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Todd Slater: The Rock Poster Art Of Todd Slater

Inspired and occasionally brilliant band artwork.

Parts Pointillism, parts Impressionism, Todd Slater’s unique take on the humble gig poster will make your jaw go slack, your head spin and have you emitting a strange awed sound from somewhere in the back of your throat.

Slater works out of a converted garage on the fringes of Austin, Texas, and his artworks set a spark in the mind and have you fumbling for superlatives for them, which no doubt supersede, or at least rival, those for the gig you’re about to experience.

It would be easy to list favourites, and there are many; a Jane’s Addiction/NIN double-header is a clever nod to crime noir (think Sin City on a budget), and is both mischievous and startling. As too are the densely coloured screens for Patti Smith, Primus or Ween, although for a dozen different reasons.

As fellow poster designer Rob Jones observes in the book: “There is a lot going on through his artwork but nothing goes to waste. His artwork is intricate but also very bold. No stroke is wasted in pushing his narrative forward.” Too true, his florid colours have a surprising lightness of touch, and each piece echoes with the same sentiment: come on in. And you will.

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion. He ghosted Carl Barat’s acclaimed autobiography, Threepenny Memoir, and helped launch the BBC 6 Music network as producer and co-presenter on the Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show. Five years later he and Jupitus fronted the hugely popular Perfect 10 podcast and live shows. His debut novel, Cross Country Murder Song, was described, variously, as ‘sophisticated and compelling’ and ‘like a worm inside my brain’. His latest novel The Death And Life Of Red Henley is out now.