In Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, in the seventies, nothing happens. Every day. Teenagers Declan Lydon and his trusted friend Spit Maguire stand under lampposts waiting to be overtaken by some hormonal storm, to be enveloped by strange women, to finally make some connection with the glorious, glamorous world they know is out there somewhere. Their salvation comes through music. When, miraculously, Thin Lizzy come to town, Declan goes in to the concert in his brown cardigan and emerges wearing a black leather jacket-Sophisticated Boom Boom is a tender, hilarious account of the agonies and absurdities of growing up in a backwater of pebbledash and Space Invaders. Crucially, though, this is a love-letter to the period and the place, and to the liberating, healing power of music that galvanises and transforms.
John Kelly was born in 1965 in County Fermanagh. He works as a writer and broadcaster. He is the author of The Little Hammer, published by Cape in 2000. Married with one daughter, he lives in Dublin.