Monday, 18 June 2012

Special Summer Party Line-up Announcement!

If you're heading down to the Bands & Books summer party this week, you're in for a treat!  Not only will you get to see bands Fountains and Tied To The Mast, writers Stuart Evers and Zoë Howe, but you'll also experience the Audio/Visual mastery of Graphic Novelist & musician, James Eve.

James Eve is a musician and illustrator. His serialized online graphic novel Universal Son combines songs with comic narrative to tell a unique story, set in the current climate of music industry meltdown:
    “I was writing these songs that all seemed to have a linking thread, and to place them in a graphic story seemed like both a natural and innovative thing to do What seemed interesting to me was the way songs can tell a very different story to any other form of art – and to present them with a graphic narrative really highlights that - in the same way music is used in film.”
We'll be displaying audio/visual extracts from Universal Son throughout the night, but if you can't wait until Thursday, you can get a sneak preview here
James also contributed to Bands and Books Spring by playing all the music between acts, we then bullied him into turning it into a spotify playlist, which you can check out here:

Bands & Books Summer Party takes place at Dalston's Power Lunches from 7:30 on Thursday 21st June, you can get cheaper advanced tickets here, or pay £5 on the door. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Reader Profile: Zoë Howe

If we could design someone to perform at Bands & Books from scratch, we'd probably include in the spec that she should have written a book about the Slits and played percussion with Mick Jones.  But that would just be being too demanding right? 

Zoë is the editor of Iceland Music Export, and has written biogs, press releases and sleevenotes for artists including Bardi Johannsson, Command V, X Ray Spex and The Slits. Her writing has featured in The Quietus, Company, Classic Rock, BBC Music, Channel4Music, ITV, NME, Jazzwise, Notion, Contemporary and WENN. 

She has interviewed artists as diverse as Poly Styrene, Biffy Clyro, Mariah Carey, Pete Townshend, Macy Gray, Anna Friel, Suggs, James Chance, Wilko Johnson, Maximo Park,  Mugison, The Slits, Human League, Adrian Utley (Portishead), The Raincoats, Keith Levene, The Blockheads, Amon Tobin, The Tiger Lillies, Duke Spirit, The Twang, Pauline Black, Gareth Sager (The Pop Group) & Son Of Dave.

In 2010 Zoë made a series based on music and psychogeography for Resonance FM. The archives can be found here. She is  now working on a book  with Wilko Johnson and Cadiz Music, who produced the award-winning Julien Temple Dr Feelgood film Oil City Confidential. Her first novel is also coming to life...

Howe often appears at Gavin Martin's Talking Musical Revolutions, & she has played drums and percussion with artists including Anne Pigalle, Yumi Hara, Viv Albertine. Steve Beresford and Mick Jones. She recorded with Albertine and Jones at his Rock 'n' Roll Library in Ladbroke Grove in 2009.

Zoë has appeared as a talking head on E4, Planet Rock, BBC 6 Music, Absolute Radio, and has read at festivals including Stoke Newington Literary Festival, Un-Convention, Ladyfest, Writing On The Wall & Secret Garden Party. She is on the She is on the advisory board for Un-Conventional Women, a music event which takes place at the South Bank Centre in 2012.

Zoë has dedicated a YouTube channel to classic music writing: Rockanory - the Jackanory for Music Lovers. 

Zoë's latest book, 'Looking Back At Me' - the oral history of Wilko Johnson - is out on May 30th via

'There's no official guide to rock'n'roll parenting - the best (musicians) have is 'How's Your Dad?'.'  The Independent
'Howe does a superbly comprehensive, humorous job. Lively, warm and sensitive.'  **** Kris Needs, Record Collector

'Possibly the most important Brit-rock book of the year.' Gavin Martin (Daily Mirror /  NME / Rock's Family Trees) 
'A perfect representation written in the same spirit as them, absolutely spot-on in true kamikaze Slits fashion,'  ***** Kris Needs, Record Collector 

