Knaresborough man's music book tops UK charts

Book launch - Knaresborough's Rory Hoy with BBC 6Music presenter Craig Charles.
Book launch - Knaresborough's Rory Hoy with BBC 6Music presenter Craig Charles.

A Knaresborough DJ’s history of 1990s dance culture has sold out online after receiving rave reviews – no pun intended.

Rory Hoy’s The Little Big Beat not only includes interviews with internationally renowned acts, his book has now been praised by them.
DJ Regal of The Wiseguys, the British electronic duo whose Ooh La La single was a number two chart hit in 1999, described is as “awesome” and said “it was great to finally read the story of the scene’s glory years.”


Published by New Haven, Rory’s book was only released a fortnight ago but has already sold out on Amazon and is winning international recognition.

He's even been interviewed about the book by Craig Charles on BBC 6 Music.


Not bad considering the contemporary Big Beats and House DJ Rory was worried originally that his labour of love, which includes 120 interviews with the likes of The Prodigy and Fatboy Slim, might never see the light of day.


Rory said: “I’ve had support recently from radio stations all over the UK and the USA but I didn’t hold out much hope it would get published when I first approached potential publishers. By happy accident the deputy managing director and head of editorial of the first firm I approached came back to me straight away as he had been a Big Beat DJ back in the day.
“He suggested I contact an author who has had a lot of music books published, which I did, and he suggested New Haven, who specialise in books on music.”


Currently on sale in Waterstones, including the Harrogate branch, Rory has already been interviewed about it on BBC Radio 6 Music by DJ Craig Charles.
An entertaining, lively and honest read, reflecting Rory’s own dynamic character as a DJ, The Little Big Beat Book was a far bigger book at first.


Rory said: “I conducted too many interviews with DJs, musicians, record labels, journalists, management and agents about their memories of the time.
“One person would recommend another and it just snowballed. The original manuscript ended up more than 500 pages long, so I had to cut it down to under 300.”


Rory’s book tells the story of the Big Beat music scene in the 1990s, days when acts like The Chemical Brothers and independent labels like Skint Records ruled the waves.
Even lesser-known acts such as The Propellerheads were so big they would be asked to sprinkle magic dust on artists of earlier eras such as Dame Shirley Bassey.


As befits real life, the arc of the book rises then falls, before bringing the reader right up to date with Big Beat’s legacy in the present day. By the later 1990s/early 2000s Big Beat music was providing the soundtrack for the world of advertising and films, as well as outdoor festivals and music venues.


Rory, who has been DJ-ing every weekend since May at festivals across the UK, said: “Somewhere along the line the genre got a massive backlash from critics, leading to a quick and painful death. Big Beat had become a victim of its own success.”

But, despite the scene’s ultimate demise, he says it’s a positive story overall.
He said: “It’s a celebratory and sometimes humorous look at a music scene which was short-lived but has had a very big impact. Several of the biggest players such as Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers still do arena tours today.”

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