Words only take you so far. I would hope that the many, many posts that I’ve written about Book Group (tbfka the Bad Books) will at least have piqued some curiosity out there. But other than a couple of acoustic songs and a couple of bootleg tracks, to hear their music you have had to go and see them live.
So I ‘m delighted to be able to present the first reported video sighting of the band from their first show with their new name at the Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh the other week at a show in support of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.
Now there’s no single song that can really capture all the reasons why I love Book Group so much. But one song that certainly ticks a fair few of the boxes is the song I captured that traditional set opener ‘Summer of Lunches’ (although it was played second!).
One of the big parts of their appeal is the tunes. And ‘Summer …’ is in many ways representative of the sort of songs they write – it’s not a song with a huge hook (although they do have a couple like that). Instead it’s laced with a series of melodic barbs throughout the whole tune. (A lot of their songs are like that).
You know how you feel when you first hear a great song before you get to know it? That first flush of love as the melodic twists and turns are a constant surprise?
Well, what ‘Summer of Lunches’ (and other Book Group songs) do so well is to extend that feeling beyond the usual two or three listens because of that type of melodic structure. (This also has the benefit of making the songs far more durable in the long run.)
So, yeah, the tunes are great. But they’re only part of it.
Just as important are the thrilling ways that Book Group deliver the songs. And, yes, I’m talking guitars here. Book Group like guitars and if the rush of guitars throughout ‘Summer of Lunches’ is exhilarating then that’s nothing compared to the excitement of axe-meister Michael Morrison kicking into overdrive after the first verse (at about 1:42 in this video).
So kick back and enjoy ‘Summer of Lunches’ (one word of warning it’s not a small file but it’s really worth the wait!):
This video was a wee bit of an experiment. I’d inadvertently recorded a couple of minutes of the Pictish Trail the night before (with the new camera pointing at the floor – yes, I’d pressed something on the camera and wondered why it wouldn’t take photos!) And was surprised that it sounded very respectable indeed.
So I decided to have a go at intentionally shooting the Book Group the following night. By necessity the camera work is largely focussed on singer Graeme Anderson because it was shot using my fixed lens. But from the cameos that the other guys make into shot, I still think that you get an idea of how much this band loves playing together – and that is ALWAYS a good sign in a live show.
Book Group next play at the Glad Café, Glasgow on Saturday 2nd March at the Kid Canaveral LP launch.
Photos from the show here.