Darren Coffield's new book Tales from the Colony: The Lost Bohemia of Bacon, Belcher and Board

Thames-Side Studios based painter and author Darren Coffield's (Unit 7, Studio 7-215) new book Tales from the Colony: The Lost Bohemia of Bacon, Belcher and Board, the authorised history of London's most notorious drinking club, is out now. WARNING: This book contains strong language, sex, violence and extreme wit.

The Colony Room Club was London’s most infamous arts establishment and now former member Darren Coffield has written the authorised history of this notorious drinking den. It’s a hair-raising romp through the underbelly of the post-war scene: during its sixty-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 happen there, they were definitely on the premises.

In the regimented and repressed atmosphere of post-war London, the Colony was heroically bohemian, largely thanks to the dominant personality of its founder, Muriel Belcher, who became a combination of muse, mentor, critic and guru to those who gathered around her, and provided a home for the confluence of talents that will be for ever 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

Tales from the Colony Room is an oral biography, consisting of previously unpublished and long-lost interviews with the characters who were central to the scene, giving the reader a real flavour of what it was like to frequent the Club.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 the way 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, John Hurt, Barry Humphries, Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst and many, many more.

Tales from the Colony Room Soho’s Lost Bohemia, a new book by Darren Coffield with a foreword by Barry Humphries, 2020, hardback, signed copies available, £25 RRP.
Order your copy here talesfromthecolonyroom.com