Chris Walsh grew up in Middlesbrough and now lives in Kent. He writes both fiction and non-fiction, an example of which you can read here in May 2020's Moxy Magazine.
Chris's debut novel The Dig Street Festival will be published by Louise Walters Books in April 2021.
Chris tweets @WalshWrites
Chris's favourite novel is Stoner by John Williams and his favourite novella is The Death of Ivan Illyich by Leo Tolstoy. His top poet is Philip Larkin. He is also a fan of Spike Milligan.
The Dig Street Festival
"Awesome accomplishment" Tony Mortimer
Will be published in paperback and e-book on 15th April 2021. Early copies, signed when available, are now at the website bookshop.
Please enjoy page 100 of The Dig Street Festival...
Right there, on the stair, something dropped into my heart, and – to be fair – my loins. Something I’d hardly dared acknowledge: Lois. The pain! My legs turned to jelly, and I had to cling onto the bannisters for fear of passing out. She wanted me to go to her party! I somehow got to my room and put the key in the door. Once inside I pulled down my bed, and threw myself upon it like a middle-aged male Scarlett O’Hara.
Just then, the whole of Clements Markham House began to shake with deafening heavy metal, which did rather kill the love-boat mood. I’d completely forgotten: Monday was band practice day. As if Gabby’s love of thrash metal wasn’t bad enough, he also dabbled in musicianship with two friends, Marcus and Barney, young men of a similar disposition whom he’d met at Leytonstow Jobcentre on one of his trips there to get free money from Beryl.
I should have encouraged them, but it irritated me how seriously Gabby and his friends took the band. Of course, it wasn’t lost upon me that this irritation was partially born of the fact that we weren’t all that dissimilar – they emulated rock gods just as I did Scott of the Antarctic. For this reason alone, I should have been more tolerant. But for me, Scott was just a hobby, and I knew it. For Gabby, Marcus and Barney, on the other hand, the band, an entity with no financial (or musical) value whatsoever, represented a deeply serious, and imaginary, multi-million-dollar enterprise.
I sighed. The lads were simply having fun. I was an old bore. By way of penance I decided to pay them a visit. As I climbed the stairs to the top floor the waves of sound coming from Gabby’s room became ever less tolerable. It was no use knocking; the door itself was hanging on for dear life. I opened it carefully. The effect was akin to explosive decompression at 35,000 feet. Gabby and his boys were headbanging in sync with such commitment and energy that it almost looked as if they were going for a circuit-training world record.