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BookTube: Document Your Life: France and Belgium (August 2017)

In which I essentially take you, the watcher, with me on holiday to Pas-de-Calais in France, and Ghent in Belgium.

Music: ‘Transatlanticism’ by Death Cab for Cutie

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One From the Archive: ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ by Autumn de Wilde ****

I have been a big fan of Death Cab for Cutie ever since I first heard them circa the start of the millennium.  I could happily put their albums on, one after the other, and listen to them for days.  (Actually, I have done this on several occasions.)  Gibbard’s voice is just beautiful, and the lyrics which the band write often astound me in their clarity, wisdom and perception of the world around.  I was singing away on the balcony at the Birmingham Carling Academy when I saw them during the Narrow Stairs tour in the summer of 2008, and yes, I even own the t shirt.

‘Death Cab for Cutie’ by Autumn de Wilde

It only seems natural then, that as soon as I saw this beautiful photography book following the band on tour in a lovely little remainders bookshop in Brighton last year, that I would want to own it.  I did not purchase it on that occasion because it is quite a hefty tome, and I could not bring myself to heave it around for the entire day, so instead I put it onto my Christmas list, and was lucky enough to get it.  (Yes.  I squealed.)

Death Cab for Cutie is so beautifully produced.  It is a shiny white hardback, filled with masses of glorious photographs of and interviews with the band.  The pictures which de Wilde – who has photographed many other bands (her CV boasts tours and work with the likes of New Found Glory, Tegan and Sara, Elliott Smith, The White Stripes and The Decemberists – seriously cool) – has included, are all so natural, and I think that that is a lovely touch.  The sequences of pictures in the book – memorably, one of Ben Gibbard purchasing and dressing up in a knight’s suit to alarm his bandmates whilst recording in a secluded corner of the United States – have all been so well thought out, and are really a delight.

Ben Gibbard on the tourbus during the Plans tour, 2005 (Taken by Autumn de Wilde)

The different photographic techniques which de Wilde has used are beautiful, and it is clear that she is a master at band photography.  My favourite photographs were those with bursts of colour, or the distorted images which mde me immediately focus upon one thing before appreciating the wider whole.  The only thing which let it down a little for me were the typos throughout.  Aside from that, it is a glorious piece of memorabilia of one of the best bands around, and it is sure to delight every single Death Cab for Cutie fan.  Whilst I was not present on any of the US tour dates which feature in the book, it is still lovely to think that I was a part of this, however small.

Suggested playlist to read this beautiful book to:
1. Doors Unlocked and Open – Death Cab for Cutie
2. Bigger Than Love – Benjamin Gibbard
3. Summer Skin – Death Cab for Cutie
4. Brothers on a Hotel Bed – Death Cab for Cutie
5. Shepherd’s Bush Lullaby – Benjamin Gibbard
6. We Looked Like Giants – Death Cab for Cutie
7. Someday You Will Be Loved – Death Cab for Cutie
8. Steadier Footing – Death Cab for Cutie
9. You Can Do Better Than Me – Death Cab for Cutie
10. Little Fury Bugs – Death Cab for Cutie

Purchase from the Book Depository