I shook his shoulder. ‘All right? You all right, Dave? Dave?’
He leaned his head back and closed his eyes hard, as he clenched his fists and started beating them against the wall.
‘We need to get you to a hospital,’ I said.
‘Nah, fuck that. Let’s just get away from here.’
We walked on through the rain. He still limped but seemed a lot less injured than I had feared. He said nothing, and I was silent too.
At four o’clock in the morning I dragged him up the staircase and into my hotel room.
In December 1979, Thomas returns to suburban Copenhagen after a year in London, where he has been playing organ in a New Wave band. Before long he meets an old school mate, Henrik, and they decide to form a band to bring the partly modern, partly retro-orientated style of Mod music to Denmark. There are long flashbacks to Thomas’ experiences in London during the now legendary 1979 Mod Revival, including the making of the film Quadrophenia. But that era is now over and gone, and Thomas decides to remain in Denmark, although he sees the country as hopelessly stuck in the Hippie era. Meanwhile, he strikes up a relationship with Mia and begins studying at university. However, things get muddled up, the band is drowning in bad gigs, and in the midst of it all Thomas gradually becomes aware of a dark family secret.
Claes Johansen (b. 1957) is one of the most prolific Danish writers of his generation. He is bilingual and has so far published 40 books in Danish and English, written several plays for the Danish and Irish State Broadcasting Corporations and carried out work for several British record labels. He has also played in record-releasing New Wave/Mod Revival bands the Squad and Route 66. Claes Johansen moved from Denmark to England in 1992 and today lives in Ireland along with his wife, with whom he has three daughters.