Literary influences explored...
The Family Rain

The sudden outbreak of summer appears to have taken a turn for the worse.

It's a time for heading indoors, for digging through the book shelves and finding something engrossing to lose yourself in. Their Library is a space for artists to explore their literary influences, to explain how certain authors have made an impact.

Newcomers The Family Rain have certainly made an impact. Spending 2013 on the road, the three piece clocked up over 200 shows in just 52 weeks.

Somewhat appropriately titled the 'Bad Weather Tour', the dates find the band continuing to plunge into their debut album 'Under The Volcano'. The Family Rain's Will Walter steps into Their Library ahead of the shows, revealing the contents of his bookshelf in the process...

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What is your favourite book and why?
'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole. The tragic but remarkable story surrounding the books publication and popularity drew me in but then I became equally hooked on just how well it is written. The story is extremely funny and the characters are so vividly described that you can't help becoming immersed in it. It is effortless.

What other authors do you like?
H.G Wells, Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe, George Orwell, Walter Tevis, Hemmingway, Laurie Lee, Jack Kerouac and Paul Theroux.

What draws you to certain books?
A lot of the time I use recommendations at the back of other books I have enjoyed. Apart from that it's picking up a book with a cool title and reading the blurb. I like to find unusual stories mainly.

Have you ever discovered a real lost classic? What is it and why?
I am not sure how under the radar it is but 'The Bridge Of San Luis Rey' by Thornton Wilder is a great book. It follows the events of different peoples life's leading up to their deaths involving the collapse of a bridge in Peru. It is a very original idea and makes you think that no matter where these people were in their lives they all shared the same fate and questions why that is.

Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?
I would like to think so, just generally improving my vocabulary and filling my head with different scenarios. I have used lines in books as titles of songs and worked backwards which is another cool use. Our debut album 'Under The Volcano' shares the title with a book by Malcolm Lowry .

What are you reading at the moment?
'The Neon Bible'. This is the only other proper novel in existence written by John Kennedy Toole and I have been wanting to read it ever since finishing 'A Confederacy of Dunces'. Toole wrote this one when he was only sixteen. It focuses on the experiences of a boy living in a small town in Louisiana during World War II.

What is the first book you remember reading as a child?
The first real book was Robin Hood, it was my dad's old copy and it was the first book I remember finishing properly. As a kids' book I don't think you can get much better.

Did you make good use of your library card as a child / teenager?
I actually started reading more in my early twenties, I didn't get excited by books at school and it took me a few years to realise there were good books out there.

Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn’t finish?
As a teenager I tried to read a Terry Pratchett novel and just could not fathom his world. I think you get it or you don't. Sorry Terry, it's just not for me!

Do you read book reviews?

Would you ever re-read the same book?
Yeah especially short stories. I have read the old man and the sea plenty of times, it's more like a personal viewing of a film, most people have a favourite film that they watch over and over again.

Have you ever identified with a character in a book? Which one and why?
George Bowling in George Orwell's 'Coming Up For Air'. I just felt that the way he dealt with the problems he had in his life and his general outlook was very similar to the way I think.

Do you read one book at a time or more than one?
Never more than one at a time, I don't think I have the brain capacity.

Is there an author / poet you would like to collaborate with?
Steve Coogan. Everything he does is genius.

'Don't Waste Your Time On Me, I Will Only Let You Down'

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The Family Rain have confirmed the following shows:

4 Birmingham Hare and Hounds
5 Leeds Cockpit
9 Manchester Night and Day
10 Glasgow King Tuts
11 Bath Komedia
12 London Dingwalls

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