Monthly Archives: July 2014

Uncommon wealth on a Friday night : Pat McGuire

25th July is a Friday night. It’s also a summer night. King Tut’s Summer Nights as it happens too. The City is full of buskers and scam artists, tourists and people here for the Commonwealth games. It’s what we call “Taps aff” weather. However the Council and the Cops have been pro actively moving on beggars and making homeless people feel even more homeless, as if that could even be possible, just so the City presents a nicer veneer to our visitors for the games. I think they may even be prohibiting the traditional fat guy with no T shirt custom that is a part of the Glasgow summer (like it or loath it, it happens on the 2 or 3 days of summer we usually get here.) I’ve only seen a couple of them this week, they might be an endangered species.

But that is what happens when they open up a City to the world. They only want to show the good bits and ignore the rest, we all know our City is great though and so do our visitors and people who come here. Be it for the games or the music or the patter. We also know that there is a lot of problems with OUR City too. We don’t need to airbrush them out of the equation.

This is our City and anyone else’s too, if they want to be a part of it. And one huge part of it is King Tut’s. It’s a venue that has hosted bands that took on the world, and won. I don’t need to tell you who played there unless you lived under a rock for the last 20 years or more. Some of the best gigs I’ve ever been at were in Tut’s. I’ve seen maybe 40 or more bands that I can think of right now in that venue. Some went on to greater things, others didn’t. That is how it goes in the music firmament, it’s all a bit of luck and talent and good timing that either works for or works against you. You almost need to just do it and fall into the net of chance, in the hope that it doesn’t break you but you get to bounce back up, like a gymnast and get the applause. Or you miss the net and break a few bones and decide to have a real job and a real career and call it quits.

So tonight we have four distinct people on the bill for King Tut’s Summer Nights. All of them play acoustic sets but each of them approach their music from different directions.

First on is Paul John MacIver, an intense young man from Inverness-shire who leans into his guitar and the crowd with a lot of energy. I don’t really know a lot about the guy although we spoke briefly after the gig, but I liked his set and you can hear more of him at his Sound Cloud link in my preview on the gig here.

The second artist on the bill is Aaron Fyfe, and his set is lovely to my jaded ears. I’d like to write more about him and his music, but again I don’t feel I know enough to write anything worthwhile so I’ll look out for his next gigs and try to pop along and maybe do him justice. Again see my preview piece for his Sound Cloud and have a listen. Here.

So for me the next two people are why I’m here tonight. Jamie Coleman is now a friend of mine after I saw him play King Tut’s and then Pivo Pivo a few months ago. Since then Jamie has supported Alabama 3 and also John Power. Jamie’s strength lies in his songs, each one is a story about life, from the day to day mundane stuff to the tragic and almost hopeless. He described his singing as sounding “like a guy who swallowed an ashtray”. And I’ll grant that he does have a rough tone to his voice. But that just adds to the overall effect of his music. He doesn’t do much banter between songs. The message is in the music here. Most if not all of the crowd know the lyrics and sing along too. Jamie has touched on that essence of life’s ups and many downs that people instantly identify with. Some people do crowd interaction, Jamie doesn’t. His intensity is in the words and the chords and the ashtray voice.

Jamie Coleman KTSN 1

Jamie Coleman @ King Tut’s Summer Nights by Pat McGuire

Standout songs tonight (well all of them are) include “Welfare State of Mind” – A song that is a masterpiece even if you didn’t know the background to it. Even if you thought Jamie had just made it up (he hasn’t though it is based on his personal experiences.) This is a song that had a music industry rep approach him as he loved the song, but wanted the title changed… I think Mr Coleman told him where to go, precisely and succinctly. As it happens Jamie was at the social a few weeks ago to sort out a claim (how many of us have enjoyed that experience?) and when he came out a protest against benefits sanctions was happening. So he ended up playing some songs and joining in. It’s not quite Rock n Roll, it is real life though.

I don’t need to hammer on about how “real” Jamie is. Anyone who knows him is aware of what he does for society above and beyond writing and playing his music. He doesn’t do charity shows and donate proceeds from record sales to appear as if he is from the people. He does it because he is that type of guy. He could get exposure by just playing his stuff. He is from and of the people. Like millions of us. Just he is a talented guy with a big heart who wants to give a bit back.

It’s not at all downer music though, it is uplifting. “Remember the Old Days” has become a staple at Jamie’s gigs. A rousing ode to a misspent youth when you could go down the park with your mates and have a great time (God how I miss those times…) when life was that bit more free and fun and just felt that much better.

Jamie Coleman KTSN by Pat McGuire

Jamie Coleman KTSN by Pat McGuire

There is an overriding theme here. A look back at the good times, and a document on the current not so great ones. But at the same time “Sit down Skin Up” is all about the moment. Taking the time to realise that life happens right now, so grab it while you can. It is not a rehearsal you only have one shot at it.

