LIVE in American Bookshops

by The Bookshop Band

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Chronicles the band's debut tour of America, each song recorded live in a different bookshop, from New Jersey to New York, Colorado to New Mexico. Gold embossed deluxe edition, complete with photo book and digital download, which includes the bonus tracks.

    Includes unlimited streaming of LIVE in American Bookshops via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of LIVE in American Bookshops via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    edition of 300 

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1.
High, high above the North Pole. On a mountain above the clouds once lived a man. His children are falling from the sky. All children except one grow up. He was born with a gift of laughter. And a sense that the world was mad. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Writing a song about first lines. It was the age of wisdom, of foolishness. It was the Season of light, season of dark. Drawing the reader in right from the start. It was the spring of hope, the winter of despair. The sun shone, having no alternative. It was the day my grandmother exploded. It was a pleasure to burn. The church is blowing a sad windblown ‘Kathleen’ on the bells in the skid row slums as I wake up all woebegone and goopy. Transformedintoa monstrous vermin. It was the season of light, the season of dark. Inspiration comes from The past Is a foreign country; they do things differently there. Itwasthebestoftimes,itwastheworst of times. Light of my life, fire of my loins. It was love at first sight, love at first sight. All this happened, more or less, more or less.
2.
3.
In, stepping further in, Welcomed by the light Seeing the others around Will I make a sound? Will I know the way? What is it I’ve found? Listen to the ones, listen to the end Blowing a candle out. Past the door, stand before me Thirteen chairs I’m unprepared to tell a story, Who’ll go next? Past the door, stand before me Thirteen chairs , thirteen chairs. Gone, faces fade to black. I can hardly see, Where there used to be friends Some could be my age Want to know their way? What is it that I’ve found? Listen to a boy, listen to a girl Another candle out. Past the door, stand before me Thirteen chairs I’m unprepared to tell a story, Who’ll go next? Past the door, stand before me Thirteen chairs, thirteen chairs. Out, as the lights go out, As the darkness comes It’s getting closer to me Will I make a sound? Will I know the way? Starting to see what I’ve found Listen to the tales, listen to my tale Another candle out. Past the door, stand before me Thirteen chairs I’m unprepared to tell a story, Who’ll go next? Past the door, stand before me Thirteen chairs, thirteen chairs. Will I make a sound, will I know the way? What is it that I’ve found? Listen to the ones, listen to the end Blowing a candle out.
4.
Time is over and I know you’re gone. See you flying over, held my tongue The lines I send you only keep you down Faith in weather as my love is blown. Wind was very strong today When seven ravens flew away See you far upon a hill of glass I could never climb, but still I start Build the steps I need to bear our weight Seven years to make, and six I stayed Wind was very strong today When seven ravens flew away I was taken by the wind and swept away I could not respond to anything he’d say Time is over for I’m almost done. See you flying over, held my tongue. Hope my voice is strong and calls you down. Faith in weather and my love’s return. Time is over and I know you’re gone See you flying over, held my tongue Hope my voice is strong and calls you down Faith in weather as my love is blown.
5.
The Crowning 05:52
The crowning of we kings The subject of divine things Righteous by virtue Bearing majesty too... An Army for my soul By currency of angels My looks can kill off You’re banished in the breath of... The balm that anoints me No water in all the sea Can clean from me Here on my head this crown It is woven through me to, the ground Here on my head this crown And a cloak made of brass around... But is it that we kings Were made in the crowning? A pomp of a cushion For a crown to sit on We taste grief and eat bread We have wants, and need friends A man who just leads on All of those who kneel on This balm that protects me By my own tears has now been Washed free from me Here on my bed this crown With nettles and flowers round My kingdom of worms abound With a cloak made of soil around I’ve wasted time, time wastes me Now soil is the king of me So here on my head this crown Ever last here, while I go down Down, down, down, down.
6.
Sail over Battersea in your velocipede Show off your skills in the air Don’t let Technologists catch you and saw of bits What are they building in there? It’s such a joy to be in my velocipede Flying as high as a bird Smog over London Looks jolly splendid I’ve heard Smog over London Looks jolly splendid I’ve heard London’s not meant to be The way it turned out to be God didn’t save the Queen-o Talking dogs on the streets, Bloody parakeets, Exploding wolves, don’t you know Who’d have thought Nightingale Would side with all those males Making a hash of us all Smog over London Looks jolly splendid I’ve heard Smog over London Looks jolly splendid I’ve heard
7.
It was on that fateful day you saw me Dancing in the bar Your eyes caught mine and so I came And whispered in your ear I hadn’t thought of what to say Or what you thought of me But it seemed to go pretty well And we left early. Move on now seven months And we were married by the shore With the two of us together We never wanted more I’ll get a job to feed us And a home to keep us warm And in a year or so I think our Children will be born. So onwards seven years And our little boy is five I used to think I’d save him But at least he’s still alive We’ll have our ups and downs But I know our love will win So I’ll never leave this journey, Not even at the end. Fast forward 20 years And I’ll have been a lucky man Our children will have grown And left the house back in our hands We’ll grow old by the seaside And we’ll drink tea in the car And I picture us beneath a grave, In each others arms. But now I catch myself as I am Dancing in the bar A little over-thinking, And perhaps a stage too far I’ll just enjoy the moment, Any more and I would be Too scared to dance like a fool, And you’d never see me.
