I’ve decided to keep it close to home for my first blog post. Every month until the end of the year, I’m going to fill you in on four top drawer artistes – a band, a producer, a singer and a photographer – all of whom I am fortunate enough to know personally.
First up is one of my favourite bands on the scene today. They’re an eclectic trio, two brothers from New York / Liverpool (I think they’re actually from Manchester) and 1/50,000 of the population of the Faroe Islands. Individually they are Ash, Dario and Greta. Collectively, they are Picture Book. Their music is, well dance music, simply put. Crowd rockers like Explosions and Make A Move get you doing exactly what their titles suggest. But there’s diversity within their style, as songs like My Love and Sunshine showcase a more dramatic and heartfelt side. The way they stitch this all together in their live show is what sealed the deal for me.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the first time I saw Picture Book live, I think it must have been at a sparse mid week gig in Night & Day Cafe, Manchester. The crowd might not have been many but the compulsion to dance was unavoidable. Ash flew between guitar, drum and keys, his snake like dreads attacking the air just as the mythical Medusa’s locks once did. Greta twisted and twirled physically, vocally and with the stroke of her bow, drawing you in to the dance. The fact that all three of them were on their feet as they played (Dario commands the beats from an SPD-S, kicking the bass pedal with the back of his foot), made it impossible for the audience to do anything but the same and join them on the floor.
Picture Book are a live experience, constantly upping their game to make the live shows bigger than the last. Since seeing them at Night & Day I’ve found myself returning time after time to get another fix. In that time I’ve seen full scale stage invasions, the addition of a string quartet, a legendary saxaphone solo from the one and only “Shwood” and the most unexpected but insanely delivered outro / breakdown to their show at the Paul McCartney Auditorium. My advice (for what it’s worth) is check out their gig listings – here – and get your ass along to a show. You can thank me for the tip later.
I guess all that’s left is to offer you some snippets to try for yourself before you head out for the live Picture Book experience. So, check out some sounds and let them know what you think on their facebook page, cos they love to get involved with their fans.
Picture Book are signed to Blue Horizon (Warner), their debut release is (I hear) coming very soon.