 

 

Rather than bore you with more words though, courtesy of John McKinlay here is Jamie’s closing song from the gig – “Die My Own Way”

Jamie Coleman has a lot of gigs coming up. So treat yourself and go along with an open mind and an open heart.

Jamie Coleman is playing :

Dullatur Golf Club Cumbernauld : 1st August for Breast Cancer Awareness.

Ivory blacks Glasgow : 7th August : EFC Events ( Events for Charities )  https://www.facebook.com/EFCEvents/

Supporting Nick Mercer at The Buff Club Glasgow : 29th August.

Also Jamie will be appearing at a few dates for The Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year.

Jamie Coleman on Sound Cloud : https://soundcloud.com/jkdtunes-1

 

Gerry Cinnamon 2 sized

Gerry Cinnamon 2 by Pat McGuire

Next up for this sold out King Tut’s Summer Nights gig, is the one and only Gerry Cinnamon. I was aware of Gerry through some mutual friends, but also the aforementioned Jamie Coleman spoke about him in an interview I published a while back. Mr John McKinlay (who makes cracking live videos, camera in one hand, pint in the other) had also urged me to go along to Gerry’s open mic nights at The Priory. I took them up on this offer and had a brilliant night, but that was more about Gerry getting people to play and play alongside them. Tonight was the first time I’d seen Gerry play live for a “real” gig.

The word enigma is over used. But I’m using it here because I can. By definition it means something difficult to explain or understand. Gerry Cinnamon’s talent and general star quality is not what the enigma is for me. It’s how bloody good he is at being an enigma that is the enigma itself. Have you ever met someone and the first thing they do is hug you and make you feel welcome, then go on to play guitar and drum boxes and harmonicas and compère an open mic session with great people playing, and get that greatness out of them too? That is what Gerry does. And this was weeks ago at The Priory open mic night.

Tonight Gerry comes on with the audience shouting his name like a football chant. One that is derived from KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Give it up”. The roof seems to swell in the venue almost to bursting point. Gerry is genuinely astounded as his tall frame approaches the mic. “How good is this? Really?” Then he jams along with the crowd for a few chords. Well we all know the answer. The Venue is excellent, the people are up for it, the atmosphere is giving me the shakes and I’ve only had two rum and cokes. I see loads of familiar friendly faces and have met a few new ones outside. It’s gonna be a BELTUR!

I knew this gig was going to be a good one, the line up dictated that it must be, but even then my high expectations were surpassed. I posted on social media when I got home that “I’ve seen many gigs at Tut’s, but this one was amazing”. Okay I’m sometimes over enthusiastic about live music, but trust me. I know people will be wishing they were there. It just had that feeling of something on the cusp of greatness. Something about to happen. Something else?

Gerry Cinnamon by Pat McGuire

Gerry Cinnamon by Pat McGuire

Before he plays “Kampfire Vampire” Gerry urges people to do what they do, not to get hung up on the money makers. Then gets tore into the song with guitar and harmonica and a huge smile. His Mod looks and poise suggests a younger Paul Weller, but Weller never smiled a lot at his gigs. Gerry has a big cheesy grin on his face for most of the show.

 

 

 

 

Case in point – with thanks again to John McKinlay -

Most of the gig for me is a blur, I’m trying to take pictures for this review, but also trying to soak up the ambience and the feeling. I’m in the pit then at the sides and then one of the staff tells me I can shoot from the stage too. I pop up for a bit but drop back down soon as I want to see the gig the same as the rest of the people here. I want to soak the event into my mind. I want to lose myself to the wisdom of the crowd. I end up at the back so I can just watch the event unfold. Standing on a bench seat surrounded by like minded people. Popping a shot and sipping another rum and coke. Smiling like an idiot at anyone giving me eye contact. I’m almost lost for a while as Gerry Cinnamon plays like a holy demon and just keeps upping the ante. There is an air of almost messianic fervour and it is evident all around me. Not in a bad way, just as a unifying force binding people together for a part of an hour. We all know it has to end soon, but we are grabbing it while we can. I look into my tumbler to make sure no one has added something “extra” to it. It looks clear, it’s just rum and coke.

Gerry Cinnamon 3 KTSN by Pat McGuire

Gerry Cinnamon 3 KTSN by Pat McGuire

Forget about the timeline – I hear “Flickering Flame” begin with a some rasping guitar chords and a non apologetic lyric. “Dead Man’s Shoes” meets us on the other side but only if we get there. And then a drumbeat from his pedals gets another chorus of “Gerry Cinnamon nana nana na na” going to take us into a cover of “Good Feeling” but done the Gerry Cinnamon way and not Flo Rida.

