U.K. Folk Duo The Bookshop Band Drops New Song Produced by and Featuring The Who’s Pete Townshend

The Who’s Pete Townshend has produced and plays on Emerge, Return, a new album by The Bookshop Band. The group, a folk duo featuring Beth Porter and Ben Please, writes songs based on novels and non-fiction works. The album, which is the band’s 14th studio effort, will be released on June 28.

Videos by American Songwriter

In advance of the album, the band has released a song called “Sanctuary,” which was inspired by fantasy author Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage. You can check out a video for the song on The Bookshop Band’s official YouTube channel. The clip features footage from the studio, including Townshend playing bass guitar, keyboards, and percussion.

[RELATED: Pete Townshend Now Insists “The Who Are Not Done” After Hinting Otherwise]

“We were lucky enough to work with Pete Townshend for this whole album,” the group says in a statement, “so you will hear his unique additions to The Bookshop Band sound.” The Who legend is featured on every track on the record.

Meanwhile, Townshend noted about the band, “I am enchanted, such variation and delicacy … such latent power, really great work. It reminded me of my days listening to Sandy Denny and Fairport [Convention] and The Incredible String Band … a great discovery and inspiration.”

Some of the Books that Inspired the Band’s New Songs

Emerge, Return also features songs inspired by Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, among other works.

Atwood said of the group, “The band are great! If I had a bookshop I’d stock all their albums.”

More About The Bookshop Band

Porter and Please formed The Bookshop Band as an outgrowth of their mutual love for a local independent bookstore, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, located in Bath, U.K. The duo decided to write songs in response to books they read, curated by the shop.

Album Release and Tour Plans

The June 28 release of Emerge, Return will coincide with Independent Booksellers’ Week in the U.K. The album can be pre-ordered now. It will be available on CD, as a limited-edition red-and-black vinyl LP, and via digital formats.

The Bookshop Band has nearly 50 performances scheduled throughout the U.K. in 2024. Among them is a June 28 gig at the Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, U.K.

Emerge, Return Track List:

  1. “Sanctuary”
  2. “Dirty Word”
  3. “Eve in Your Garden”
  4. “Room for Three”
  5. “Faith in Weather”
  6. “Deep Time”
  7. “Doll”
  8. “Waggons and Wheels”
  9. “Why I Travel This Way”
  10. “The Night We Came to Wigtown (Scotland’s Famous Book Town)”
  11. “The Pull of the Moors”
  12. “The Vanishing Hours”
Photo by Elly Lucas

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