'Entertaining, shocking, uproarious, hilarious . . . like eavesdropping on a wake, as the mourners get gradually more drunk and tell ever more outrageous stories' Sunday Times
'Riveting . . . An elegy to that vanished world . . . where people talked to each other and not just their mobile phones' Daily Mail
‘The escapist read I needed’ Guardian
'Wonderfully evocative' TLS
This is the definitive history of London's most notorious drinking den, the Colony Room Club in Soho. It’s a hair-raising romp through the underbelly of the post-war scene: during its sixty-year history, more romances, more deaths, more horrors and more sex scandals took place in the Colony than anywhere else.
Tales from the ColonyRoom is an oral biography, consisting of previously unpublished and long-lost interviews with the characters who were central to the scene, giving the reader a flavour of what it was like to frequent the Club.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.
Darren Coffield was born in London in 1969. He studied at Goldsmiths College, Camberwell School of Art and the Slade School of Art in London where he received his Bachelor of Fine Art in 1993. He has exhibited widely in the company of many leading artists including Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Patrick Caulfield and Gilbert and George at venues ranging from the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House to Voloshin Museum, Crimea. His work can be found in collections around the world. In 2003 his controversial portrait of Ivan Massow, former chairman of the ICA in full fox hunting costume, was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Portraits of George Galloway and Molly Parkin (NPG, 2010) followed, and most recently a depiction of former Miners Union leader Arthur Scargill made entirely from coal dust.
In the early nineties Coffield worked with Joshua Compston on the formation of Factual Nonsense - the centre of the emerging Young British Artists scene. A new book by Coffield about this period in British Art, Factual Nonsense: The Art and Death of Joshua Compston, was published by Troubador.
Coffield lives and works in London.
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14th January 2020BOOK LAUNCH: TALES FROM THE COLONY ROOM
SAVE THE DATE: 22nd April 2020, 6-9pm
EXHIBITION AND BOOK LAUNCH:
TALES FROM THE COLONY ROOM
Featuring: Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, John Deakin, Nina Hamnett, Isabel Rawsthorne, Daniel Farson, Harry Diamond, F N Souza, Sally Duxbury, Elinor Bellingham-Smith, Trog, George Melly, William Redgrave, Denis Wirth-Miller and many, many more...
30th October 2019Tales from the Colony Room: Soho's Lost Bohemia
The title of the book has changed to : Tales from the Colony Room: Soho's Lost Bohemia
The design for the cover is being finalised next week. The book will be going to print soon.
15th October 2019LAST ORDERS AT THE COLONY ROOM CLUB
LAST ORDERS: This is the final chance to have your friend or loved one's name printed for posterity as a patron in the Tales from the Colony Room book. But hurry you only have until 20 October to take up the offer.
5th March 2019PROGRESS REPORT
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…
17th January 2019Progress report
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.
9th November 2018Manuscript submitted
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.
25th October 2018101% funded. Thank You!
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.
5th September 2018Last leg
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.
9th July 2018Tales from The Colony talk at Sohemian Society
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
3rd July 2018The third milestone
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!
19th May 2018Over the hill?
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 :
Hi What's the authentication for the colony room carpet? Where's it been for the last 10 yrs?
It's an offcut of the club carpet. given to a member of the club's committee by Michale Wojas. It has been in a storage lock up for the last ten years and only recently came to light as they were clearing out the unit.
Darren, Please can you explain the difference between the two books and book bundle pledges. Are they all first editions or does the pledge dictate a different copy? Many thanks Tim
Hi Tim, Thanks for your question! The 'Two Books' level includes two unsigned hardbacks, and the 'Book Bundle' level includes two signed hardbacks. Both would have combines shipping to one address. I hope this helps! Unbound Support