An Interview with Grant Nicholas

Feeder are in Scotland this Saturday, at Edinburgh’s Queens Hall

Lead singer, Grant Nicholas, took time to chat to the Mumble

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Hello Grant, so are you looking forward to your gig in Edinburgh – have you visited the city before?

Really looking forward to it. We have been many times and I also did a show there on my solo album tour. It’s a lovely city and Scottish audiences are always great. 

 

So what started you off in the musical spheres, in the earliest days? 

It really started off after seeing a band at school play when I was around 9 or 10 years old. I remember looking through my Mother’s shopping catalogues and dreaming of buying an electric guitar. I also went to a few rock concerts when I was young and loved the atmosphere and decided then I wanted to be in a band. 

 

How did the formation of your band, Feeder, come about?

We kind of Started in South Wales where I met Jon Lee, Feeder’s founding drummer. We used to rehearse in an old barn there as it was so much cheaper than the rehearsals rooms in London. I had moved to London and found a job in a recording studio for 3 years before starting the band with Jon and he eventually joined me in London. 

 

Twenty years later, how does playing with the band still feel?

We feel good at the moment and glad to still being doing it. I think the break did us good and we are very happy with the way All Bright Electric came out and was received. There is new spark and it’s nice to still feel inspired after all these years. 

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Can you tell us the inspiration behind your latest album, All Bright Electric? 

I just try to write songs that hopefully will connect in some way with people. Most of the songs were written on acoustic guitar, my writing instrument of choice. I love the freedom to write heavy or mellow songs as this is part of the Feeder sound and dynamic. When we play together it just comes together. 

 

Where & how was it recorded?

The drums were recorded in some bigger studios in and around London but the majority of the record was done in my little studio The Treehouse. You can hear the birds singing on some of the vocal takes. 

 

What are the stand out songs for your personally, both musically & lyrically?

 I am really happy with the album overall but I really like Infrared Ultraviolet, Eskimo and Universe of Life . 

 

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for Grant Nicholas?

More touring, festivals and some recording as I have just written a bunch of new songs. We have something planned so watch this space.

 

 

An Interview with Jo D’Arc

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THE MUMBLE :  Hi, Jo so we’re all raking our first tentative steps into 2017 – but 2016 was a year to remember for the Twistettes, what were your highlights
JO : It really was a whirlwind. Early in the year we played a sold out gig at the Glasgow Barrowlands Ballroom as part of a collective of local acts who put the gig together under the yellow movement banner. This was a totally DIY effort. It was amazing to be part of this…and to play the Barrowlands. Epic night!

We released our album a few weeks after this. This was really hard work but so worth it. We had lots of help from various people in the local scene including DIY label Traffic Cone Records who we released the album with. The fantastic local Glasgow artist Rebecca Scott did the artwork and local producer Robbie Gunn (aka Sundogs) engineered and produced the tunes. We were really lucky to be able to work with all these brilliant people and wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. The launch gig has to be one of the most memorable for sure. The crowd were amazing! The super talented Martin Windebank captured some of this in the video for ‘Is This It’ which has just been released.

We were really busy gigging for the rest of the year. This included playing a bunch of festivals including Knochengorrach World Ceilidh, Kelburn Garden Party, Audio Soup, Mugstock and Lindisfarne…we love festival season so it was amazing to be invited to perform at these events!

THE MUMBLE :   So when did you decide and what were the circumstances behind the idea of doing a tour of England
JO : We’ve steadily been building a fan base outside of Scotland. We got some great reviews for the album from across the UK and there was an increasing demand for us to hit the road so it made sense to look at some dates outside Scotland. We’re totally up for some adventures anyway so it works out well!

THE MUMBLE :   How did you find organising it.
JO : It’s been a pain in the neck to be honest! It’s really tough trying to pull it together so that the dates and locations are co-ordinated. We’ve been offered lots of good opportunities that we had to pass on due to logistics. Also, it’s a bit frustrating as we would love to go everywhere but time and money don’t allow it so we’ve had to be selective. It’s a shame when folks in an area want to see you but you can’t make it there. Hopefully we can catch some of these locations next time though. Big respect to people who book tours for a job…they must have computer brains haha. I suppose a lot of it is about contacts though. We’ve been lucky that lots of people have been really helpful…hooking us up with promoters and venues. This made it infinitely easier so many thanks to anyone who lent a hand.

