BACK in 1980, The Stranglers started to play a gig at Nice University. The power failed and there was a riot.

Three of the band, bassist JJ Burnel, guitarist Hugh Cornwell and drummer Jet Black, were arrested for ‘inciting’ the riot.

The following week, mostly spent in cells in the Nice police station and the Maison d’Arret (Nice prison).

Jet Black later wrote an account of the events in a small publication entitled ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.

Thirty years on, Jet has revisited ‘Much Ado’, and with the help of more information as to the background of the events that took place, he had enlarged upon his earlier work.

The result is 152 pages of revelations as to why the French University riots of 1980 took place and why, a notorious English rock-group, became a scape-goat for the authorities.

Jet’s humour is evident throughout, as well as his utter incredulity of how the three band members were treated and the conditions within the French jail system.

Not only is it a damn’ good story – told clearly and simply – but it is a lucid and concise analysis of a troubled period in the French educational system.

My only criticism of this book is that it’s so short. Jet could have included more input from the rest of the band, but he tells the story from his point of view.

Honest and to the point.

“Much Ado About Nothing” was excellent in it’s way, but “Seven Days In Nice”, with it’s added detail, is much better.

Published by Coursegood Books and available from The Stranglers website: