I’m not sure I’ve ever done the Bad Books justice in writing about them. They’re just one of these bands for me which has just clicked.
Hear them live and they’re very accessible, yet once you get to know the songs they’re perhaps a little more complicated than you might think. Which is undoubtedly a good thing.
They’re my favourite new band of the last 18 months and they were the absolutely selfish pick for this weekend’s A Brighter Beat – regardless of whether or not the rest of the family liked them. (Turns out they do!)
Whilst they’ve been featured a lot on here this year, there are signficant changes on the horizon, so ahead of Sunday it seemed a decent idea to get the inside track on these.
But having suitably failed miserably to how much I like these guys, I thought I’d let them describe themselves for the uninitiated.
Andrew Brodie (drums): “Noise and beauty in equal measure – one thing about recording is that you get to really hear what everyone is playing. There are some awesome guitar & bass parts in there, that from my point of view were usually obscured by a wash of cymbals & snare drums. Good work lads!”
Graeme Anderson (vocals, guitar, keys): “I definitely agree with the noise bit but hope that a bit of melody sneaks in there too! I’d like to think that people would leave our performance with a toe – tapping, chorus ringing & knee knocking feeling in their body.”
Edge (aka Michael Morrison – guitars, guitars, guitars): “The success of the band on immediately after us is the main performance barometer we follow. Are they doing really well? Aye. Okay, let’s try and beat them. Musically. There’ll be beards, rock music, technical hitches, massive charisma, uplifting music (like Cher but dead Scottish) and some level of audience participation.”
Last week the band announced from stage that they’ll be changing their name.
Andrew: “Essentially we didn’t think it was fair on the other Bad Books. They have spent time putting together their two albums & touring… do we really want to come along & steal their thunder?It’s about putting yourself in their shoes sometimes – so we did the right thing.”
Graeme: “Yeah it’s a bit gutting to have to change it as I like it a lot. We’re currently having stone, scissors paper style face offs to decide. You want to get involved, manic Mike – any suggestions?”
Edge: “Yeah, gutted. The actual Bad Books are doing alright for themselves so it was only fair to revert to our initial name: 3 Men & A Graeme. We knew they existed from the off, but we only intended to play one show so it didn’t really matter what we were called. Thankfully for us though there are literally hundreds of bands with shite names, so there’s very little pressure to come up with something good.”
If a change in identity is imminent, perhaps more significantly, getting to hear proper
Bad Books recordings (rather than shitty bootlegs) isn’t too far away. The band were actually in the studio last weekend. Which begs the questions – how did that go? What sort of release is being planned and what’s likely to be on it?
Andrew. “It is sounding amazing. There is still a fair bit of mixing to go, but you can tell from the start that we have managed to capture some of that live energy we seem to be renowned for.
“I’m pretty excited about getting back to the studio to mix it properly. Release wise I’m thinking downloads, CDs, memory sticks, streaming online etc. Basically everything apart from vinyl. Right guys?”
Graeme: “Agree with everything Andrew said there apart from the vinyl bit. EP vinyl with a download would be my cup of tea. Think we’ll need to see how they sound after mixing but keen to get them out there for folk to hear. Looking forward to playing them live this weekend to an audience after playing them over and over in a studio. Dust down that megaphone!”
Edge: “These boys are being modest. C’mon lads, it sounds bloody glorious. It’s not quite done yet, so we could fudge it at the final hurdle, but hopefully it’s a pretty good indication of what we’re about (drums, guitars, school child choir for the middle eight etc…)”
All of which is pretty exciting. But first things first. They’re coming to Fife this weekend to play for your pleasure. But what are their collective memories of Fife?
Andrew: “Scott’s (Finnigan – bass) wedding was in Fife a few weeks ago. I have memories of it. Hazy memories. That was a good night for sure.”
Graeme: “Played a couple of times in Fife – Dunfermline and Leslie, both were good but looking forward to that full Cupar experience. Have always enjoyed heading along to the Fence events at the East Neuk and Scott’s wedding was a fab day too.
“Being a Dundee lad, I have had many a train journey through Cupar. Looking forward to finally getting off at that stop. Do they have a cafe?”
Edge: “So many good Fife memories! Playing to a packed Anster Town Hall with Kid Canaveral was good. As was waking up in Fife on New Year’s Day smelling like Robert Downey Jr.
“Graeme and I played in a covers band at the Broughty Ferry Beer & Ale Festival…I’m still not sure if that memory is good or bad.”
I’m fairly sure that the Ferry’s not even in Fife, but, hey ho. This is no time to be pedantic. So that’ll do for now (having arguably exacerbated their appropriation of other people’s names problems.)
The Bad Books are playing ‘A Brighter Beat’ at Watt’s in Cupar on Sunday 11th November a show which also features Sam Barber and the Outcasts, Cancel The Astronauts, Martin John Henry Kid Canaveral and TV21.
The show is a family friendly event which runs from 2pm until 9pm. Tickets are £10 in advance (£5 for Under 16s) from Watt’s, Avalanche in Edinburgh and Groucho’s in Dundee or online from Brown Paper Tickets.