Gerry does covers in his set, Beck’s “Loser” gets a good workout. But for me his cover of Dougie MacLean’s ”Caledonia”, as imperfect as it was, is just perfect anyway. Some people only know it from adverts on the telly. Others know it from late night parties, when we are not in Scotland. Usually played by the least drunk mate in the room with the rest of us waiting for the chorus. In King Tut’s we are still in Scotland, but we all join in the chorus anyway. Why? Because it’s a great song and Gerry gets us to “take the roof off!”  It was “pure dynamite” Gerry, it was.

(With thanks again to John McKinlay)

After the gig, a few of us retire to The Priory and meet up for post gig drinks. I’m heading out for a smoke and hear a round of cheering and applause. I’ve never heard that much joy at me leaving a pub before. Then I realise it’s because Gerry has just walked in. He gives me a handshake then a hug and his eyes are watery. Genuinely surprised at his reception. As I lope up the steps I hear the chant again… “Gerry Cinnamon, Cinnamon nana nana nana na na!”

Gerry Cinnamon @ King Tuts by Pat McGuire

Gerry Cinnamon @ King Tuts by Pat McGuire

Gerry has some gigs coming up :

Glasgow Green as part of the Commonwealth Games Festival : 31st July and also 3rd August.

Prestfest in Prestwick on 2nd August.

He also has an EP due out this Autumn so check his FB page for more info :

https://www.facebook.com/Gerrycinnamonmusic

 

Pat McGuire.

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Universal Thee At Beresford Lounge 30th May 2014 – Pat McGuire

I’m sitting in the Variety Bar with my friend Tom Perrie (Brother of Andrew Perrie, bassist with Universal Thee) waiting for another friend “Half-day McVey” to arrive. We are ruminating if the goldfish are real. There is a faux fireplace on a screen in the corner so it’s entirely plausible that the fish in the tank above the stairs are also just clever fakes, perhaps a few LCD screens in a box configuration? They could even be in a real tank but just fake robotic fish? Anything is possible these days. Maybe if I took one out and put it in my pint we would find out the truth? Luckily the band come in just as I’m about to test my theory. I’ll find out next time but for now the goldfish are safe.

Universal Thee have just finished sound check for the gig tonight and require some liquid refreshment. So we huddle up under the fake fireplace and get some drinks in. As a band they have the right dynamic even sans instruments. James Russell (singer/guitarist) is a slight chap with an air of inquisitiveness, always looking around as if he is soaking in information all the time. His wife and fellow singer Lisa Russell is charming and chatty and very down to earth. Robin Spivey (guitarist) is quiet and seems shy (but when he has his guitar strapped on it’s a different story, more about this later). Andrew Perrie (Bassist) is affable and intelligent and only has an iPhone for “work reasons“. He also plays bass with his eyes closed a lot (this becomes apparent as I work through the photographs I took on the night). Drummer Kevin Haddow is tall and slightly scary looking-as all good drummers should be. It has been said that the best bands are like a gang, if so then Universal Thee are a gang that could beat you in a pub quiz, and perhaps also in a fight in the car park afterwards if you cheated.

Back in March I reviewed their Album-Back to Earth and missed seeing them live. So I’m really looking forward to getting some shots and seeing them tonight. As an added bonus I get to spend some time with them and their Manager James Scott pre gig too. As we leave The Variety Bar the band are wondering if they can take some food into the venue. I suggest getting a “pizza pass” to go with their band passes, I’m not sure if it worked.

We cross the road and sit outside The Beresford. Sipping drinks in the sunshine that pours down Sauchiehall street and chat about comedy TV shows. Synthesizer Patel and Wilco being a key topic at one point. Their Manager James and I have a few surprising things in common too, involving criminal gangs in Wishaw, and schools in Viewpark and him having a hairy time in Bellshill once. It’s a small world. I hasten to add none of us were in criminal gangs in Wishaw…

This is not the bands first gig in Glasgow, they have played here a few times before. But it’s my first time seeing them live so I’m champing at the bit for the venue to open so I can experience some Universal Thee up close, and personal. I’ve never been in the Beresford Lounge in its present incarnation before. But it would have been nicer for the acts on the bill if there was a sign outside advising that a show was on, and perhaps one directing people downstairs to the gig too. This is no fault of the promoter(Laura Scott of the Scottish Tour Collective). The fact that a few bands have gigs/album launches on at nearby venues doesn’t help either, but that is just bad luck. (Holy Ghosts were doing an album launch in Nice N Sleazies. Eastcoastdefector were playing at Broadcast too.)

