Book Club

For Weekend Two on December 10th-12th, where Belle & Sebastian return to curate Bowlie 2, the book list picked by Belle & Sebastian is as follows:

  • 10 Rules of Rock - Robert Forster (ReadHowYouWant)
  • The Seventeen - Bill Drummond (Beautiful Books)
  • 45 - Bill Drummond (Abacus)
  • Apathy for the Devil - Nick Kent (Faber and Faber)
  • Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in Its Downfall - Luke Haines (Heinemann)
  • The Celestial Cafe - Stuart Murdoch (Pomona - out soon)
  • Delete This at Your Peril: One Man's Fearless Exchanges with Internet Spammers - Bob Servant (Birlinn General)
  • Different for Girls - Louise Wener (Ebury Press)
  • How I Escaped My Certain Fate - Stewart Lee (Faber & Faber)
  • Kill Your Friends - John Niven (CCV)
  • The Manual: How to Have a Number One Hit the Easy Way - Bill Drummond (Omnibus)

At the Book Club for Bowlie 2 the book for discussion will be 45 by Bill Drimmond. We are very happy to be joined by authors Neil Forsyth aka Bob Servant ( who will read from Delete this at Your Peril and Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian who will read from his forthcoming debut The Celestial Cafe. For more information on all of these books please see below...

Space will be limited for the Book Club Discussion so anyone who's interested in participating should email to register their interest.
Please note this is only if you want to participate in the discussion - to attend the Stuart Murdoch reading and the Bob Servant talk does not require registration.



10 Rules of Rock - Robert Forster (ReadHowYouWant)

"Sometimes I play a game in my head: name the five best American rock bands of the '60s. My list goes: The Velvet Underground, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Doors, and then I stall on the fifth. Creedence? The Band - although they're mostly Canadian. Simon and Garfunkel? Jefferson Airplane? The Lovin' Spoonful? But I plump for The Monkees." - Robert Forster. . . . . . In The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll, Robert Forster takes readers on an exhilarating trip through the past and present of popular music - from Bob Dylan, AC/DC and Nana Mouskouri through to Cat Power, Franz Ferdinand and ... Delta Goodrem. To accompany Forster's acclaimed writing for The Monthly, there are some stunning new pieces - 'The 10 Rules' and 'The 10 Bands I Wish I'd Been In' and an appreciation of Guy Clark - as well as a reflection on The Velvet Underground, a short story about Normie Rowe and a moving tribute to fellow Go-Between Grant McLennan. Funny and illuminating, The 10 Rules of Rock and Roll shows a great critic at work.
Different for Girls - Louise Wener (Ebury Press)

This is a story of an ordinary girl's transformation from awkward 80s suburban pop geek to 90s jet-set pop goddess. It's about the embarrassments of growing up and experimenting with who you are and how pop music is both the comic and life-affirming soundtrack that runs through it all. Different for Girls is for anyone who ever sang into a hairbrush and slow-danced to Spandau Ballet's True. It's about growing up with Look-In and Jackie magazine and daubing your hair with poster paint to look more like Toyah Wilcox. It's about bad perms, bad boyfriends and the nagging feeling that no man will quite measure up to Nick Heyward from Haircut One Hundred. It's also about the journey from bad band to great band, from gigs in toilets to gigs in stadiums with all the mistakes, joys, disappointments and successes in between. It's a journey which starts with a 12-year-old perfecting her dance routine to Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights in front of TOTPs and ends, almost 20 years later, with the same girl having REM's Michael Stipe sing happy birthday to her on a warm summer's evening accompanied by 70,000 strangers.
The Manual: How to Have a Number One Hit the Easy Way - Bill Drummond (Omnibus)

This unparalleled expose of the pop-music scene is the unexpurgated reissue of a rare, long-out-of-print book on how to make it to the top of the official UK charts. First published in 1988, the book explains in minute detail all the steps needed to guarantee success. Along with much iconoclastic advice, the authors also provide practical tips on the mechanics of financing, producing, and promoting a pop hit.
45 - Bill Drummond (Abacus)

Bill Drummond is known variously as wayward genius; art terrorist; a hoaxer with integrity; and the ex-pop star who broke up his band, the KLF, at the height of its success to wage an idiosyncratic war against the art world. He's also a loving, if exasperated, father of five, a thoughtful critic, and a wry observer of the mad, hysterical worlds of music and art which he has inhabited for well over 20 years. Perhaps most famously of all, he is the man who burned #1 million and then asked the world to decide why. At the age of 45, reaching his "half-time", Bill Drummond has paused to take stock of his often bizarre, usually chaotic, life. Whether recording "Justified Ancients of Mu Mu" with Tammy Wynette, or contemplating the dull lunacy of the Turner prize, or tying together 6237 cans of Tennent's Super into a cube before distributing the lot to the "street drinkers" of London, or turning down the request to write the official song for Scotland for the World Cup, Bill Drummond reveals his thoughts and opinions and his infectious enthusiasm for disorder and mischief.
The Seventeen - Bill Drummond (Beautiful Books)