THE MUMBLE : So where will you be playing & what will be the logistics on tour – will you be sleeping in a van, hotels, couch-surfing?
JO : These are the tour dates:

23rd March – Sound , LIVERPOOL
24th March – Fuel, MANCHESTER
25th March – The Fulford Arms, YORK
8th April – Conroys Basement , DUNDEE
14th April – Bar Loco , NEWCASTLE
28th April – O` Neills, ABERDEEN
29th April – Banshees, EDINBURGH
30th April – The Green Door Store, BRIGHTON
5th May – McChuill`s , GLASGOW
27th May – Knockengorroch Festival, DUMFRIES
24th June – La Belle Angel , EDINBURGH

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Accommodation wise…bit of all the above! Some of the promoters have offered us a place to crash which is ace. We will be in the van a couple of nights though…unless we have a good night on the merch, then we can treat ourselves, hehe!

THE MUMBLE :  What does Jo D’Arc get up to when she’s not a Twistette
JO : Well, as you know, I’ m also in the Girobabies. I also do acoustic gigs and write a bunch of varied music including electronic tunes. I’ve done a few remixes and have been known to do some DJ’ing as well. I don’t DJ regularly anymore but love a mix from time to time.
I also do community work for my day job so always really busy!

THE MUMBLE :  I see you’ll be Djing in Arran on the 20th May, what kind of set will the punters expect
JO : Yep…not sure yet!! I used to DJ techno but maybe do some more party type tunes. I’ve done a few sets where all the music is by female artists/performers which I like the idea of…will maybe do something like that.

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THE MUMBLE :  You write some cracking original tunes, what compels you to compose
JO : I just love playing and writing music. It’s not something that I think about really…I just need to do it and have done since I was pretty young. It’s just part of being me. It’s good to have a few avenues to go down creatively as well. I’ve got a really short attention span so it helps to be able to flit about between guitar, bass, computer, etc.

THE MUMBLE :   The Twistettes are a family affair – how does playing alongside your sister feel
JO : It’s great. We get on really well and know each other so well both personally and musically that it’s really easy to work together. We’ve been in bands with other loads of other people in the past which has always been great as well but there’s something really productive and enjoyable about what we are doing now.

THE MUMBLE :  After your Spring tour with the Twistettes, how is the summer looking
JO : We’re still booking summer dates but will likely be doing a few festivals…just not confirmed which ones yet apart from Knochengorroch. We are planning a ‘Twistettes Twisted Tea Party’ at La Belle Angele in Edinburgh on 24th June which will include a female heavy line-up of musicians, poets, artist and more. We are also hoping to do one of these in Glasgow towards the end of the summer.

An Interview with Caoilainn Tunstall

One of the hottest prodigies in Scotland right now is Caoilainn Tunstall, a 14-month old singer-songwriter from Edinburgh. The Mumble managed to catch an interview between her afternoon nap & ‘Masha and the Bear.’

17474100_10154226883890689_1175087742_oTHE MUMBLE : Hello Caoilainn, its an honour to meet ya

CAOILAINN : You too, dude

THE MUMBLE : So when did you first feel your love for music

CAOILAINN : It was when I went on Easter Road with my daddy & heard the beautiful singing of the fans

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THE MUMBLE :  You must support Hibernian then – is this a family thing?

CAOILAINN : Very much so. As a toddler I have to go to the famous under 5s stand, but one day I will be big enough to go to the East Stand. I’ve been lucky enough to be born in time to see Hibs win the Scottish Cup 😉 Me and my daddy watch the cup final dvd quite a lot!!!

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In her punk days

THE MUMBLE : You were a bit of a punk in your early months, can you tell us about it

CAOILAINN : When I was about 6 month old I was right into Stiff Little Fingers. Then the Clash, Sex Pistols, you know, the classics. These days I’m more into Led Zeppelin & the Second Coming by the Stone Roses, you know, 70s psychedelia. Its groovy.

THE MUMBLE : So what instruments do you play yourself

CAOILAINN : I’ve not long got into playing the ukulele but I’ve mastered the tambourine!!! My Papa John plays the guitar and has taught me some songs. My Papa also plays left handed like me. I’m a bit of an all-rounder I guess.

 

THE MUMBLE : What does Caoilainn Tunstall like to do when she’s not making kick-ass music

CAOILAINN : I like to sleep & to sometimes make a mess in the front room. My favourite television programme is Masha and the Bear, I can’t help but dance when it comes on and it makes me giggle every time. I never get the chance to watch it when Grandma Mary comes round, though, as she just wants to play and chase me round the house. Really disturbs my creative flow.

