The Bookshop Band is a quirky British band who write songs about books which they play at author events in bookshops throughout England and Wales. For example, they’ve written songs about The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, by Alexandra Fuller, and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime walk by Ben Fountain, among many others.
They started in September 2010, in their home town of Bath. All three members are singer-songwriters. But their talents don’t stop there. Poppy Pitt plays the guitar as well as the occasional harmonium and ukulele for Bookshop Band. She fronts her own Bristol based band Poppy and Friends where she is accompanied by Drums and double bass. Poppy is also an artist and has her own art practice in Bristol. Beth Porter is the band’s cellist. She plays for a number of musicians, including Eliza Carthy, as well as her own band Beth Porter and the Availables, and string quartet The Stringbeans, with whom she also recorded for the BAFTA winning Eagleman Stag. Ben Please is a guitarist based in Bath, and is part of indie-folk band Urusen. He composes music for film and animation, including work on the BAFTA (2011) winning animation The Eagleman Stag. He is co-founder of the Bath arts / music / poetry monthly The Bath Burp, has a linocut studio, and often works as a filmmaker in East Africa.
They’ve produced four CD’s so far: Travels From Your Armchair, with songs based on folk tales from around the world, And Other Dystopias, which covers dark themes in literature, the self-explanatory Revolutions, and Into the Farthest Reaches, which covers books about extreme people in extreme predicaments. They’re about to launch two more in December. I think any one of these would make a great present for the book lover in your life. You can listen to some of the songs by visiting their website. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook and see their videos at vimeo.