Rich and thought-provoking insight into the history of popular music by Bill Drummond, one of its most controversial exponents. In 17, Drummond analyses the past, present and possible future of music and the ways in which we hear and relate to it. He references his own contributions to the canon of popular music and he provides fascinating insider portraits of the industry and its protagonists. Above all, he questions our ideas of music and our attitude to sound, introducing readers to his new work, 17, which he will be performing throughout the UK in June 2008.
Apathy for the Devil - Nick Kent (Faber and Faber)

Pitched somewhere between Almost Famous and Withnail & I, "Apathy for the Devil" is a unique document of this most fascinating and troubling of decades - a story of inspiration, success and serious burn out. As a 20-something college dropout Nick Kent's first five interviews as a young writer were with the MC5, Captain Beefheart, The Grateful Dead, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. Along with Charles Shaar Murray and Ian MacDonald he would go on to define and establish the NME as the home of serious music writing. And as apprentice to Lester Bangs, boyfriend of Chrissie Hynde, confidant of Iggy Pop, trusted scribe for Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, and early member of the Sex Pistols, he was witness to both the beautiful and the damned of this turbulent decade.
Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in Its Downfall - Luke Haines (Heinemann)

Forget Blur/Oasis and Cool Britannia. None of that actually happened. "Bad Vibes" is the true story of English Rock in the nineties. Written with wit, brio and no small amount of bile, Luke Haines recounts how it felt to ride a wave of self-congratulatory success in a world with no taste. As frontman of The Auteurs, Haines tells of supporting Suede, conquering France, and failing to break America. Of knuckle-headed musos, baffling tours, and a swiftly unravelling personal life. And of what it's like to be on the cusp of massive success. Funny, honest and ridiculously entertaining, Luke Haines attacks anyone within rifle range, and is more than happy to turn the gun on himself. "Bad Vibes" is a brilliant memoir from a man who tells it how it was - and how he wishes it hadn't been.
Kill Your Friends - John Niven (CCV)

It's not dog-eat-dog around's dog-gang-rapes-dog-then-tortures-him-for-five-days-before-burying-him-alive-and-taking-out-every-motherfucker-the-dog-has-ever-known. Meet Steven Stelfox. London 1997: New Labour is sweeping into power and Britpop is at its zenith. Twenty-seven-year-old A&R man Stelfox is slashing and burning his way through the music industry, a world where 'no one knows anything' and where careers are made and broken by chance and the fickle tastes of the general public - 'Yeah, those animals'. Fuelled by greed and inhuman quantities of cocaine, Stelfox blithely criss-crosses the globe ('New York, Cologne, Texas, Miami, Cannes: you shout at waiters and sign credit card slips and all that really changes is the quality of the porn') searching for the next hit record amid a relentless orgy of self-gratification. But as the hits dry up and the industry begins to change, Stelfox must take the notion of cutthroat business practices to murderous new levels in a desperate attempt to salvage his career."Kill Your Friends" is a dark, satirical and hysterically funny evisceration of the record business, a place populated by frauds, charlatans and bluffers, where ambition is a higher currency than talent, and where it seems anything can be achieved - as long as you want it badly enough.
How I Escaped My Certain Fate - Stewart Lee (Faber & Faber)

Experience how it feels to be the subject of a blasphemy prosecution! Find out why 'wool' is a funny word! See how jokes work, their inner mechanisms revealed, before your astonished face! In 2001, after over a decade in the business, Stewart Lee quit stand-up, disillusioned and drained, and went off to direct a loss-making opera about Jerry Springer. "How I Escaped My Certain Fate" details his return to live performance, and the journey that took him from an early retirement to his position as the most critically acclaimed stand-up in Britain. Here is Stewart Lee's own account of his remarkable comeback, told through transcripts of the three legendary full-length shows that sealed his reputation. Astonishingly frank and detailed in-depth notes reveal the inspiration and inner workings of his act. With unprecedented access to a leading comedian's creative process, this book tell us just what it was like to write these shows, develop the performance and take them on tour. "How I Escaped My Certain Fate" is everything we have come to expect from Stewart Lee: fiercely intelligent, unsparingly honest and very funny.
Delete This at Your Peril: One Man's Fearless Exchanges with Internet Spammers - Bob Servant (Birlinn General)

This is an hilarious collection of email exchanges starring the anti-hero of spam, Bob Servant, now republished with previously unreleased material. Spam is the plague of the electronic age, comprising 90% of all emails sent and conning over GBP150m a year from British victims. Into this wave of corruption steps the brave figure of Bob Servant - a former window cleaner and cheeseburger magnate with a love of wine, women and song as well as a keen sense of fair play. This wickedly funny and original book features the anarchic exchanges between Bob and the hapless spam merchants. As they offer Bob lost African millions, Russian brides and get-rich-quick scams he responds by generously offering some outlandish schemes of his own. The spammers may have breached his firewall, but they have met their match as Bob Servant rises heroically to the challenge, and sows confusion in his wake.
The Celestial Cafe - Stuart Murdoch (Pomona - out soon)

The debut book by Stuart Murdoch, the founder member and singer of the popular indie band, Belle and Sebastian. Stuart writes evocatively of life on the road in an internationally touring band, contrasting it with his homespun and reflective returns back home to Glasgow.