THE MUMBLE : What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Caoilainn Tunstall

CAOILAINN : Teething, potty training, recognizing myself in both facebook photos & mirrors;  I should start being able to recognize the names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions. And maybe record an album in the summer.

 

 

Gleneagles Gala concert

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Glasgow City Halls, Candleriggs

March 17th

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The ambitions set by the merging two excellent institutions this evening were soon qualified in the first piece of  music they created for us; the large orchestra came together in a score that provided a beautiful take on classical music. There was a feel of ‘cutting edge’ attempts by Gleneagles and the Royal Conservatoire Scotland who are enthusiastically at the front of modern, contemporary and traditional music. From the moment the conductor walked onto the stage (Sir James MacMillan), I was enthralled as the many instruments, set apart & yet together, comblended in beautiful sound unison. There were many contemporary & daring details to the evening; mixing orchestra with opera with choruses, whose poetic voices echoed in the music as it reverberating through the evening. The size of performers grew in number as the story gained and lost momentum, dipping from head to foot and the other way round. As the more spiritual aspects of the evening’s music were being put into focus, I began to muse on these times in which older songs are more & more recollected and returned once to the magical fields of live performance.

This music was strong, bold and offered freedom; a haunting oboe sang at the front for an entire song, leaving and leading the music, glancing at Sir James who passionately led the stage, hopping and ranting in silence. The last performance of the evening was the greatest fete, with the back of the stage filled up by a chorus and below them a chorus of school children. The sentiment of this partnership of Gleneagles and the Royal Conservatoire has as wide a stretch as possible, including 50 international students. The aim is to seek out what they call outstanding potential, and are welcomed at a very young age. Their parents were all about us in the audience, & we all faced forward in silence together, completely relaxed, completely absorbed. All the scores we heard had a certain perfection to them, & I floated through the evening being tossed around or laid on the floor to rest or die.

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Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly

 

An Interview with Carl Marah

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THE MUMBLE : Hello Carl so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking

CARL : Where am I from? I’m proud to say I hail from the seaside musical melting pot that is Dunbar, East Lothian. Nice wee town with plenty of colourful characters that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the years. Gloss artists, radge grannies and an abundance of sound folk, it’s a pretty tender place to call my hometown. But geographically speaking? Well last year I made the move to Edinburgh and it’s been well good. Living in the big city is absolutely essential for any muso wanting to take their muso-ing to the next level and it’s definitely helped progress Logan’s Close to where we are now. At the inevitable cost of my flat now becoming our musical storage unit.

THE MUMBLE : You play lead guitar, harmonica & singing – where does your love of music come from

CARL : From an early age I got used to my parents playing tunes in our flat every day. It was always filled with music. I suppose that must have embedded itself deep, but the real moment music became a big thing in my life was when my little brother got a guitar for his birthday. My entire family started learning how to play guitar and with our entire guitar education being drawn from an Oasis and a Beatles chord book, we all managed to get the basics of guitar playing down. However I was the only one who really persisted with the instrument and it became an increasingly important part of my life. Naturally, guitar-based music appealed to me, and after delving into guitar music from the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s and beyond respectively, the different flavours that guitar has been presented in over the years have heavily influenced the kind of music I create with Logan’s Close.

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THE MUMBLE : Can you tell us about your band, Logan’s Close, how did they come together

CARL : Logan’s Close came about between myself and two good friends I’ve known since school. Mr. Scott Rough, and Mr. Michael Reilly have both been friends of mine for many, many years – even before the band was even a thought. The protagonist for forming a band arose when we realised we each shared a love for the same kind of music: rock n roll and rhythm & blues. It combines the power and passion of blues music, with a driving, energetic pace that always invokes a boogy. We loved this kind of music and felt there weren’t any bands on the local scene that played in that style. We also realised that myself and Scott play guitar, and Mike plays drums – so we took it upon ourselves to be the band we wanted to listen to. We’ve been lucky to have the prodigal Mr. Ollie Turbitt join us on bass recently, who is on the exact same wavelength as the rest of the band. Voila! Logan’s Close.

