If you read this blog, there’s a good chance that you like films. And more importantly, you like talking about films. With that in mind, Mark Kermode (one of the UK’s leading film journalists), will be a familiar name to most of you.
And whilst sadly (sob) he wasn’t talking about films, it was a bloody great evening. For anyone that’s not based in Manchester, HOME is a cultural hub for the city. Cinema, theatre and all around cool place, it hosts workshops and talks throughout the year. So, it was pretty much the ideal location.
The evening opened with Kermode’s usual wit, charm and dry humour as he talked through his musical icons and inspirations (complete with childhood photos) before he launched into a reunion tour with his teenage band.
Now, if you have never seen a forty-something man climb a double bass, whilst playing the clarinet, it was a sight to behold. And there was something incredibly intimate (despite there not being a single seat free in the packed out theatre) about their acoustic set.
Another highlight of the evening was Kermode’s Q&A, he was quizzed about his most ‘uncomfortable premiere’ and, oddly, how an unnamed audience member could get into the ‘music biz’ without playing a single instrument – I’ll add polite to the list of Kermode’s redeeming qualities. But, what really stood out for me was just how unpretentious this event was.
Book tours can be so hit and miss. You can end up with an author stumbling their way through their first three chapters of their book, before telling you to head through to foyer to buy it. Before stomping off stage, agent in tow. Kermode, on the other hand, did exactly what he asks from directors, he showed us the joy of bringing a band back together. He talked passionately about just giving instruments a go, without worrying about the theory. Most importantly, he put on a show.
And that’s exactly what you’ll get from his book. A real sense that Mark Kermode has a story to tell.
Follow Mark Kermode on Twitter and check out his book here.