Artist and author Darren Coffield's (7-215) new book Tales from the Colony: The Lost Bohemia of Bacon, Belcher and Board is 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 most infamous arts establishment, the Colony Room Club in London’s 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 post-war 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 post-war 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. It was heroically bohemian and 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 post war 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Francis Bacon This is an oral biography consisting of previously unpublished and long lost interviews with the characters who were central to the scene, giving the reader a real flavour of what it was like to frequent the Colony Room 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 post war Soho scene, cwatch the film and pre-order your copy of Tales from the Colony: The Lost Bohemia of Bacon, Belcher and Board here: unbound.com/books/tales-from-the-colony