Before Universal Thee come on however we have a nice acoustic set from Madeline Orr, followed by Scott Cowie doing comedy and guitar. Both enjoyable sets that were only really hampered by there being a small crowd. And a key thing here too, the bar downstairs was closed, causing people to drift upstairs if they wanted a drink.

Universal Thee 2 for VoS

All of that aside though I was there for Universal Thee live. So I stocked up on booze and nicotine prior to their set thus enabling me to take my pictures and enjoy the show. And what a show it was. On the LP the band might sound slightly reserved, live however they rip it up, rock out and get tore in. Their songs have a certain oomph factor. Structured noise and melody whilst still being faithful to the recorded versions on the LP.

Universal Thee 4 for VoS

They open with Bear in the Hospital which was my favourite track on the album when I reviewed it back in March. To quote myself from that article – “A wonderful yet minimalistic song that covers all the bases for good indie rock.” Played live it is heavier and of course louder. That is why we go and see bands in the first place is it not? To hear a song organically and happening in front of us. Out front the sound is good and the band could and should be playing to a packed house. As it is though some of their friends from fellow Edinburgh band Ded Rabbit who were playing the Attic at The Garage next door are there. Wesley and Fraser from Kilmarnock’s own One Last Secret too. Along with a few punters who hung around from earlier. And of course Tom, “Half-day McVey” and myself.

Universal Thee 6 for VoS

The band crack open the bottle of fuzzy pop that is Bone Collector next. This is one of their songs that openly shows their Pixies influence. I’m almost back in my early 20′s when I saw The Pixies in London, if I closed my eyes I could be there. Robin Spivey’s guitar licks and the song’s dynamic really make me think is Joey Santiago here tonight? Tiger Tiger has an short but effective intro before the song springs to life. Wonderful stuff. James and Lisa’s vocals intertwine and move around the song like a spider walking up your spine. Bendy guitars take us to the end, but I still want it to go on, and on and on. Universal Thee then do two songs that I hadn’t heard before and which are not on the LP. Why do you have to be so unkind and Xang. Causing me to malfunction in operating my camera so I retire to a table to have a sip or two of the drinks that Tom and “Half-day McVey” have bought me. Crisis resolved I go back to shooting pictures. Andrew Perrie is still playing his bass with his eyes closed. Kevin Haddow is hammering the drums(despite having to use a spare hi hat stand as a cymbal stand) and Make a little Money begins with more bendy guitar and segues into lovely vocals and quirky walking bass lines.

Universal Thee 5 for VoS

As the set draws to the last third. The band take it to Down which while the song’s lyrical content might be about something unpleasant, strangely lifts my spirits with it’s lovely noisy passages and heavy drums. Robin Spivey is not a shy guitarist, he is evoking guitar gods as he pulls something ethereal from his Telecaster. I’m hearing echoes of Sonic Youth as my ears get blasted from the side monitors and the amps. Wolves of the Netherworld then rips us all a new one! I’m genuinely scared at one point as the lyrics seem to be about what their manager James and I were talking about before the gig (criminal gangs…) but I’m sure it is not.

Always end on a high note and leave them asking for more. So the last song does this indeed. Aranis Natas is rocking us out on a high. I don’t know if the sound guy set his faders to malky, or if it’s just my ears, but it sounds loud even in the quiet parts. Menacing and almost industrial. Indie rock has never sounded so good, really!

Universal Thee 3 for VoS

I’m sad that the gig had to end, but it left me wanting more. I’m glad I finally got to see them live, meet them in person and do some pictures and review. It vindicates me, makes me feel whole. It might have changed my life too. And to quote “Half-day McVey” (not his real name, he is a musician and producer in his own right, and hopefully I will be doing a feature on his projects soon.)-”Reminds me of Uresei Yatsura crossed with Pavement. In a good way!”

 

After the gig I wandered over to Sleazies with “Half-day McVey” and the band went back to Edinburgh. It was a cracking night all in all. When Universal Thee come back to Glasgow I’ll be there to see them and I urge you to give them a listen too. They are one band who are definitely going places. I foresee bigger venues and maybe even some festivals on the horizon. Catch them while you can, up close and personal.

Pat McGuire.

 

Universal Thee gigs coming up :

 

27th of June in the Green Room in Perth.

 

5th July at River in Glasgow.

 

11th July Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh.

 

18th July Audio Soup Festival in Dunbar.

 

26th July The Corrina in Perth.

