Back in mid-March, Jim and I took an excursion to London for the day. We went for two reasons. The first reason was to celebrate Jim’s birthday and have a day out of the dreary setting of Medway. The second was to see Franz Ferdinand, one of our favourite bands, on the London leg of their tour.
The concert was amazing. We were right and the front and screamed, sang and cheered until we sound like frogs that had eaten sandpaper. We watched Alex strut and meander across the front of the stage and mesmerise with his vocals. Jim eyed up Nick’s guitar and watched him play like a puppy idolising his master. I stared at Bob’s left hand slide up and down the neck of his Rickenbacker bass, trying to force my memory to permanently store how he played. We watched Paul too, but he was a bit further back. He seemed to be enjoying himself.
After a train journey through London and Kent, I made a beeline for the bookshelf when I got home. There, tucked behind a copy of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was a little book with a picture of the Franz Ferdinand frontman on the cover. This book was Sound Bites by Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand.
This books started life as Articles Alex wrote for The Guardian newspaper back when touring with Franz Ferdinand in 2005-2006. These articles were a commentary on what he ate on the tour in various locations around the planet. These have then been compiled into a little book and illustrations added. It reads autobiographically, flicking between the present and what Alex is eating in a particular location and flashing back to his life before Franz Ferdinand.
The descriptions are amazing, as is to be expected from a man who co-writes some of my favourite lyrics. Not only is the food described impeccably, but the location, the people, the feel of where he is and who is with him. Alex paints a picture of everything around him and it makes for a truly engaging read. Also, for those who wish to experience these things for themselves, there is a small glossary of all the places he mentions in the book situated at the back.
The style is rather Marmite in style. I love it, as does Jim, but it might not be to everyone’s tastes. But that’s okay; that is what books, like food, are supposed to be like. You might enjoy some bits and not others. Personally I would recommend this book to Franz fans, foodies and those who wander the globe but I’m not sure whether it would have a wider appeal. I hope it does though.