Following the demise of Milburn few would have been surprised if lead singer Joe Carnall withdrew from music altogether, simply packed his bags and took up the place he was offered at Cambridge. However he has proven to be made of tougher stuff than that, taking a place at Sheffield Uni allowing him to concentrate on his new musical project The Book Club. Initially a mere simple desire to write some new songs but as friends got involved in fleshing them out it was decided to take things more seriously, hence The Book Club were formed.
There are some similarities with his previous work i.e. his distinctive vocals and guitar playing but this isn’t Milburn part two. There is real lyrical progression and maturity displayed here in dealing with issues of greater substance than going out drinking and chatting up girls. At a first glance it appears the break from music has allowed him to hone his already notable talent for social commentary and story telling. There is also a greater political tinge sneaking in to the proceedings with tracks on the band’s debut EP dealing with the recession and the Hillsborough disaster, perhaps hanging out with Billy Bragg had a greater effect than most thought.
While unsure about the name of the band, I’m pretty excited about the few tracks I’ve heard and hopefully something really good comes from this.
The Book Club released their self-titled debut EP on March 19th and are currently touring the UK which includes my old haunt, Wrexham’s Central Station. You can get the rest of their demos from their MySpace.