 

Links :

https://www.facebook.com/universalthee

http://www.abadgeoffriendship.com/artists/universal-thee

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Sergio Sergio: Sizzlin’!

 by Harsharan Hoonjan 

They have the funkiest sound, spliced with sharp pokes of ferocious vibrancy.  It’s cool rock and roll fronted by an edgy, grit induced vocalist.  This Glasgow based band will make you move AND listen. Sergio Sergio headlined O2 Futures Fest 2012 and performed for the event again in 2013.  It’s no surprise the Glasgow based five piece hit the same amazing venue at O2 Academy Glasgow two years in a row. The event only showcases artists deemed as the next big thing. As a guest last year, I witnessed several greats including Parker, The Apparells, Return to the Sun, Taylor Red (who I was reviewing at the time), and Sergio Sergio.  During Sergio Sergio’s performance, I got another couple of words from Chris Gore (Taylor Red’s manager) who stated the band is: “Bad ass!”

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Well there was a distinct carnivorous feel to the band, and they certainly do something to music.I caught Sergio Sergio again when they performed for The Old Town Food Street Festival at The Three Sisters (Edinburgh).  Since the inception of this festival, only the best up and coming Scottish musicians have graced its stages. The band next play King Tut’s on 18th July for the Summer Nights Festival. This will see a whole host of talented acts perform in one of the dinkiest, and greatest live music venues in Scotland.  Also, if you manage to look up the meaning of Sergio, you’ll see why this is an epic name for the guys, as they work to save the world through the wonderfulness that is live music.

I was getting ready to interview the lads, however, due to technical issues on my part, I was afraid the interview was a no go.  Luckily, a few members helped pull it out the bag, cheers guys!  So without further ado, let’s get to the intros, the meat, and well the actual interview…

Members

All five members are: Lee Given (Lead Vocals), Eddie Carberry (Lead Guitar) Paul McInally (Bass Guitar and backing vocals), Chris Smith, AKA Tank (Keyboard), and James Dayer (Drums).

Background

Ed and Paul have been friends since primary school, and had played together for 12 years. They met Chris and James in High School.  The band didn’t officially start until Lee joined.  They had strict guidelines for their lead singer, and it seems to have worked out well. From sitting with the lads, they are definitely a tight-knit bunch.

Ed: The vetting process for a singer was they need to come in, they need to be able to sing and they need to be like our best mate straight away. That’s a pure big massive ask and we spent so long with no-one that fitted that criteria at all. Lee came in and we were like, “that’s it!”

Tank’s nick-name

I had to go back and ask why Tank was called Tank, the interview flowed and I completely forgot about it. Later Chris retold this story:

“I was about 8 and we were in BB (The Boys Brigade) and playing football in a church hall, and I ran into a massive pile of chairs, knocked them all down and then got up and asked if I had scored! Now, it’s nearly 18 years later and I’m still called it lol”

Great story!

Tank:  Paul has a nickname as well. Luther Vandross lol if you watch his video for “Never Too Much”, it’s just exactly how Paul acts, smiles & dances.

Fun stories!

Here’s the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNj9bXKGOiI

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Futures Fest

I first saw you play at Futures Fest last year. How was that?

Paul: Good yea really enjoyed it.  We played it in 2012 as well and we were the headline act, the place was absolutely packed. It was obviously a bit harder to get that the next year but, as a band I thought we played as well as we’ve ever played.

James: Playing on that stage is totally worth it, its good experience.

Taylor Red gave you guys a shout out in an interview I did with them last year. Anyone in particular you would like to give a shout out to?

Paul: The Works, extremely awesome. They were on at Futures Fest just before us.

Lee: Cool guys’ man.

Eddie: Taylor Red, we’ve played a couple of gigs with them. They’re really good.

Paul: The Apparells.

The Apparells – yep they’re great too.

Funkmeisters

I’ve heard you’re like the funkmeisters of Glasgow, is that a good description?

Paul: Punk, Rock, Jazz, Disco.

Ed: Definitely Disco in there.

Paul: We’ve got a quite a unique sound cos we all bring different influences to the table

I think you’ve got a very distinct sound.

Who are your Influences?

Paul: You need to go through the whole table

Lee: It’s mixed from genres to artists. Personally my massive influences are with Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, Incubus, Prince, a lot of different mixes for me personally man.

Paul: I agree with Lee for Led Zeppelin, and Prince, I’m also into 80s Pop Disco, that’s like my biggest influence, hence the disco sound in our songs.

Tank: Earth, Wind and Fire, Nile Rogers, Neil Diamond, The Calling.

James: I’ll probably say I’m a lot heavier than everyone else like.  AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin and Prince as well, I just love everything.

Ed: John Frusciante is a big one people tell me, it’s true!

*laughs*

Ed: Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, there’s loads; I’ve been put on the spot! Being asked what kind of music I like!

Oops!

Ed: I like to listen to all that folk music that’s going around just now like Mumford and Sons.  I can’t find a way to transpose that into what we do.

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Genres

You’ve pointed out a great mix of different genres, which will of course help your creativity.

