“I need a wide open space der ner ner, ner ner ner nerr nerr” sang Mansun, whatever happened to them lot? I think my mate had a fight with them over some Wotsits once, I can’t remember. The nineties were a bit like that weren’t they? Full to the brim with minor indie star cheese snack altercations. I once threw some mini cheddars at Tim Burgess but I don’t like to talk about it.
Anyway, Gestalten have a big ace coffee table book out which has nothing to do with any of the bollocks I’m spouting, apart from that annoyingly catchy Mansun tune. The Great Wide Open is the ideal antidote to rainy, doleful days spent indoors worrying about energy bills and the logistics of a trip to your nearest Lidl. Put together by the same well travelled bloke that also did that immense The Outsiders book, Jeffrey Bowman delivers a round the world tour of spine-tingling proportions. Majestic mountain ranges, rushing rivers, middle earth-esque valleys and desert tundra all jump out from the pages in hyperreal panoramic perfection. My arse even went a bit just looking at the photo of bloke standing out on Norway’s trolltunga which sums up both my spirit of adventure and the intensity of the images in this book. There’s also some decent writing in amongst the Icelandic tundra and Hikerdelic national parks, including a great piece on Finisterre who love going surfing IN SCOTLAND, IN WINTER the mad, mad bastards (they also make really nice clothes too btw). So whether you’re too skint or too urban to hit the great wide open just yet this book is a nice reminder of what you could be doing and what you’re missing out on.