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Booking the Band

A couple weeks ago, Derek and I saw Nick Hornby read at Dingwalls. It wasn’t your typical reading, as his essays were punctuated by performances from Marah (rhymes with “hurrah”), a rock band he’s been touting for a couple years. He'd talk about a band or a genre, and they'd play a cover. The night ended with a mini-concert of their original material. I hadn't had so much fun in months, although trying to get our pints refilled was a bit of a nightmare. Seems more people were there for the music and the beer than to listen to Nick read. Not sure I understood that, but to each their own.

The reading was wonderful, a reminder of the nostalgia that music can provide and how what we listen to can shape, or at least provide context for, our past. We all have our own musical heritage, be it headbanging metal, saccharine pop or an individual playlist of everything in between. It also reminded me how good it is to get out and hear a live band in a small space without all the trappings and pyrotechnics of an arena concert.

What's the better show? Madonna at Wembley for £160 or the Pretenders at Bogarts / Tipitina's / [insert your local venue here] ?

Penguin has published a podcast which gives a taste of the evening’s fare … a gratifying mix of words and music.

If Marah comes to a venue near you, go see 'em. And tell the drummer that Derek says hey.

I’m happy to see that A Long Way Down has taken rightfully replaced the overwritten that Labyritnth schlock on the best seller list. My faith is restored in those who read.