 

Paul: I think that lends a lot to the band, we can bounce off ideas and clash with ideas. Sometimes in a bad way, sometimes in a good way, everyone brings something different to the music.

Tank: I can be quite bad and give these guys into trouble for wasting time!

Lee: Tank’s like the Dad of the band!

Tank: I like having things set out and things going to plan, but these guys are like very very creative people.  Nine times out of ten it’s definitely worth it because they come up with some good sh*t!

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Taking Charge

Yea, I think you need someone who takes charge as well as creative types

Tank: I wouldn’t say I take charge; I sit there in a huff.

Lee: Like ‘I’m no talking!’

Tank: Then they all give me puppy eyes.

Ed: We’re like there’s Tank over there, he’s no looking. happy. Cut it out!

Lee: Two hours later…

Tank: Ninety percent of the songs have come from a wee kind of mess about.

Ed: it’s the most fun thing to do though. I don’t find it as fun to put the songs together.  You kind of lose a wee bit of it when you’re doing that. Tank’s like: “you need to stop f*cking about, you need to do that!”

Tank: We’ve got a bit more disciplined. We had started dreaming and things were added to a pile.  Instead of working with what we’ve got, we’d just add something new onto the pile.  We did that over and over, so we’ve just got hundreds of ideas.  But with the last couple of months we’ve been a bit more disciplined and have tried to finish what we’ve started.

Dingying it

Tell me a bit about your songs and writing them.  What’s the process behind it all?

Lee: The process changes from song to song and it could either be Ed’s got a riff or maybe got a lyric from myself or from someone we met. Paul would be like, I just came up with this bass line and we’ll run with it, we all chip in.

Paul: We just try and jam about with an idea for a wee while. Then we record it, we normally just do a three hour session in the studio.

Ed: We’ll put a disc on record everything that’s going on, then we’ll go home and just cut it all up. Going, “I like that bit and that bits cool”, and we’ll go back and jam with it a bit more.   We start putting it all together and go, “right what’s happening, where are the lyrics coming from?” We’ll work out who’s part is rubbish, who’s part is good.   We just start building it up from there. Sometimes it works. Sometimes we get half way through it and we’re like aaah I don’t know if this is going anywhere.

Paul: Let’s dingy if for a while!

Ed: It’s good fun.

Paul: We’ll be recording for 3 hours and get 30 seconds worth of good material. That’s not much for everything you do but it’s worth it in the end I suppose.

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Paul’s Dance

Lee: We came up with a song a few weeks ago which started with Paul’s dance!

Paul’s dad?!

Lee: Paul’s dance!

*Laughs*

Tank: It originally started with James.

James: Yea thanks guys, it was the drum beat!

Tank: It was an epic drum beat.

Ed: James made Paul dance, Paul danced, threw money at him. From that dance he came up with some bass.

James: It was the interpretation.

Tank: It just kind of escalated from there I suppose.

Ed: Sometimes that’s all you need, that spark.

I was eager to put a song name to the influence that is Paul’s dance. The lads informed me the music for this song has been recorded, and once they find an appropriate name for it, they’ll let me know. That’s another thing to look forward to.

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That Westwood song…

Can you tell me about that Westwood Song?

Paul:  Westwood? He’s a prick and we wrote a song about it!

James: Yea he’s a massive d***e

Ed: It wasn’t written about Westwood originally, that whole chorus part. Originally we had just the chorus and the chorus was:  “I will go to the Westwood show”.

James: It’s related to The Chili’s song: “By the way”

Lee: It’s cool that nobody really knows what that song is about.

James: See this is how it works, it all means something different to everyone in the band.

Paul: Westwood was probably like a word that fitted in. We needed two syllables that ended with Wood at the time – Westwood!

James: Think we can all agree though, we hate Tim Westwood! 

A few members in the audience were in agreement with you!

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Identity and connection

What about “Who are you”? It’s quite a catchy number, very echoic as well.

Paul: It’s always been about the same idea. It’s always had the same theme.

 

Ed: Which is singing about someone or maybe you are someone who’s homeless or destitute in some way.

Paul: Someone with a lack of identity kind of thing.

Lee: It can be interpreted in any way, someone maybe looking in the mirror saying that to themselves.   It could also be to the homeless guy on the street man.

Paul: That’s why we have Lee, for his wonderful insights.

Tank: We had a lot of things on board before Lee came in, when he came in, it was like: “I think this should be this or we should do it that way”, and it’s been great.

The Exhale story

What about Exhale?

Ed: That’s an interesting one.

James: Lee tell the story behind Exhale.

Lee: It’s one that’s quite personal to me.

Ed: That was a good night though!