8.
A SHOP WITH BOOKS IN Inspired by bookshops. There’s a story waiting inside Behind the door, as it opens wide And I wander in, hoping to find Something. As they tell the stories we know And those we don’t are waiting to be held, And taken home. There’s a strange man inside Who knows what I like He’ll rush with tea to my side And a stack of books piled high If I’m lucky enough there will be lots of stuff That makes me smile inside In a shop with books in.... Shelves stacked high, fills my eyes Can’t describe, who knows what you’ll find. A lovely lady guides me through I smell the pages, excitement grew How glad am I to be in company Of such purveyors of quality Her knowledge is vast, her hand reaches out And pulls the spine of a beautifully bound Book of delights picked especially for me Boulder Books Oh, I’m so happy in a shop with books in.... Lost in these pages... I sink myself into a book and settle down.
9.
Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight Though the chances are high and there’s signs that we might Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight There’s work to be done And two makes it light We take the horses and ride on the sand The cattle are lost and they must be found They’ll keep a herd But they’ve had years to roam You know the dogs are thirsty And we should go home We didn’t plan to drink today But the path narrows out And I’m starting to sway I said “I’ll wait here for you” ... And now I’m alone The sun is going And our dogs have gone. Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight Though I can hear them howling And I think that I might Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight Though I can hear them howling And I think that I might You came back just in time With the dogs and the horses And a cattle line These days of sweat make the land sown But that’s just what makes this my home And that’s what makes this my home Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight We’ve made it home and now it’s night Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight I can hear them howling but we’re alright Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight We got whisky here in the starlight Don’t let’s go to the dogs tonight We got whisky here in the starlight
10.
The second wife of Henry Was accused of adultery Oh yes, oh yes says Thomas You see she wont bring a baby She’s no good to his country Oh no, please arrest her, Thomas She might come gracefully For the sake of her family But oh, take no chances, Thomas Go and find her lovers That includes her brother Oh no, that’s what they say, Thomas I need no sympathy I need no sympathy From you, from you, from you Thomas I’ll be found guilty On the King’s authority Oh well, well if you say Thomas But the King’s shown mercy He’s not going to burn me Oh no, well there’s hope yet, Thomas I’ll be kind to her Said the French executioner Oh so, well forgive me Thomas So she held her body For all the crowd to see Oh yeah, to see the blood flow, Thomas And as he distracted her Swung the French executioner You’re the best, You make the best plans, Thomas
11.
Follow to a hole , falling for a while Passing vertically One side makes you grow One side makes you small What size should one be? Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem Queer old smoking caterpillar What does all this mean? Asking questions why No sense did she find Alice wanders on Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem Weeping turtle sleepy mouse It must be time for tea Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem The Queen of Hearts is furious This life is but a dream Off with all their heads Painting flowers red There’ll be no one left Curious and curiouser Things aren’t what they seem The Queen of Hearts is furious This life is but a dream
12.
I wake in the morning just before dawn Uhtceare my dreamery’s gone. Thinking there’s so much to do and no time Day-peep comes but the sun doesn’t shine. Cunctuation I can’t face the day, Pissaprest, hope it goes away. The rum-peeper shows me my pimginnits I’m trying fucation to cover my zits. I can’t be bothered to straighten my hair I’m cymotrichous and I don’t care. Most of my clothes are second hand I’m a ragabash cos I’m in a band I’m in need of ariston and a butter-shag. My cackling farts are over done My toast is brizzled and Brizzle’s my home It’s time to leave it with my cello And more, to oxter lift and go. It’s the day of the gig at the bookshop The band must charette And write till we drop. It’s a panic party but a jolly one As long as we Chado to help us with songs. Ben is our host and makes pots of tea, We’re about to be golopshusly bedinnered you’ll see. His cackling farts are just spot on There’s cheesy toast within this home Now it’s time to leave it with our big load And more, to oxter lift and go. Waiting for people to turn up and sit Nervously practising this little bit. Fisking around the bookshop and then The author and audience, ladies and men. Now we’re at the song’s eschaton Soon to be quafftide for this little one. Nod-crafty people say they listened hard Now to be vinolent, hand me a glass. My fackling carts are over done My head is Brizzled or is that my home? It’s time to leave with David’s sow And more to oxter lift and go. And more to oxter lift and go.
13.
We are the foxes working around the town We are the foxes working for you Bring out your boxes before you settle down We are the foxes working for you Don’t be afraid cos you know what we prefer Smile on your faces, that’s what we do Don’t need to pay us, We’re happy in our work We are the foxes working for you Running rings round Covers more ground We’re foxes in a big rush Jumping on a night bus City lights glow Like a light show Keeping strange hours Smelling all the flowers And in the morning When all our work is done Shifts are changing and you’ll be up soon We’ll hear you coming Then we’ll be on our way We are the foxes working for you

