As for the Britpop movement, Haines may have damned it at the time, but is even less happy with its legacy. "The worst thing about that whole period was that, with the exception of Pulp, it kind of quashed any kind of eccentricity in British music. Britpop really flattened it all out and left us with these homogenous guitar bands. Nowadays it would be a lot harder for people like Vivian Stanshall or Ian Dury to come along. You'll never get a pottymouth cripple back on stages again, it's not going to happen."
Stephen Jelbert reviews for The Independent:
Yet it's this obliviousness to his own obnoxiousness that makes Bad Vibes such an entertaining read. At one point Haines recalls hanging out with Donna Matthews, just as she was forming the fleetingly popular, notoriously toxic band Elastica. A decade later he invited the now cleaned-up guitarist to support him on tour, only to find out that they wouldn't be exchanging old war stories, since Matthews had no recollection of even knowing Haines at the time. But his description of Matthews arriving in the Big City with just enough skag to corrupt the fresh and fruity metropolitans sharply references all those heroin(e)s of picaresque novels where ingénues go bad.
The Sunday Times gets Robert Sandall to have a look:
He ends up in hospital after a drunken brawl on the night the Auteurs' album misses out - by one vote - on the Mercury. Naturally insubordinate, he gets thrown off a UK tour supporting The The. He's equally rude to underlings: his attempt to break America comes unstuck after he quarrels with the management of the Auteurs' support act. Even the people Haines professes to like stateside, he can't get along with. His tour manager Gene, for example, “claims to be employed by our US record company, but I just can't imagine anyone paying this guy money and having to see him every day”.
Naturally, Record Collector's Jake Kennedy is most interested in the music:
Likewise, when referring to an album of Auteurs remixes as “fuckawful, seizure inducing amateurish meanderings”, he’s grateful that he retained the publishing rights as it goes on to “sell well in the States”. Alex James’ A Bit Of A Blur this is not…
Somewhat surprisingly, Amazon.co.uk reports that Haines is doing well amongst, erm, car part enthusiasts - many of whom, you suspect, are feeling that Haynes Manuals have lost their edge a little.