*Laughs*

Lee: The song’s about my inability to smoke cannabis.  It was Ed that had the lyric idea. “What I just passed to you was not a cigarette.”  I just became a big paranoid baby, and I cannae handle it.

Paul: He’s getting better though!

*laughing*

Ed: He walked home from my house one night from the South Westside of Glasgow to his own house in the North Eastside of Glasgow.  He walked a good bit until he found a taxi place.

Lee: Aye…

James: He had no money or phone.

Lee: I just freaked out man!

James: We thought he was dead.

Ed: We were all sitting in the kitchen, he walked out, and we thought he was gonna be sick. After about two hours we were like, he’s passed out.  Went through and he’s not there. We looked everywhere and he was just no there.

James: So we just rolled another joint!

*laughing*

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But you were okay in the end, as you’re here to tell the tale?!

Lee: I got home eventually but aye it was a ropey night.

Paul: That night changed him.

Oh dear…

These songs are based on their second last EP titled: “Mama Quilla”, which is based on the mythological Goddess of the Moon.   The latest EP also contains some outstanding tracks. Unfortunately, we didn’t get round to chatting about that. For a quick listen before you buy check out:

https://soundcloud.com/sergiosergio/sets/sergio-sergio

Favourites

I know it’s a hard question as you might say they all are, but what is your favourite song?

Paul: Everyone’s got their own favourites, which are personal to them.

James: I like the one at the end of today’s set.

Lee: The last song we played today was probably be released as a single, in the summer.

Paul: That’s not on the EP yet, that’s still to be recorded.

Fantastic

Lee: I think we all have our own wee favourites, we don’t admit it though. All the songs mean something to everyone man we’ve all got our heart in them.

*Bursts of laughter*

James: Gay!

Lee:  I just want to say, see the band that drinks together…

*Laughs*

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Videos

Lee: Our second video will be released with our new single.

This will again be after the King Tut’s gig in July, so everything will go on from there.

Ed:  Peter Stewart did the first video for us, can’t fault him, we’ll work with him again.

Lee: He’s a great guy to work with.  It will be another couple of months till the next one.

If their debut music video is anything to go by then the next video is worth the wait.  The song and video to “I Am The Moon”, depicts a painful yet harrowing tale of love. The term “Ill-fated lovers” has been redefined within 4 minutes and 14 seconds.

Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Hkr3AeXMQ

Tours and gig stories

Have you got a Scottish tour lined up this year?

Paul: That will all happen after the summer night’s thing. King Tuts is the main thing that will kick start the summer for us.

Ed: We have a few things lined up, doing a few English gigs, nothing in concrete but if that was to happen that would be August/end of September.  We’re just kind of taking it as it comes with the rest of Scotland.

Definitely getting that Perth gig on the go, we were up in Aberdeen last year too. It would be good to get back up there again too. We’ve never played Dundee or Dunfermline or anywhere further afield.  It would be kinda cool to get into some really really wee places. Really small places like Inverkirk, that would be cool.

Lee: So rapey man!

*Laughs*

What’s been your best gig to date?

Tank: Perth.

James: I think for the sheer fun Perth.

Paul: As a band I think we just had so much fun when we were up there.

Ed: For me, it had to be the Tut’s gig in January that was outstanding!  Even though we had a technical issue on the first song with my guitar string breaking, it was unbelievably professional, I just got back on it again.

Lee: You dealt with it like a boss!

Ed: When it was time to start the next song nobody even noticed it happened.  It was just so professional, aww I loved that gig by a mile. Anytime I was standing up and looking round it was like a sea of people that you couldn’t make out because the lights were in your face. My knees were shaking, I was like: “I’m gonna fall over”.

Paul: We like to get involved with anything; we don’t make a big deal of it. It really doesn’t matter how wee a place is or how small a club. Doesn’t matter if we play in a wee bar at the East end of Scotland or O2 Academy.

Lee: It’s the same gig to us isn’t it?!

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Any charity gigs coming up?

Paul: We did a charity gig in March.  It was all run by Tank. Lots of people turned up which was good.

Everyone has always got something that means something to them.

Tank: Macmillan Cancer Support is something that means a lot to all of us.

Ed: We wanted to do something, hence the name of the title: “Do Something”

There was a lot of good feedback.

Echo Bass and Jamie Allanach from Raj were there too

Ed: That magician was good.

Tank: Robert Devennie.

Comedian Stephen Buchanan was good as well.

Chirs: He is some comedian, look him up, Bantervillle.

Sounds excellent and I will do!

Ed We do like to get ourselves about, play lots of gigs and meet new people. You make friends doing this kind of thing, it’s good to know people and have a connection, not to push yourself forward but just to meet everybody else.

Paul: We’ve been gigging now for a couple of years. The bands that we play with are great bands, but we also get on with them really well.

