Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
Utopia Avenue might be the most curious British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, folksinger Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss, guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet and jazz drummer Griff Griffin together created a unique sound, with lyrics that captured their turbulent lives and times.
The band produced only two albums in two years, yet their musical legacy lives on. This is the story of the band’s brief, blazing journey from Soho clubs and draughty ballrooms to the promised land of America, just when the Summer of Love was receding into something much darker – a multi-faceted tale of dreams, drugs, love, sexuality, madness and grief; of stardom’s wobbly ladder and fame’s Faustian pact; and of the collision between youthful idealism and jaded reality as the Sixties drew to a close.
Above all, this bewitching novel celebrates the power of music to connect across divides, define an era and thrill the soul. David Mitchell’s seven novels include Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks. He has been shortlisted twice for the Booker Prize and lives in Ireland.