Ben Saul-Garner on building London's Most Rebellious Book Club
I don’t know if I’ve ever heard “putting Lady Gaga in a rooftop igloo” used in a sentence before; but for Ben Saul-Garner it seems to just roll off the tongue. Co-founder of music agency Attachment, and the man behind Rebel Book Club - Ben’s lifestyle is a masterclass in finding balance. A balance of work and play, music and literature, inspiration and experience. 
In conversation with Ben, we talk about the creative people and businesses on his radar, his favourite London haunts, and of course Rebel Book Club; and how it feels bringing together a 500 strong community of free-thinkers over books and cocktails. With the digital world slowly taking over every aspect of our lives, we can’t help but appreciate the thought of people coming together to talk about something as simple and concrete as words on paper. After all,  these days, any reason to take human conversations from screen to reality is a welcome one.
Tell us about yourself and what your business is all about? 
Hey! I’m Ben Saul-Garner, Co-Founder at Attachment. We make the world of music simple, fast, and cost effective for some of the most exciting brands on the planet. Highlights include putting Lady Gaga in a rooftop igloo, hosting an overnight AirBnB stay with Mark Ronson at Abbey Road Studios, and celebrating 18 years of ASOS with Mike Skinner. 
Outside of the agency, I’m building Rebel Book Club: a community of thinkers and doers with a shared passion for forward thinking conversation and cocktails around non-fiction books. Every month we help our 500 members across London, Oxford, and Bristol finish and extract maximum value from an interesting read. So far this year we’ve explored Habit Formation, Body Positivity and we’re now onto Artificial Intelligence!
How important to you are the areas you choose to live/work in?
Pretty key. You’re likely to spend a big part of your life either at home or work so it’d be crazy to not find areas and create an environment that makes you happy.
How do you try to be ‘less ordinary’ and push boundaries with what you do?
I think it’s just seeking out the less ordinary as often as possible – across everything from books to experiences and most importantly people. The best ideas don’t come from sitting in front of a laptop. Getting out in nature also works for me!
What is it about London that you love the most and does it motivate you?
London for me will always be home. Literally anything is possible here and the density and diversity of inspiring people here is unrivalled.
Who, what or where is grabbing your attention creatively right now in terms of the most interesting people, places, experiences or ideas?
Lots spring to mind! Firstly, The Tempest Two and Team #Merky – both are very strategic and have used their ‘core thing’ to fuel some amazing ‘new things’.
In terms of ideas, Fixers are building a very exciting platform that is changing the way we travel. Jolt are pushing something interesting on an education front, a bit like a gym membership for your brain.  Allbirds are a brand I’ve fallen in love with this year too – you won’t find a better pair of shoes on the planet.
Finally, in the music game it’s cool to see the rise of the independent distributors – the likes of Platoon, AWAL and Ditto are spearheading an exciting movement vs the traditional major label route.


When travelling to other cities, is there a particular space, B&B, hotel or apartment you’ve stayed that jumps out as being ‘less ordinary’ in any way?
Yes! I’m a sucker for a unique AirBnB. This spot in Upstate New York was particularly special.
Do you have any London hidden gems you’d like to let us in on?
Rebel Book Club is a great place to meet inspiring people, with a unique cocktail every month. Hawksmoor do the best Sunday Roast for £20. Cove17 in Walthamstow if you need a haircut and some life advice! Benk & Bo’s basement in Spitalfields when they’ve got live music on. 

Are there any places in London that are on your hit-list that you haven’t had a chance to check out yet?
The new Spurs stadium! I’m moving to Forest Gate soon and there are a load of independent businesses a stones throw from the house - Arch Rivals,The Wanstead Tap & Burgess and Hall are all on the hit-list.

Out of all the places you’ve hosted Rebel Book Club in - has there been one that has really stood out? 
We’ve been really lucky to land some great spaces but our London December meet still stands out for me - we took over the AirBnB office in Clerkenwell and had author Seth Godin join us via Skype for an hour long Q&A from New York. Always a nice touch to give the community access to a space and person they wouldn’t usually have!

What is the first thing you look for when finding a space for Rebel Book Club?  
We always want to be cropping up in places you’d never find a book club. We bring the crowd and cocktails so it’s really about finding a cool spot that’s willing to accommodate! I guess there’s a certain aesthetic that just feels right for a curious community like ours and we tend to collaborate with spaces and brands who share a similar ethos to us. 

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Interview by Hannah Tan-Gillies

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