting than out of six years with Rough Trade!’, it’s certainly got a lot of appeal. Issued in a limited edition of 1000 copies, this is an excellent investment.

Evening Herald – Eamonn Carr
The Light and Dark is an impressive new book which documents the career of Gavin Friday since he quit the Virgin Prunes. Written by Dutch superfan Caroline van Oosten de Boer, it’s elegantly presented, with lots of interesting photographs, many of which were taken by the author. Essays by Irish writers John Waters and Patrick Lynch are included to help complete a picture of a unique artist at work in a city which he’s become very much a part of.

OOR – Sietse Meijer
It’s a remarkably accomplished piece of work. Taking into account it’s completely self published, it looks very professional, beautifully arranged. The pictures (by Steye Raviez, Roy Tee, Anton Corbijn and Lex van Rossen among others) are of the highest quality and the text is free of printing errors. On top of that, the book is remarkably well written.