Alex Kapranos | Sound Bites: Eating on Tour With Franz Ferdinand (Penquin)

soundbitesHonestly, having met hundreds of bands, it is hard to find more than a very few interested in much more than the cheapest food available. Kapranos and his mates readily admit to eating the usual bad band-on-the-road food, but they also appear to take advantage of their touring and search out the unusual and unique.

 

 

 

There is something truly wonderful about reading prose by someone whose main paycheck in life comes from writing songs. The only thing better would be reading the words of one who is passionate about their subject…say, food. In Sound Bites, we are graced with both, and the soundbites1combination proves irresistible.

Alex Kapranos, lead singer/songwriter for Scottish band Franz Ferdinand, offers a slim volume revealing a distinct insight for small, perfect details, the ability to lift the simple process of eating to an art form, and how life's memories oftentimes revolve around the sense of taste.

We are in good hands with Kapranos. Prior to his life of wowing audiences around the world, he held many jobs in restaurants from the small to large. He knows what makes up a perfect meal and he is a keen observer of clientele and staff alike. Hence you get a wonderful nugget about oysters in D.C. and a cultural observation that is rare for most books:

The barman is a Scot. Nick is excited because his Westcott Bay oysters were half price. Oysters on special offer? My stomach cramps in warning.

I spy the barman. Grey flat-top and Dickensian specs. Highwaisted black apron. Starched white shirt. He left Irvine in 1982 but didn't forget his accent. I wonder if he is going to be a Jimmy MacJimmy. Every town in the world has a Jimmy MacJimmy – an expat parody of a Scot. Although they have not been home in thirty years, their identity is based around being a 'Jock'. Nobody who stays in Scotland describes themselves as 'Jocks'.

There are dozens of similar, wonderfully played out experiences mixed with gentle memories of his earlier experiences discovering food or his path to food education. It is refreshing to read Kapranos' prose and appreciation of food. Honestly, having met hundreds of bands, it is hard to find more than a very few interested in much more than the cheapest food available. Kapranos and his mates readily admit to eating the usual bad band-on-the-road food, but they also appear to take advantage of their touring and search out the unusual and unique. And Kapranos is no snob; he lavishes praise on high end food, but saves one of his biggest compliments for California's In ‘n Out Burger.

This book will almost assuredly prove enjoyable and will set your mouth watering. After it, you will be unable to look at your next meal the same way again. | Jim Dunn

About Jim Dunn 126 Articles
Jim Dunn grew up in NY in the 70s and 80s. Even though that time in music really shapes his appreciation it does not define it. Music, like his beloved history is a long intermingled path that grows, builds and steals from its past. He lives in Colorado with his lovely wife and a wild bunch of animals.

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