Tales of Aggro is a character-driven story from Matteo Sedazzari set in Shepherd's Bush/White City, West London, spanning almost 40 years.
As regular readers of our journal will know, we always like to spread the word about carefully crafted things we love and think you too — this time, it's a book. Not just any book, but a 'must-read' in our valued opinion.
It's a collection of short stories interlinked and all related to a likeable bunch of rogues, written in a fast-moving style that perfectly captures the camaraderie, banter and escapades of "ordinary people getting up to extraordinary adventures."
Following on from his debut novel, A Crafty Cigarette (Tales of a Teenage Mod) which was met with great critical acclaim, Matteo has crafted yet another tale where the Character's primary interests are very close to the heart of all at Gents of London. Fashion, music and loyalty!
Described by none other than Irvine Welsh as "A real slice of life told in the vernacular of the streets," - Tales of Aggro ( TOA) follows the adventures of The Magnificent Six, Oscar De Paul, Eddie the Casual, Dino, Quicksilver, Jamie Joe and Honest Ron.
If it's good enough for Brick-Top (Alan Ford) - who are we to argue!
The story is told from the perspective of each one and so skilfully written it's impossible not to identify with them.
From school days onwards, the journey encompasses early Mod revivalists to casuals, Skinheads and all that is associated with growing up and striving to be someone.
Although a work of fiction, the brilliantly cultivated characters and street smart dialogue make it feel all real and relevant.
The streets of West London come to life. They are accurately used to take the reader on a journey that follows youth culture, petty crime, violence, brushes with the law/girls, music, clothes and the interaction that only a tight-knit group of mates can have with each other.
Although the "Magnificent Six" are the glue that holds the story together, we are introduced to characters who provide their input into chronicling what Mod Revivalists The Chords described in 1980 as a "British Way Of Life."
Rick Buckler, Drummer - The Jam
From Rockin Wilf (Eddie's uncle), we get an insight into the widespread Police Corruption of the 1970s. Whereas Stephanie ( Oscars on and Off Love interest) is a wannabe pop star in a band thrown together in a bid to rival The Spice Girls and proves that it's not just the likely lads from W12 you need to be wary of as she tells a bandmate …
"Don't Fuck with a White City Girl"!!
Spanning the decades, with chapters written in the first person, TOA is a book that sits proudly in the Gents of London Barbershop waiting area.
Laugh out loud funny, exciting and above all, written with real warmth and passion for London and the Character's making their way through this tale and life itself.
Highly recommend next time you're looking for a new read, you won't be disappointed.
Words by Richie Kyle