 

THE MUMBLE : What’s the story behind the band name

CARL : Well in our humble hometown of Dunbar there is a certain close (or alleyway for non-Scottish readers) which we used to frequent on our journeys about town. It was a handy shortcut between mine and Scott’s part of town to the High Street. Also, it was (and still is) a grotty, dirty close that drunks often take liberties in late at night – pretty grim – the way we like it. One day as we were walking down this close, Scott mentioned that its name – Logan’s Close – would be a great band name. So when we decided to form the band it was the obvious choice.

THE MUMBLE : Your sound is very 60s-esque- what are your personal influences from this era.

CARL : From the 60s, one of my main influences was the British blues scene and the various bands that were a part of it.  Guitarists like Clapton, Page, Beck and my personal favourite Peter Green were all dotted about in a bunch of different projects during that time and many of them have heavily influenced my playing and songwriting. Of course each of those players were inspired by guys like BB King, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and other American blues guys, who in turn were influenced by blues from the Mississippi Delta so there’s a natural progression of influence / inspiration going on there, which I’ve followed in depth. The other big influence for me personally is those four blokes from Liverpool who overhauled the entire musical landscape time after time. In Logan’s Close, myself and the guys want to combine both of those main influences: tight, snappy well-structured and melodic songs, with hard, raw, improvisational grittiness and energy. In addition though, we want to take those influences and shed them under a modern light – drawing ideas and sounds from modern music to create a fresh yet old-school sound.

THE MUMBLE : Can you tell us about your appearance on STV Glasgow

CARL : STV Glasgow came about in the midst of a whole load of other major moments for the band in November 2016. The week beforehand we’d just supported Martin Stephenson and the Daintees at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Martin told us that by chance he was in Dunbar one day, strolled into the local record shop, and as he entered the door our debut EP was playing on the speakers. He asked who the band was, and soon after we received a message from him offering us a support slot in Liverpool on his tour. He’s a top guy and a great musician. A few days after Liverpool we then supported The Rising Souls at the Liquid Rooms, where they were launching their tasty ‘Set Me Free’ EP. Our first time playing there, we got a great response from the audience and enjoyed every minute. So then the following week, we headed through to Glasgow in a hired van with all our gear tossed in the back, rolled up into the studio, got set up and played two of our tunes – “Listen To Your Mother” and “Ticket Man”.  We’d been on STV Edinburgh the previous year,  but being on STV Glasgow felt like a real step up and the response the video got after we posted it was pretty incredible.

THE MUMBLE : One of the songs you played on TV was “Listen To Your Mother” which you’re releasing next month. Was the TV perfomance the spur behind recording the song.

CARL : As a matter of fact, it’s kind of the other way round. Scott and I wrote that song a long time ago and we actually recorded it last year. It’s been sitting in our vault for some time and we’ve been very confident in it since recording it. It was the obvious choice to perform on STV Glasgow and given the response it received after its broadcast it became clear that it was now time for it to be officially released. We’ve booked the lovely venue that is the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh on April 15th and tickets are a mere £5.00. We’ve got Soldier On – a proper authentic mod influenced band from Ayr supporting on the night – they’re top notch. And naturally we’ll be selling CD copies of our “Listen To Your Mother” single accompanied by our recently recorded B-side “Ticket Man” on the night. We’ll have a few more surprises arranged for the night I’m sure, so I highly recommend being present for it.

THE MUMBLE : What does Carl Marah do when he’s not making music

CARL : When I’m not making music I tend to be working or sleeping. I work at a Scottish souvenir shop on the Royal Mile by day – which is actually a pretty interesting job (once your brain has managed to tune out the constant sound of bagpipes). I’ve got great friends there and I’m constantly meeting people from all over the world which is pretty sweet. Also, a fundamental part of Logan’s Close is our appreciation for a pint, which we regularly take time out of our week to include. Add band rehearsals and songwriting sessions and that just about leaves time for some sleep each night.

THE MUMBLE : What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you & the band

CARL : I’m not at liberty to go into details yet, but I can say that we are already confirmed for some pretty tidy gigs and that we are at work in the studio as we speak, so our next release will be on its way before the end of 2017 I reckon. Keep an eye out for Logan folks.