about

THE BOOKSHOP BAND
LIVE IN AMERICAN BOOKSHOPS

In late 2018 The New York Times laid down a challenge. “If America’s independent booksellers can’t figure a way to get The Bookshop Band to tour America, they’re doing something wrong.” This LIVE album follows the band on their debut tour of American bookshops. Compiled chronologically from their performances it captures the ambience of the bookshops and introduces the books that have inspired the songs.
The full tour story can be found at www.thebookshopband.co.uk/blog

THANK YOU
To Gardners and All Media Supply (AMS) for sponsoring the tour - especially to Nigel Wyman, Russ Morgan, Christine Cawley, Aidan Lunn, Nikki Daigneault and Kerry McCarthy.
This recording was made possible by a grant from Creative Scotland. The tour itself was sponsored by Gardners and AMS / All Media Supply. Our invitation to the US came from the American Booksellers’ Association - thank you especially to Oren Teicher
and Joy Dallanegra-Sanger. The record’s manufacturing was made possible thanks to all the kind fans who supported our Kickstarter campaign. Nic Bottomley & Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights for the Maria’s leg, and continually curating our reading. To “on the ground managers” Hugh Elliot and Mark Griffith. Alison De Frees who went above and beyond, United Airlines for being on time, Kip, Martin Tompkins, Joseph Chupek, Owen Lewis, Kate Jacobs, Megan and Ben, Caroline Waterlow, Tim Porter and all our families who have been so supportive. To all the bookshops, libraries and venues on the tour - Four Way Books, Little City Books, Short Stories, Turn
of the Corkscrew, The New York Public Library, Book Culture, Maria’s Bookshop, Bookworks, Title Wave Books, OpCit Sante Fe, OpCit Taos, Collected Works, SOMOS, Denver Public Library, Heart Fire Books, Boulder Books, Second Star To The Right, Tattered Cover and WORD. A huge thank you to all the US booksellers who hosted us and our concerts, and to their wonderful staff who not only looked after us but also often after Molly, who also deserves a huge shout out for being such a trooper.
Thank you to all the people who wrote letters supporting our visa application: Stuart Kelly, Amanda Foreman, Robert Macfarlane, Emma Hooper, Max Porter, Eliza Carthy, Adrian Turpin, Joanne Harris, Louis de Bernières, Rosamund de la Hey, Jo Frost, Fred and Kathy Powell, William Rycroft, Sam Sweeney, Patrick Gale, Nicholas Hooper, Helen Gush, Dennis Johnson, Claire Armistead and Sarah Jones. And especially to Dwight Garner for laying the challenge to get us over to the US in the first place.
Thank you to all the authors for the books that have inspired us and to all the audiences who braved the weather, came and took a punt on something weird happening in a bookshop. Hats off to you all.

credits

released August 11, 2020

MUSIC CREDITS
All tracks written and performed live by Beth Porter & Ben Please - The Bookshop Band.
Tracks 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 + bonus tracks also written by Poppy Pitt. Recorded, mixed, produced and designed by Ben Please. Mastered by Dave Miller / Circa 16 Sound Recording, Dumfries. Manufactured by Cram Duplication in the EU.

Web: www.thebookshopband.co.uk
Twitter: @TheBookshopBand
Instagram: @BookshopBand
Patreon: www.patreon.com/TheBookshopBand
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBookshopBand
YouTube: www.youtube.com/TheBookshopBand
Management: contact@thebookshopband.co.uk

PHOTO & ARTWORK CREDITS
We‘re indebted to Jared Cocken who took photos in Manhattan and at the New York Public Library, and to Rachael Rodgers who took photos at Title Wave Books (Albuquerque), OpCit (Sante Fe) and Collected Works (Sante Fe), as well as the back cover photo. Britt Margit Hopkins took shots at Second Star To The Right (Denver)

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The Bookshop Band Bath, UK

The Bookshop Band write songs inspired by books and play them in bookshops. They started as a collaboration between a group of musicians in Bath and their local independent bookshop, Mr B's Emporium. Now they are about to go on tour, sponsored by Vintage Books and Independent Booksellers Week, around other bookshops and lit fests. Catch them if you can. Details at www.thebookshopband.co.uk ... more

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