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Ivor Cutler

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Ivor Cutler: A Life Outside the Sitting Room is the first biography of one of post-war Britain’s most recognisable authors, poets and performers. Mr Cutler (as he preferred to be known) wrote and recorded some of the most unusual and memorable songs and poems in British popular culture, including the hilarious and unsettling 'Life in a Scotch Sitting Room' series. Described by fans and commentators as an outsider because of his eccentric behaviour on and off stage, in many ways he was an insider, working for thirty years as a primary school teacher, gathering a body of fans from the heart of the cultural and social establishment, and regularly appearing on mainstream media – he was one of the first, if not the first, performers to appear on BBC radio 1, 2, 3 and 4 and famously recorded more John Peel sessions than any other act except The Fall.

This book is based on evidence from official documents, print and broadcast media; archive interviews with Ivor Cutler, his close friends and family, fans and collaborators; and new interviews with fans, friends and fellow performers, including musical and acting collaborators who have never previously been interviewed about their experiences with Mr Cutler.

Published: Jun 1, 2023


Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
Introduction Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 2
Return to Y'Hup Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 3
Early Years Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 4
A Life in the Clouds Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 5
Back to School Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 6
A Life of Whimsical Fantasies Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 7
When Life was Fab Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 8
Life Inside the Sitting Room Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 9
A Life on the Page Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 10
On Stage, Screen and Radio Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 11
Long Players Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 12
Ivor for Hire Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 13
Covering Mr Cutler Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 14
A Life Outside the Limelight Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 15
Life After Life Bruce Lindsay
Chapter 16
"I Will Become a Hermes" Bruce Lindsay


Bruce Lindsay will be on Great Lives 27 April talking about Ivor Cutler: