From Shrug to the Moon… The Robert Nichols Story by Steve Spithray was launched officially last week at Base Camp with a brilliant, funny and enthralling exchange between Rob and lively radio host Bob Fischer.

Rob Nichols, illustrious singer in post-punk heroes Shrug, consummate editor in chief of Middlesbrough FC fanzine, Fly Me To The Moon, and all-round Teesside legend, has been a stalwart in the town’s football and music scenes since taking his first tentative steps at Ayresome Park in the mid-1970s, and then with Middlesbrough Music Collective in 1985.

Rob is also a popular figure amongst the town’s Park Run and archaeological communities and has worked for Middlesbrough Council as an Events Officer, as well as on a freelance basis on many cultural and historical projects throughout the region.

The biography, written by music journalist and freelance writer Steve Spithray, tells Rob’s story in his own words, with contributions from many of the friends and acquaintances he has made along the way from Linthorpe Village to Eindhoven with Boro and Marton to East Berlin with Shrug.

As Rob says in the book, “We just rocked up at Checkpoint Charlie with our passports, went through and played this gig in East Berlin.”

Author Steve Spithray has written for NARC Magazine, God Is in the TV, Tees Online and Corridor8 visual arts magazine amongst others, and recently had a piece of original creative writing published in Contemporary Lynx magazine stocked throughout Europe and North America. Steve also interviewed James Arthur and Amelia Lily for the cover of Middlesbrough Council’s flagship Love Middlesbrough magazine. From Shrug to the Moon is Steve’s debut non-fiction book.

Steve says, “While on the surface this is a book about Robert, it is ultimately a book about you and me, and about Teesside and its people.”

Featuring a foreword by Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, the book is available at local bookshops or online at Amazon in paperback and Kindle.