Nick Hornby Joins Marah Onstage

(photo [L-R]: Marah's Serge and Dave Bielanko, and author Nick Hornby)

Philly-based rockers Marah have brought an unusual opening act to their early-June East Coast tour: friend and author Nick Hornby. Hornby—best known for his novels High Fidelity and About a Boy—is joining the group for live readings of several unpublished essays, which he wrote specifically for these performances. They highlight some of Hornby’s favorite artists, including Al Green, The Clash, The Faces and Marah.

Marah and Hornby teamed up Sunday, June 5, at the Bowery Ballroom in New York for their fourth show together. At these shows, Hornby’s readings are alternated with Marah performing songs by the artists featured. Singer Dave Bielanko said that the collaborations are intended to express the listener’s point of view.

“[The readings] are not there to be critiqued by writers,” Bielanko said. “They are just there to explain how it really is.”

Bielanko also said the performances explore the line between music and literature, an endeavor that influences Marah’s music and Hornby’s writing.

“We want to get it out of Borders and Barnes & Noble and onto the stage,” Bielanko said. The group hopes the collaboration will identify the experience of listening to music and being influenced by it. “Rock music, pop music isn’t the most important thing in the world, but in some ways it is. Everyone leaves smiling—so many people say, ‘that’s the way I felt.’”

Marah and Hornby will perform together again in Chicago on Saturday, June 11 at Schuba’s Tavern.