Discombobulated – Dispatches From The Wrong Side

A deranged literary romp through some of the planet’s finest gutters and discos…

Eva Oyon

Date published: 8th Mar 2010

From Las Vegas to Moscow, New York to Shanghai, Discombobulated features fifty unbelievably wrong tales of high living and international low-cost slumming.  On the Wrong Side, the modus operandi is as follows: you combobulate, then you go to a disco and shortly after… you discombobulate.
In the course of the 50 beats that make up this discordant operetta of Dispatches, Simon has had a gun held to his head by multiple murder and celebrity gangster Dave Courtney; gone raving in Ibiza with Judith Chalmers; found himself trapped in a gimp bar in Leipzig; sung happy birthday to Kylie Minogue; been deported from Russia; travelled from white heights of the Alps to the lowest of low-slung gutters in Brazil and Kuala Lumpur, and still picked himself up in time to have a cup of tea with Take That, leading Howard Donald to remark: “getting the band back together was really something but nothing could come close to having a cup of tea in Stockport with Simon”.


Although trained academically, with a Masters Degree in Novel Writing, Simon long ago accepted he had stepped over to the Wrong Side - the wrong side of the tracks - and become a disco desperado, destined to pursue the beat into the outer reaches of the cultural supernova and then dispatch his findings back to the pages of the Right Side, reality itself.  In a career in journalism that has spanned 15 years, he has worked as the editor of Ministry of Sound’s Ibiza magazine, presented TV and radio and also penned the long-running columns Around the World in 80 Clubs and Dispatches for DJmag.  “It’s his job to take the temperature of the hottest parties on the map,” said Judge Jules in a Radio 1 programme, and it’s one he has undertaken dutifully.  In the last few months he has been published in Mixmag, Clash, i-DJ, Tilllate, Shortlist, Hotline and the Manchester Evening News.


Collected together for the first time, these 50 beats and pieces have been grouped thematically, and musically, into happy-hour bars, covering travel, celebrity, music, pop culture, politics and the varied wonders of inebriation… with the somewhat wonky results illustrated in full colour within the centre pages.  Why?  Well, as Simon once graffitied onto the walls of Zouk, Singapore:

Because life is a disco…
…And then there’s always the after party