Having taken great pleasure in Booking Zoë for our summer party we were instantly excited about putting together her mixtape. Here's what Zoë had to say about her writing influences: 

Songs / bands that influence my writing: it depends what I am writing - if I am writing a band biog or working with a particular artist then I will listen to their music and the music they loved, were influenced by or were associated with - for example when I was working with Wilko Johnson from Dr Feelgood, I not only listened to the Feelgoods (which was no chore, I love 'em!) but also Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry (ok, I admit I was cheating, I listen to them all the time anyway...but you know). With the Slits book, I'd listen not only to the Slits but also Lilliput, The Pop Group, Prince Far I, the Raincoats, Public Image Limited, Flying Lizards - all artists who feature heavily in my record collection anyway. The Who and Pete Townshend's solo work has always inspired me, at once muscular and sensitive, questioning and incisive, and I also find the openness and often mystical bent of Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green and beyond) puts me in a good frame of mind for writing. They were all poets anyway.

You can catch Zoë at the Bands & Books Summer Party alongside Stuart Evers & bands Fountains & Tied To The Mast.  Book your tickets now!  Meanwhile, have a listen to Zoë's mixtape:

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Reader Profile: Stuart Evers

We first encountered Stuart performing in the basement of the Queen of Hoxton at a night notable for the warning signs on the way in, informing everyone they would be subjected to the potentially harmful effects of live smoking. This turned out to be a requirement for performers wishing to exercise the legal loophole allowing them to smoke indoors. The performance itself was a reading from Stuart's debut book, 10 Stories About Smoking, which came out on Picador in 2011.  Did we mention it was utterly fantastic?

Stuart Evers was born in a small north-western town in 1976. Picador published his first book – Ten Stories about Smoking, which won the London Book Award – in 2011 and his debut novel, If This is Home, comes out in July. His interests include Columbo, country soul, giving up smoking and Walthamstow.

We didn't just want Stuart to read his book though, we asked him to tell us about his favourite bands via the medium of *internet* turn it up & enjoy:

You can catch Stuart performing at the Bands & Books summer party on June 21st at Power Lunches in Dalston.

Austerity Britain Edit: buy your tickets in advance and save £££

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Band Profile: Fountains

The Bands & Books Summer party is drawing near, if you haven't cleared your diary for Thursday 21st June at Power Lunches in Dalston, there is a superb reason to do so right now; Fountains will be performing exclusively for your aural pleasure!  

We are really looking forward to seeing these guys, but you don't need to take our word for it, here's what the chaps over at Hello Empty Room have to say about their hot-off-the-press E.P.

The (predominately) London-based five-piece conjure up a damn-hot lo-fi-shoegaze cauldron, full of fuzzy guitars floating pleasantly in the velvety background. Now I’m aware Rory Attwell has recieved approximately 700 mentions on this blog, but let’s make that 701; for the noise-producer extraordinaire has also produced their debut three-track EP, titled No Sleep. Alumni from Brattwell Recordings including Veronica Falls, Male Bonding, Colours etc.
If you’re into your early New Wave influenced post-punk leanings this’ll be right up your late 70′s blacked-out alley. The lovely ‘You’re Not Welcome’ in particular borrowing from Joy Division in terms of Jon’s vocal presence, close-atmosphere and sumptuous bass-riffs; though greeted with a warm handshake by The National maybe? Huh, didn’t think I’d be writing that. For a more up to date reference point, see Toy. Who are also fucking excellent by the way.
What’s more, you can download the EP for free currently on their bandcamp, so you definitely should do just that. For the more enthusiastic – dare I say smarter – types a blue cassette is available to buy, but is limited to a run of 50 copies, so be quick.

As is Bands & Books tradition, we asked Fountains for their literary inspirations, and singer Jon gave us a snippet of his favourite books:

- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
-  The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde 
-  Fear and loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson

You should totally go and download their E.P. so you know all the words in time for the 21st. Meanwhile stay tuned for some more band & reader profiles over the next few days.  Next up Stuart Evers.