The Killers : Vagabonds and Victims
by Jimmy Ramsay (Independent Music Press)

You might think it a bit early for a book about the 'history' of The Killers. You might be right. When the most exciting thing to happen to them so far seems to be the drummer falling off his stool when their recording studio was hit by a minor earthquake, maybe it is too early to say of 'Mr Brightside' that it features "one of the great opening rock riffs of all time, no question".

However, despite the lack of material to work on, Ramsay does a fine job researching the origins of the band, and is especially good at tracing their British influences, both the well known and the unheard of - does anyone know anything about The Chocolate Speedway Riders, as they look a damn sight more interesting than The Killers?! He tells the story of how Brandon Flowers and co rose from being unknowns at home, unable to get a gig in Las Vegas, to playing to 3 billion people at Live 8 with enthusiasm, knowledge and humour, making this more than a coffee table book - indeed the few pictures included are rather disappointing, I'd have liked to have seen some early band pix or some photos of Brandon Flowers as a baby.

For those obsessed with The Killers this will no doubt add to their supply of happiness; however, how much it will add to their knowledge is another question, as there seems to be very little original content here, most of it coming from other sources such as the music press. And speaking as someone who is not a massive fan, it has sadly failed to convert me or persuaded me even to dig out some of their recordings.

And only time will tell if this book will still be relevant in a year or two - it strikes me however that time is not something that writers of such flavour of the month books are given a lot of.

Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T

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