Title: Nothing is Real – The Beatles were Underrated and Other Sweeping Statements About Pop

Author: David Hepworth

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Bantam Press

The Blurb

Pop music’s a simple pleasure. Is it catchy? Can you dance to it? Do you fancy the singer?

What’s fascinating about pop is our relationship with it. This relationship gets more complicated the longer it goes on. It’s been going on now for 50 years.

David Hepworth is interested in the human side of pop. He’s interested in how people make the stuff and, more importantly, what it means to us.

In this collection of essays written throughout his career, Hepworth shows how it is possible to take music seriously and, at the same time, not drain the life out of it. From the legacy of the Beatles to the dramatic decline of the record shop, from top tips for bands starting out to the bewildering nomenclature of musical genres, with characteristic insight and humour, he explores the highways and byways of this vast multiverse where Nothing Is Real and yet it is, emphatically and intrinsically so. Along the way he asks some essential questions about music and about life: is it all about the drummer; are band managers misunderstood; and is it appropriate to play ‘Angels’ at funerals?

As Pope John Paul II said ‘of all the unimportant things, football is the most important’. David Hepworth believes the same to be true of music and this selection of his best writing, covering the music of last fifty years, shows you precisely why.


The Review

My two loves in life are books and music. Combine them and I am in literary and musical heaven. Nothing is Real by David Hepworth was a brilliant read that collected some of his previous articles. Reading his articles, I felt envious about his experiences but enjoyed getting to live vicariously through him…and I would love to go through his vinyl collection.

Nothing is Real – The Beatles were Underrated and Other Sweeping Statements About Pop by David Hepworth is available now.

For more information regarding David Hepworth (@davidhepworth) please visit www.davidhepworth.com.

For more information regarding Bantam Press (@BantamPress) please visit www.bantam.press.


Christmas is all about families, as well it should be. However, the holidays bring with it tension, drama and good old fashioned family secrets.

When Thea’s parents, Anna and Mike, decide that they want one more big family Christmas before they permanently separate they guilt trip the whole family into joining them for a festive holiday in Cornwall. Along with the recently dumped Thea comes her sister Emily along with husband and two children and brother Jimi and his wife and teenage son. Everyone seems to have someone, reminding Thea once and for all that she is thoroughly alone.

Furthermore, the cottage becomes overrun with unexpected guests adding to the pressure and the tension to make this a good Christmas.

Will the family survive?


It Must Have Been the Mistletoe is a heart-warming tale of a slightly broken family. Each character seems to have their own reasons for trying to hold things together. The overly emotional Emily just can’t seem to win, feels like she is failing as a mother and wife whilst constantly finding fault with her husband, his role as father and how her children behave. She snipes at every opportunity and can’t understand why people aren’t as worried about things as she is.

Anna just wants things to be peaceful and has a grace and elegance that tends to offer a happy balance. However, she is no Superwoman and even the most graceful of birds can be knocked off their perch by their soon to be ex-husband’s bit on the side. Then she cannot complain when her toy-boy has unexpectedly shown up for her family Christmas, can she?

Then there is Thea who is nursing something broken inside of her. Yet she seems to spend more time almost sabotaging her own happiness by not seeing the woods for the trees.

These three women make up the protagonist list in It Must Have Been the Mistletoe and each one has a strength that is enviable. They carry the story with their strong personalities and likeableness. Overall, It Must Have Been the Mistletoe is comedic, warm and entertaining. Who among us hasn’t felt the pressure to get Christmas right? What Judy Astley has done is make a Christmas to remember for this family but she has also made a Christmas story worth reading for us humble readers. This is definitely one you want wrapped up under your tree on Christmas day.

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley is available now.

You can follow Judy Astley on Twitter @Judyastley

It Must Have Been te Mistletoe