ROBIN STOREY / RAPOON – On the Borderline / A Dark Telling


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“On the Borderline” is two books in one: It’s an autobiography by Robin Storey, the musician best known as Rapoon. And it’s a comprehensive survey of his parallel career as a visual artist. Rounding out the package is compact disc containing all-new recordings, attached inside the front cover.

Robin Storey’s autobiography starts with a unvarnished review of his early years growing up in a hardscrabble village near the Scottish border, in the far north of England. He was often cold and hungry, dressed in second-hand clothes, foraging for wild mushrooms, or turnips and carrots pilfered from fields near his home, where he shared meals with his parents and four siblings. His introduction to art preceeded his experiments in music, both of which are examined in detail. He covers his days playing football, attending art school, meeting girls, dabbling in improvisational music, working as a graphic artist, living in a variety of precarious situations, and eventually finding himself making music as a co-founder of Zoviet France. Gigs around England and Europe followed, along with marriage, fatherhood, and a more settled existence.

The majority of the book is given over to a comprehensive review of Robin Storey’s output as a visual artist. His paintings regularly appear on the jackets of his albums, but only a fraction of his work has been widely published, and the second portion of “On the Borderline” is filled with page after page of rarely seen paintings and charcoal drawings. The images are grouped chronologically, allowing readers to appreciate the progress and evolution of his artistic style. There are more than 100 pages of color and black-and-white images, starting in the 1970’s and carrying forward into 2020’s. It’s an enchanting collection of sensuously drawn charcoal nudes, abstract or impressionist patterns evoking primordial landscapes, alien voyagers, and vibrating hallucinations usually visible only to ancient shamans.

“On the Borderline” is a hardcover book with 176 pages, most printed in color. Limited edition of 400 copies.

A new compact disc recording “A Dark Telling” is mounted inside the cover.

CD Track List:
1. Plains of Galeshtir
2. Somnathur
3. Train to nowhere
4. Varadyn
5. An arc descends
6. Someplace in…
7. Divaresh
8. Eyam Ath
9. Speak light and listen


I was born on the edge of nowhere in the far north of England, close to the Scottish border, in January 1955. This was the exact middle of the decade and only ten years after the end of the Second World War.
Reminders of the conflict were everywhere. Almost every
village had an airfield nearby and almost every farm had a chicken coop made from the nose cone of a C-47 Dakota
aircraft. Either the military sold off a lot of spare parts after the war or the farmers helped themselves to whatever was left lying around.
In Newton Arlosh, the village where I grew up, there were about a dozen surnames. Fairishs, Grahams, Bells, Armstrongs, Stampers and Wilsons, all these names belonged to the clans of the old Border reivers. These outlaws stole and plundered across the border throughout the late 13th century and during the next 400 years. Brothers, cousins, uncles, they all owned the farms around the village, and for many, the old rivalries and feuds lingered.
Douglas nose cones were not the only item that people in our area appropriated. Folks purloined anything that might be useful and put those items to work in other ways. Some gateposts may once have been part of a stone circle, many of the goodly shaped stones in their houses came from the goodly shaped stones of the Roman Wall, and so on. History was coerced into useful objects, so although it sometimes seemed like it, history didn’t actually stand still in this place.
We were the only Storeys in the village. We were part of a clan in those old days, but most of our kin now lived far to the east at the other end of the wall. I live in the east now too, in Newcastle, by the North Sea coast.
The sea on the west coast is not like the one on the east coast. The sea on the east coast flows down from the Arctic and is generally freezing cold, whilst the sea on the west flows
upward from the Gulf of Mexico and is much warmer. The western sea where I grew up was absent for most of the time and then twice a day, the tide would flow in across the vast marshlands and mudflats of the Solway Firth, and what had been earth would be covered by seawater with treacherous
undercurrents and sinking sands. Many people drowned here, caught by the swiftness of the rising water.

Review in Vital Weekly

Additional information

Weight 44 oz
Dimensions 12 × 8.6 × .8 in


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