The authorised history of London's most notorious drinking club
WARNING: This book contains strong language, sex, violence and extreme wit.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the closure of London’s infamous arts establishment, the Colony Room Club in Soho, former member Darren Coffield has written the authorised history of this notorious drinking club. It’s a hair-raising romp through the underbelly of the postwar arts scene. During its 60 year history more romances, more deaths, more horrors and more sex scandals took place in the Colony than anywhere else. And if they didn’t actually happen there, they were definitely planned there.
In a regimented and sexually repressed postwar London, the Colony attracted professional drinkers to a man, woman or something in-between, since sexual non-conformity always played its part in the mix. The Colony was heroically bohemian and was created by two dominant personalities – that of its owner, Muriel Belcher, and the artist Francis Bacon. Muriel was a combination of muse, mentor, critic and guru to those who gathered around her. The Colony brought together the confluences of talents that would help define postwar London and will be forever associated with the artistic circle of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.
These ghastly English laws, you can’t have a drink, can’t do anything. Do you think they’ll ever change them?...I can take you up that awful Colony Room if you like. Francis Bacon
This is an oral biography, consisting of previously unpublished and long-lost interviews with the characters who were central to the scene, giving the reader a flavour of what it was like to frequent The Club.
With a glass in hand you’ll move through the decades listening to personal reminiscences, opinions and vitriol, from the authentic voices of those who were actually there. On your voyage through Soho’s lost bohemia, you’ll be served a drink by James Bond, sip champagne with Francis Bacon, queue for the loo with Christine Keeler, go racing with Jeffrey Bernard, get laid with Lucian Freud, kill time with Doctor Who, pick a fight with Frank Norman and pass out with Peter Langan. All with a stellar supporting cast including: Peter O’Toole, George Melly, Suggs, Lisa Stansfield, Dylan Thomas, Jay Landesman, Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst and many, many more.
To book your place on this extraordinary and scandalous romp through the postwar Soho scene, make sure you pledge and pre-order your copy.
Tuesday, 5 March 2019
Richard Collins, editor of Christopher Howse's Soho in the Eighties, has been hired to cast his critical eye over my manuscript for Tales from the Colony...
"It doesn’t need me to say it, but this is an outstanding compilation, a true social and artistic memoir of the richest kind, with moments of great sadness and absolute horror offset by those of extreme hilarity. Nostalgie de la boue indeed…
Thursday, 17 January 2019
Happy New Year!
The manuscript for Tales from the Colony was handed to the publisher before Christmas and I have spent the last two days looking at hundreds of photos of the club and its many members. I will be finalising the illustrations and sorting out the permissions for the book over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you once again for subscribing to the book.
Friday, 9 November 2018
Hi - Just finished the manuscript for the Colony book last night and emailed it off to the publisher.
As soon as we have finalised the manuscript I will let you know the publication date.
I am now making small caricature illustrations of the people featured in the book.
101% funded. Thank You!
Thursday, 25 October 2018
A huge thank you to everyone who has pledged for Tales from The Colony. I am just completing the manuscript now and it will be sent off to the publishers in the next couple of weeks. I will keep you all updated concerning the book's progress and the various Colony events I have in the pipeline.
Wednesday, 5 September 2018
Tales from the Colony is now 93% funded.
Thank you so much for your support!
If you know someone who might want to pledge and have their name published in the book as a patron there is still time.
Unfortunately once the book is 100% funded we cannot add anymore names as the book will be being published and distributed to retailers.
Tales from The Colony talk at Sohemian Society
Monday, 9 July 2018
Darren Coffield will be discussing, Tales from the Colony Room Club, from 7pm this Thursday at the Sohemian Society.
Venue: Sohemian Society, 1st floor, The Wheatsheaf, London W1T
The third milestone
Tuesday, 3 July 2018
Tales from the Colony is now two thirds funded.
A huge thank you to everyone who has pledged their support.
Please continue to spread the word as it will be impossible to publish the book without your invaluable help.
You are quite literally making history happen!
Over the hill?
Saturday, 19 May 2018
We have now passed the 50% mark. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported this unique and historic book. However we still need to raise another 46% to reach the target and publish the book. So please spread the word and forward the link to friends and family who I am sure will find the book of interest :
The book makes an ideal gift or present…
These people are helping to fund Tales from the Colony: The Lost Bohemia of Bacon, Belcher and Board.