Outtakes On Bob Dylan

NEW TITLE: Outtakes On Bob Dylan: Selected Writings 1967-2021 by Michael Gray

Michael Gray wrote his first article on Bob Dylan for the counterculture magazine OZ in 1967 when its editor asked him to  ‘Do an F.R. Leavis on Bob Dylan’s songs.’ He’s been writing about those songs ever since. Alongside his groundbreaking Song & Dance Man trilogy and the massive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, Gray has been bringing his acuity to Dylan’s career for newspapers, magazines and journals from the 1960s to the present day.

Here we have eye-witness accounts of concerts: from a mercurial 1966 show in Liverpool through to bulletins from glorious, and not so glorious, shows on the Never-Ending Tour. Dylan’s blues roots are explored in train rides through Mississippi. On a trip to Hibbing, Gray gets to play the same piano in the same school hall where Dylan hammered out Little Richard numbers in the 1950s. Throughout, Gray turns his critical attention to Dylan’s work as it appears, from his immediate perceptive take on 1975’s Blood On The Tracks up to a new, extended essay on 2020’s Rough And Rowdy Ways.

Ever since the pioneering Song & Dance Man in 1972, Michael Gray has been the go-to critic for Dylan fans in search of serious analysis of this most elusive artist’s work. In Outtakes On Bob Dylan, we get Gray the man as well as a unique measure of Dylan’s long career as it unfolds, not in retrospect but in real time.

‘Gray’s passionate subjectivity mirrors his subject’s wholly idiosyncratic journey through life, as well as the complexities and contradictions that make Dylan who he is.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Gray has read everything remotely related to the subject; he has also listened to everything, and with great care… alert to the fluidity of ideas and associations in Dylan’s art and microscopically attentive to his choice and delivery of words.’ The Guardian

‘I have always admired Gray’s reach, tone, and acuity.’ Greil Marcus

NUMBERED EDITION: All pre-orders taken before 30th April 2021 will receive an exclusive numbered first-edition hardback. Pre-orders will begin shipping in the first week of May 2021, in advance of official publication. Click here to pre-order your advance numbered copy.

When Quiet Was the New Loud

Celebrating the Acoustic Airwaves 1998-2003
By Tom Clayton

Post-Britpop. Pre-New Rock. The New Acoustic Movement.

The quiet music of 1998-2003 bridged the gap between two cultures, two generations and two centuries. As the nineties wound down and a new millennium approached, the UK began to look nostalgically to the past – and hesitantly to the future. The giants of Britpop had imploded, rave culture had started to chill out and a new wave of unassuming musicians suddenly found themselves in the spotlight. While Travis, Dido, Coldplay and David Gray may have shone the brightest, the likes of Kings of Convenience, Badly Drawn Boy and Turin Brakes also produced classic albums and won legions of fans.

Even though the New Acoustic Movement created some of the biggest hits of the century – earworms that still fill the airwaves today – it has been unfairly overlooked, too often dismissed as uncool or worse. Two decades on, When Quiet Was the New Loud finally puts the record straight and gives the acoustic era the recognition it deserves.

Tom Clayton’s affectionate look at the key records from the period – bestsellers and hidden gems alike – rediscovers the songs, personalities and stories of the time and reveals a moment when, albeit briefly, the meek really did inherit the earth.

‘An insightful, passionate and thoughtful telling of one music fan’s journey in sound that transcends volume.’ Colin MacIntyre, Mull Historical Society

‘A charming and important reveal on the acoustic outsiders of the early noughties and beyond.’ Olly Knights, Turin Brakes

‘An insight into the outer circles of British music which still resonate powerfully today.’ Kathryn Williams

PRE-ORDER: We will be shipping advance copies of the First Edition Hardback from mid-March, three months in advance of the official release in June. Be amongst the first to read it, click here to pre-order your advance copy.

Click here for Spotify playlist for the book, and a list of the albums featured.

New Title: The Chameleon Poet – Bob Dylan’s Search For Self

John Bauldie’s previously-unpublished work of forensic insight into Bob Dylan’s unique artistic journey.

On his untimely death at 47 years old in October 1996, not only did John Bauldie sit at the what could be called the high table of Dylan Studies, but from the early nineties, when he was invited by Dylan’s management to write the liner notes that accompanied the Bootleg Series Volume 1-3, many would attest that he was chairman of the board.

In his lifetime, John Bauldie was a giant amongst Bob Dylan fans and collectors. As the editor of The Telegraph, he was a voracious advocate for Dylan to be afforded the respect of a major artist and an early lobbyist for him to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Yet, despite creating the Wanted Man Study Series to encourage analysis of Dylan’s work, Bauldie never published his own full critical study, though regular subscribers to The Telegraph knew he had completed one. A few teasing extracts and a handful of mysterious mentions revealed the existence of this fabled manuscript, The Chameleon Poet, which has remained unpublished until now.

Covering the formative span of Dylan’s career from his emergence in the early sixties to his conversion to Christianity in the late seventies, The Chameleon Poet traces each step in the development of the artist and man from youth to maturity. With scholarly precision and vivid clarity, Bauldie’s analysis of Dylan’s work reveals a continuous journey.

Forty years on, as a Nobel Laureate, Bob Dylan’s position as one of the great artists of the age is secure, fulfilling Bauldie’s vision. Now it is time to read the only full-length critical study by the foremost champion of Dylan’s art. The Chameleon Poet is a book of its time, but such is its focus on the inner journey of everyman, it’s as relevant today as it was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.

Bill Allison’s introduction sketches a portrait of Bauldie’s life and his ascendancy in the world of Dylan Studies.

‘I read The Chameleon Poet in 1981, and spent most of the rest of the decade trying to persuade John to publish it. Well, it only took forty years, but now you can read it, too.’ – Clinton Heylin


John Bauldie was raised in the northern English town of Bolton. Throughout the seventies, alongside his work as a lecturer in English literature, he was an avid collector of rare and unreleased Bob Dylan recordings. In the eighties, he established The Telegraph, a popular quarterly journal of Dylan studies, which he edited from 1981 until his tragic death in 1996. He was a staff writer at Q magazine and Mojo, edited several books, and wrote the liner notes for Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 box set, for which he received a Grammy nomination.

Bill Allison was a close friend of John Bauldie. They had a shared love of Bolton Wanderers and Bob Dylan, in that order. John often said that their lives were as intertwined as spaghetti. Bill wrote extensively for The Telegraph, and later for The Bridge. Bill lives near Blackpool with his wife, Julia, and their daughters, Lucy and Helen.


ADVANCE COPIES: We will be shipping advance copies of the First Edition Hardback of The Chameleon Poet in mid-January 2021. (The book won’t go on general release until May 2021). To be amongst the first to read it, click here to pre-order your copy.

NEW TITLE: Anne & Betty – United By The Struggle

Anne & Betty: United By The Struggle
by Anne Scargill and Betty Cook with Ian Clayton
Foreword by Maxine Peak

Route is delighted to announce the acquisition of the memoir of two of the leading lights of the Women Against Pit Closures Movement.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook met at the beginning of the miners’ strike. Betty was a proud miner’s daughter, wife and mother, who was determined to support her family and community. Anne happened to be married to Arthur Scargill, the president of the miners’ union. She too was steeped in the history of coalfield culture. Together they helped to create perhaps the greatest thing to come out of the strike, the Women Against Pit Closures movement. Inspired by the working-class values that raised them, they put their arms around those who needed support, fed the hungry, and stood firm against those whose intent was to destroy their way of life. Once the strike was over, through education and direct action, they stepped over the threshold to support working people in struggle both at home and abroad, changing not only the direction of their own lives, but many other women too.

Here for the first time in print, Anne and Betty tell their own story in their own voices. Told with humour and conviction, this is an indispensable slice of social history. It reveals the vitality of two remarkable women who possess the strength and resolve to stand up for what they believe in and how, no matter what, they never give in.

‘A must read about two women with extraordinary courage and a commitment to their community that has never faltered.’ Ricky Tomlinson

‘Anne and Betty are a constant inspiration to me. They are two beacons of hope that show that we are all capable of affecting change, tackling life face on and having a bloody good laugh along the way. I salute you both, my heroes.’ Maxine Peake

***

Route editor Ian Daley said of the acquisition, ‘Route sits in the heart of the Yorkshire coalfield, and the particular culture that coal mining creates is a cornerstone on which we are founded. It is an honour and a privilege for us to help Anne and Betty tell their story, their lifelong commitment and dedication to help working people and the communities that support them has long been an inspiration to us, and the Women Against Pit Closures Movement, which they are such an important part of, is a source of great local pride.’

This announcement is made on the day of the 2020 Durham Miner’s Gala as Anne and Betty’s book was due to be launched at this year’s event, but sadly the pandemic has put a halt to that. It would have been a great occasion, but hopefully by this time next year Anne and Betty will be able to celebrate their book with all their friends at Durham.

Anne Scargill: ‘I have been going to Durham Miners’ Gala every year for over forty years now. I am going to miss being there this time. It’s a shame, because I was looking forward to seeing all my friends. I will be back next year though. I would like to send my love to all my friends who I meet there. I will see you all next time.’

Betty Cook: ‘I love everything about Durham Miners Gala; the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the friends I meet there, it’s my favourite festival. If I had to choose between a holiday and Durham I would go for a weekend at the Gala every time. The Durham Miners Association has been so supportive of Anne and I over the years, we appreciate them no end.’

Ian Clayton: ‘I was looking forward to going to Durham this time as we were going to have a stall in the cricket ground and launch the book from there. That can’t happen this year, but the book itself is going ahead and I have my fingers crossed that Durham will be back on again next year, because like everybody else who loves it, I will be coming.

***

Anne Scargill has devoted much of her life to direct action. From the days of the coal miners’ strike, through to helping the homeless to volunteering for the local hospice, she believes actions always speak louder than words.

Betty Cook is a proud daughter of the coalfields. She learned all she knows about community and activism on her journey from Brick Row in the pit village of Woolley.

Ian Clayton is an author, broadcaster and storyteller from Featherstone, West Yorkshire. His stories are about making sense of where we come from. His books include Bringing It All Back Home, a bestselling book about music; Song For My Father about his lifelong search for a father figure; Our Billie about loss; and most recently It’s The Beer Talking about a life in public houses and ale which won The British Guild of Beer Writers Award for Best Writer about Pubs.

***

Anne & Betty: United By The Struggle is published in hardback and advance copies are SHIPPING NOW.  (It will not be able via other trade channels until 9th November 2020).
Be amongst the first to read Anne & Betty’s book. Click here to order an advance copy

 

New Acquisition | When Quiet Was The New Loud by Tom Clayton

Route is delighted to announced the acquisition of Tom Clayton’s book When Quiet Was The New Loud: Celebrating the Acoustic Airwaves 1998-2003. The book is a playful yet affectionate look at a brief period of British music that the NME called ‘the New Acoustic Movement’ and Alan McGee called ‘music to wet your bed to’. Despite the enormous success of some of its leading lights – Coldplay, Travis, David Gray (his album White Ladder sold 3 million copies in the UK alone, and 7 million worldwide. It is Ireland’s biggest selling album of all-time) – the negative reaction to it was so fierce it not only died a sudden death, it was quickly erased from history. Tom’s book looks at the broader movement beyond the key players; it is a deeply-researched and measured view of an era that although happened relatively recently, is already being purposefully forgotten.

Here are some words from Tom on the book:

“When Quiet Was The New Loud: Celebrating the Acoustic Airwaves 1998-2003 is an affectionate look at a time that’s often skimmed over when we tell the story of British music. The late nineties and early noughties are too often dismissed as the era of ‘bedwetting indie’ – the epilogue to Britpop, or the prologue to ‘new rock’. With this book I’m hoping to prove it was more than just a stopgap. It takes the form of twelve chapters, each focusing on a key album from the time – both the big bestsellers, and the hidden gems. For a lot of people my age, these records played a huge part in our musical upbringings… whether we like to admit it or not! In any case, I hope it prompts some fond memories and some generous relistens. It’s been such fun to revisit the time, and to interview many of the musicians involved. And I’m delighted to be working with Route, a publisher I admire enormously.”

Route editor Ian Daley says, ‘I’m thrilled to be working with Tom. He possesses the perfect combination of a talent for writing and a passion for his subject. With When Quiet Was The New Loud he has found a quirky gateway into the British psyche at the turn of the 21st century.’

Tom Clayton is a music critic whose writing has appeared in The Sunday Times, Drowned in Sound, Louder Than War and The 405, among others. He was the lead researcher and writer for Messing Up the Paintwork: The Wit and Wisdom of Mark E. Smith (Ebury, 2018); When Quiet Was the New Loud is his first original book. He lives and works in east London.

When Quiet Was The New Loud will be published by Route in 2020.

Video above is Kings of Convenience with ‘Toxic Girl’, a song from their album Quiet Is The New Loud.

HAVE A BLEEDIN GUESS

HAVE A BLEEDIN GUESS: The Story of Hex Enduction Hour by Paul Hanley

Even if it’s a fool’s errand trying to decide which is the greatest LP out of The Fall’s huge back catalogue of albums, many fanatics of the group will tell you that the worst thing you can say about Hex is that it’s their equal best at the very least. ’ – John Doran, The Quietus

Of all The Fall’s myriad long-players, Hex Enduction Hour remains one of their most highly regarded. Even the circumstances of its recording, purportedly in an abandoned cinema and a cave formed from Icelandic lava, have achieved legendary status among their ever-loyal fanbase.  HAVE A BLEEDIN GUESS tells the full story of the album, including how each song was written, performed and recorded. It also includes new interviews with key players.

Author Paul Hanley, who was one of The Fall’s two drummers when Hex was created, is uniquely placed to discuss the album’s impact, both when it was released and in the ensuing years.

Hanley writes in his introduction to the book: ‘Because of the way The Fall worked in those days, Hex and its contents can’t be discussed in a vacuum […] While what went on during the Iceland and Hitchin sessions will inform much of what follows, documenting the making of Hex Enduction Hour isn’t like discussing Rumours, or even Blood on the Tracks: its recording was part of a process. What’s more, the Fall process often subverted the rehearse-record-tour cycle by skipping the rehearsal bit – it wasn’t unheard of for a song roughed out in a soundcheck to be part of that night’s set. The oldest song on Hex Enduction Hour was first played live as early as August 1980. The group released an LP, a six-track ‘mini-album’ and two singles before it made its way onto vinyl, but it fits Hex Enduction Hour’s atmosphere perfectly. Someone in The Fall knew what they were doing. Hopefully by the end of this you’ll have some idea too.’

It is this continuous working process – from the formation of the band that made the record, through the trip to Iceland, the key switching of record labels from Rough Trade to Kamera and the subsequent recording at The Regal in Hitchin –  that is at the heart of HAVE A BLEEDIN GUESS. Along the way, Hanley’s insider’s perspective busts a few myths that have surrounded the album over the years, as well as bringing fresh insights, not least of which is who is the King Shag Corpse.

The book features new contributions from key players on the album, including Craig Scanlon, Steve Hanley, Marc Riley and Kay Carroll, plus producers Grant Showbiz and Richard Mazda, and Kamera’s Saul Galpern and Chris Youle.

Foreword by Stewart Lee

Paul Hanley was the drummer in The Fall from 1980-85 and now plays with Brix & The Extricated. His debut book Leave The Capital: A History of Manchester Music in 13 Recordings was nominated for the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.

HAVE A BLEEDIN GUESS: The Story of Hex Enduction Hour signed paperback edition (while stocks last) can be ordered direct from Route. CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Events:
Wednesday 23rd October
Rock N Roll Book Club, Walthamstow Trades Hall.
Paul was joined by brother Steve. Interviewed by John Doran of The Quietus
Click here to listen an audio recording of the event, plus a video of the audience Q&A

Sunday 10th November
Louder Than Words Festival, Principal Hotel, Manchester
Paul will be interview by Daryl Easlea
Click here for tickets and further details.