Los Angeles. Florida. These are the natural homes of arena-sized power pop. You need a bit of sunshine to accompany all those chunky riffs and soda pop lyrics about girls and … girls.
The British climate is hardly condusive to such activities; the furthest reaches of north east Scotland even less so. Or so you would think. Yet Forres’ Be Like Pablo have been turning out slices of deep pan Weezer-pizza for several years now – and to much less notice than they rightly deserve. (Let’s just call them the McWeezer you didn’t realise you needed in your life.)
With a fine line in supporting visuals, BLP would ordinarily get snapped up by a forward-thinking label still trading in brightly-coloured 7″s and would maybe even consider a band-based anime.
Until then, we’ll just have to satisfy ourselves with their digital presence, like none-more-nerdy new tune ‘My Kind of Girl’ and its Nintendo-referencing video.
You’d think BLP would spend their days reading comic books and playing Mario Kart but we knew that, behind the baseball caps and glasses, there were real people – like you and me! – who maybe read books sometimes, and so we thought we’d get them to recommend a few titles for our ongoing Chapter & Verse strand. Take it away folks!
Ross Watson: Sick In The Head is a collection of conversations between film and TV writer/producer/director Judd Apatow and collaborators new and old. I read a lot of memoirs and autobiographies. I’m fascinated by how people at the top of their game have become successful and how creative people think and work. The book is a goldmine of conversations with comedians and writers including Steve Martin, Harold Ramis and Martin Short – some recorded as far back as the 80s and some from modern day. It includes an oral history of cult TV show Freaks and Geeks which Judd himself executive produced. Hugely insightful if you know the subject matter. Hilarious regardless.
Karen Mclaughlan: Hieroglyphics and Other Stories is a collection of short stories from Anne Donovan. I love that she writes in Glaswegian dialect – I can imagine my Gran saying lots of the things that are written. She’s got other great novels but there are so many interesting characters that you get introduced to in this book.
Ewen Watson: I’m a huge fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. While all three books are masterpieces in the fantasy genres, it was the first – Northern Lights – that introduced us to protagonist Lyra and the mystery of Dust. Far from a simple children’s adventure story, Northern Lights is set in a world not-quite like our own where every human’s soul is personified by a daemon. The trilogy (and, indeed, Pullman’s new spinoff series The Book of Dust) focusses on themes such as the dangers of organised religion, the importance of free-will and growing up. Full of wonderful ideas and fantastic characters, His Dark Materials is a must-read for all ages.
Jamie Murphy: I chose JRR Tolkien’s The Silmarrilion. Worlds within world’s within an author’s brain. Although it’s technically a compilation, each tale paints a masterpiece of creation, revenge and loyalty.
Andrew Stepien: I’m not a huge reader of books but if you’re a big fan of science fiction and Steven Spielberg like me, you can’t go wrong with Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park and Lost World. The books add and increase your enjoyment of the films. Interesting little parts of the book that are visible even in Jurassic World shows how much was left out. ‘Grenade launchers’ is all I’ll say about that…
Learn more about Be Like Pablo via their website.