marc owen jones

Killing Coldplay

On the tube Stefan had felt reckless, now he feels cold and foolish. His green hair, spiked into a Mohican, drips dye down his back and is close to collapse. His God Save the Queen t-shirt, artfully slashed forty years ago, clings to his concave chest. He shuffles back into a doorway to avoid the rain, his gait restricted by bondage straps, and fiddles with the safety pin stuck through his left earlobe. The grey-sponge sky looks low enough to touch. Buses, cabs and bikes move at funereal speed, giving him a pulsing view of his destination. It is dwarfed between a sex shop and computer games store and its red awning seems to apologise for its lack of description. There nothing to indicate its significance, its history, its fame.

“To take ‘Killing Coldplay’ first [also as a side note, this title speaks to me in many, many ways], Jones’ short story is as passionate about its central themes as it is detailed. Here we have Stefan, a young guy in London looking to seek out his father’s past with the punk scene.

‘where Papa had bought all the clothes from Sid and Jordan, with Vivienne in the back and Malcom laughing at his accent’.

The details are gorgeous and well placed, the backstory with his father, the mini-romance with Anna, another who is seeking such history, is written with purpose. Eventually they end up at the 100 Club together, a sort of knock off version of the original thing [they are watching ‘The Sex Pistols Experience’], where Stefan ‘holds his arms wide, square set in a pool of beer and spit, and screams again, ‘Fick Dich’ and understands’. It’s a great piece, well-paced and well written.”

Storgy Magazine, Book Review – Emily Harrison, May 2019

Killing Coldplay (2,182 words) was published in Unthank Books’ Unveiled Anthology, May 2019

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