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Lee Scratch Perry

La Belle Angele, Edinburgh

9th March 2017

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After a bright, blue, crisp, crisp day in Edinburgh, as the chilly night grew closer, the city was ready to play host to one of Jamaica finest exports. A certain iconic and legendary master of reggae and dub was about to conjure up his own Caribbean heatwave in the corridors of the La Belle Angele in the Cowgate.  As the venue filled up the anticipation grew & the excitement was clear to see. A little later & in an explosion of hustle & bustle, Lee Scratch Perry emerged and proceeded to make his way to the back stage in the midst of what seemed like a million cheers. With his band taking stage first, we were invited to skank along, until the master glided on to the stage with the same finesse he has carried throughout his career. Let the show commence !!!!

The evening was well under way and it was not long until the La Belle Angele had turned into a melting pot of hot sweat and warm sticky bodies, bouncing around like they were on those  Space Hoppers from the 70s. The band were sharp, tight and well tuned &  delivering track after track they contributed more than what was expected of them and lifted the audience to a another level.  Lee Scratch Perry, the producer, singer, song writer and the icon for so many decades, had the crowd in a hypnotic state of pure dance.   Dressed in his traditional way, the King still gave us a performance to remember.  A selection of old and new material was catapulted at us like time had stood still, with Perry performing with all his heart and genius like it was yesterday. As the gig was heading to a close we were all treated with the soul warming sound of Exodus which allowed the audience to engulf themselves in one last memorable dance to honour the excellence of a true artist who has changed the music scene forever…

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As the crowds dispersed and the heat retreated, The Mumble had the pleasure and the opportunity to have a short interview and picture session with Lee Scratch Perry . I asked him a few small, but relevant question such as: How did living in London compare to living in Jamaica, his answer — ‘Good.‘  Asking him how he liked Edinburgh, he also answered ‘Good.’  The impression was that everything in his life was, and is, ‘Good.’  A genuine gentleman that gave a lot of people a night to surely cherish for many years to come.  The Mumble feels proud to have been invited to be part of a special night and to have had the chance to be humbled by such a legend.  Big thanks to the band and Mr Perry for covering our city with love and dance….  All the best for the rest of the tour…

Reviewed by Raymondo

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The Paris Concert

Glasgow City Halls

March 10

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The Scottish Chamber Orchestra enjoys one of the highest regarded positions worldwide. Its successes include working in ground level projects that are as inclusive as possible. The 38-piece set up for the evening were made up of strings, wind and believe it or not a running dialogue. The stories began commencing with the music and a silent introduction to each musician and their instrument. The excitement rose in the atmosphere of highly accomplished performers who are at the very top of their careers. Laurence Cummings led the way as conductor but also played the harpsichord during two of the performances, and in the first had dialogue to recite in two sentence statements. Some critics have suggested that parts of some of the scores were strange including instruments such as the flute replacing the more traditional methods adhered to in classical music. Sitting in the balcony level offered a view of most of the inner hall. There was a very relaxed almost lullaby quality to the evening coming from the bustling stage. The songs flew by with the music seeking after the clients or characters of the music each to express the subjects of the stories. In a fantastical way it told of age-old stories many about the greatest theme; love.

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I say fantastical but the feeling was very real and highly structured. The four movements by great composers included Rameau who lived in the late seventeenth to middle eighteenth centuries wrote his ‘Les Boreades’,  as a suit from an opera the Scottish Chamber Orchestra made it by offering  dialogue to tell the story in between the music. The four composers where writing long ago with Paris in mind and in view. Paris had of course been a centre for lovers, artists and beauty, adding to the show a real sense of accomplishment of culture in and around the story of practice itself. In the movements were the expressions of the subject themes moving at times with great pace and power describing excitement and revelry, to the appropriate gentle tones of a flute solo.

To this esteemed end Paris was brought to Glasgow at the City Halls where there was a resounding space and décor, there was a roar but it didn’t come from the audience it came from the stage; a success that exists between the partnership of playing high level music together as a team but very much individually where timing and tuning are the most important and inspiring things. They sat dressed in black, I noticed a player without shoes on, though tights, and it made sense to me; she wanted to be grounded as much as possible as she poured herself through body to her instrument in the amazing act of sensual harmony amplified to a high degree almost non-stop.

From talking to a couple of people behind me the gist from them was all about how great the Orchestra really is. When I mention it is worldwide I mean it from the sense of the largeness of movement that has come from travelling the globe in person within 24 hours, and the obvious internet that helps create global communication in this case within the music world. In the last century these pieces of music have been picked up again to play after centuries. There is a real excitement around them, from all aspects of performance ,and now is a good time to find out more about it, please find out for yourself.

Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly