Live Review: The Bookshop Band at The Rude Shipyard

Venue: The Rude Shipyard, Sheffield
Band: The Bookshop Band
Date: 23rd June 2013

This was the right band in the right place. The Rude Shipyard is a bohemian cafe and bookshop on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield. The food and events (to say nothing of the clientele) tend to be slightly quirky. It is artistic, literary, alternative and perhaps a little tumbledown.

The Bookshop Band from Bristol simply write songs about books and play them in bookshops. There are three members of the group, they all sing, they harmonise beautifully and they all play acoustic instruments – guitar, cello, harmonium, clarinet, ukulele, kalimba… changing instruments between songs, sometimes playing more than one simultaneously! They produce a folky, sometimes dreamy sound. Their songs range from the serious to the comic, but always reflect a theme or an aspect of a given book.

The small audience ranged in age from under three to over sixty and all seemed entranced by the lovely music and atmosphere. This was an intimate, friendly, light-hearted gig.

The band is usually commissioned by their local bookshop to write songs for visiting author nights. They say they have always had a good response from the authors and they have made four CDs.  They came to the Shipyard on a tour of British bookshops and they went on from Sheffield to play at Glastonbury Festival.

– Simon Benton

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