Monday, 5 October 2015

C90 by James Josiah - a review

C90 is a tale of 2 mix tapes but also a tale of minor obsession and desperation, a tale of two sides.

When we first meet Ben in 1995 he is just on the verge of leaving school, taking exams and is making a mix tape for the probably unattainable Becky (who has decided to change it to Becki). There is hope here, he thinks the tape, the choice of song (and there are some crackers on it) will tell her how he feels. There is a lot of thought goes into the music and you do get a good feeling for the character of Ben. The thing is, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, at this point in his life (like many boys his age, myself included) he's a bit of a muppet. There were points in the story where I just wanted him to see the obvious before it's too late

And then we move on to 1999.

The Ben we meet here is now working in a factory, in a job he hates, and playing occasional gigs in a band. The mix tape this time is now for a car journey to next weeks gig. The music this time is from the metal end of the spectrum so not many songs I know but the same amount of care and concentration goes into putting it together.

This Ben has had problems with alcohol in the years since we left 'young Ben' but is now trying to stay clean.

 Overhanging this half of the story is the death in a motoring accident of a friend of Ben's and the upcoming funeral. There is a sense of loss to it and sometimes of futility but also a feeling that things may work out eventually.

At 68 pages this is only a short tale but it felt a lot more than that. There is depth to it that leaves me wanting to know more. Will Ben succeed in life, will there be more mix tapes, will he finally give Becky (yes, she's still around and seems to have gone back to spelling her name the old way) the mix tape she deserves?

C90 - a tale of love, loss and bangin' tunes


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