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Louder Than Words 2022

Book publishing tends to be quite cyclical and by the time December rolls around, amidst a flurry of new books, Christmas shopping and end-of-year lists, we look back on a shelf of new music books and a busy calendar of launches and other events.

This year has been filled with anniversaries and birthdays. Not only is Omnibus Press turning 50, but also Louder Than Words, the music book festival, celebrated its 10th anniversary in November.

Louder Than Words is a unique celebration of music books that is put on every year. The festival includes in conversation events, panel discussions, live performances and signing sessions. Omnibus Press has been a proud sponsor of the festival since the beginning. 

This year the line-up was particularly fantastic, with a wide range of top guests converging on the Innside Hotel in Manchester for the weekend.

Artists talking about their books included Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai, Helen O'Hara from Dexy's Midnight Runners, Dave Gedge from the Wedding Present, P.P. Arnold, Martyn Ware and Miki Berenyi. We were delighted to present both Rick Buckler and Karl Bartos.

Jam drummer Rick Buckler was joined by music journalist and author Daryl Easlea for the launch of Rick's new book The Jam 1982a richly illustrated account of the band's final year. Fans were treated to a funny, emotional and insightful account of what it was like to witness that roller-coaster year from the drum stool. 

Rick Buckler in conversation with Daryl Easlea

Electronic music legend Karl Bartos came to discuss his new autobiography, The Sound of the Machine: My Life in Kraftwerk and Beyond, with the lecturer and author Leah Kardos. Their conversation, which included Karl discussing some classic clips of Kraftwerk, culminated in a fascinating discussion of the interplay between creativity, technology and society.

Karl Bartos in conversation with Leah Kardos

The weekend also included an event based around Richard Evans' new book Listening to the Music the Machines Make: Inventing Electronic Pop 1978-1983. Richard led us through the sound of the period, in conversation with Martyn Ware (Heaven 17, the Human League) and the author and lecturer Martin James.

Other Omnibus authors in attendance to talk about their books included Zoë Howe, who co-wrote The Jam 1982, Carl Magnus Palm, author of Bright Lights, Dark Shadows: The Real Story of ABBA, and Joel McIver, author of a host of music books

The festival is a hugely social experience, with conversations continuing in the bar long into the night between many of the writers, musicians and other guests. 

An after-hours conversation between Martin James, Paul Hollins and Karl Bartos

Co-authors of The Jam 1982 - Rick Buckler and Zoë Howe

The festival was founded by Jill Adam, whose previously chaired the Harrogate International Festivals, and John Robb, music journalist and musician, best known for his post-punk band Membranes.

A massive thank you from everyone at Omnibus Press to Jill and John, the brilliantly cheerful volunteers, the Innside team, Blackwell's Bookshop and everyone who came along. See you next year! 

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