Lee: We’re all just friends.

Paul: That’s it good pals with other bands that we know.

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The Music Scene

It is easy to make connections in the music scene?  Can it be cut-throat at times?

Tank: It depends on your attitude, if you’re very social, if you are up for a laugh then its fine. Most musicians are fine, there is no real competition.

Lee: it’s like a union kind of thing, like you’re all in it together.

Paul: We can appreciate what everyone is trying to do.

Like brothers and sisters.

Okay, so what’s been your worst gig? You don’t have to name the place, just let me know why it was your worst.

Tank: We were hammered.

Paul: It was Hogmanay.

Lee: We were on at 11 O’clock.

Oh no…

Paul: We were still on a high from Futures Fest, we just thought we’d swagger in and it just didn’t go as well as we thought.

Lee: We were literally all at one stage ready to go. The music started man and Paul’s pure at the bar.  We were like f*ck.

Ed: The guys in the gig were like those guys had loads of people at the O2 Academy so they had loads of bouncers and bar staff on and then nobody came. I don’t know the whole town was really quite that night wasn’t it?

James: It’s Hogmanay though; loads of people go places and buy tickets!

Chirs: We played a free gig for them the month after to make up for it. We redeemed ourselves.

Lee: That was a good gig actually.

James: Yea you learn from your mistakes, and we do like the venue. They do a lot for musicians.

Name dropping

Have you ever used your name when not performing?

Ed: I would normally do the total opposite of that!

James: We’ve got a lot of people who recognise us or will assume we are in a band.

Paul: We’ll promote it but I think we’re quite proud of the tunes that we’ve made.  If you can get that out there, then it’s great. We’ve got a modest following.

Feedback

What have been people’s responses to your music?

Paul: We had a great review from a friend once!

Ed: We were chatting to a guy who was a friend of a friend. It was my friend who was going on a train and he met his friend on a train. So we were chatting away and he was like: “how is your band?”  I was like aye not bad. His friend was like what’s your band called, I said Sergio Sergio.He was like: “I’ve got you on my IPad man!” Then he showed me our songs all loaded up in his IPad, that was great review.

Paul: That lassie on Facebook.

Ed: She saw us at a gig, and she tracked us down and wanted to buy a ticket.

James: Factory wasn’t it?

Paul: We were playing at Factory in the West End, that’s right.

Great stuff guys!

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Any final words or messages for fans?

Lee:  In terms of messages for fans moving forward, we’re planning on a big summer ahead,

Paul: Watch this space

Lee: Aye Watch this space as they say. All the support that has been given to us, up to this point is much appreciated. And even to some close friends of the band man. Who are constantly helping us out, and are looking to try and push the band forward. We really appreciate everything they do for us man!

Lovely, thanks guys, enjoy tonight! 

Sunny Future and One Summers Night

Watch Sergio Sergio perform like never before, starting with:

18th July, “Summer Nights Festival”, at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow

As the lads say, it all starts from this gig, from the sounds of things; we should invest In Sergio Sergio early this summer.  Feet of Clay, Lemonhaze, and The Responsible will also be performing.  That’ll be one sizzlin’ night then! Come along, because in addition to a great website (with a cool slider to enter), there is a dedicated page going out to all you fans.Just follow the links.

Links:

http://www.sergiosergioband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sergiosergiomusic

https://twitter.com/SergioSergioUK

https://soundcloud.com/sergiosergio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Hkr3AeXMQ

 

 

 

 

 

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Lewis Kaye: Man Around Town

by Harsharan Hoonjan 

Lewis Kaye and band is a four piece Edinburgh based ensemble, made up of: Lewis Kaye (Guitar and Vocals), Duncan Robertson (Bass) Jordan Harvey (Drums) and David Scobie (Guitar and Backing Vocals).

Their sound is encapsulated in fresh pop beats, zingy guitar solos, funky bass lines, and sprightly vocals. Young Arthur Promotions have snapped up the band and are currently helping the lads get as much exposure as possible. Like their debut single, Lewis and co are definitely men (rather than man) around town. I had the pleasure of catching up with lead singer Lewis when he performed two acoustic sets at The Three Sisters Food Festival in Edinburgh.

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Background

Lewis: I’ve  been gigging since I was 13/14 in bands and everything like that, just trying to get my name out there and yea moved up here a couple of years ago, just to have a fresh start. I’m from North Lincolnshire, but I’m based in Edinburgh now.

How did you find playing at The Old Town Street Food Festival?

L: It was good, the bus was interesting actually. Can’t say I have played on the bus before. It’s good; I enjoyed it and then had a cheeky wee slot on the main stage as well.

Yea, you got asked to perform again on the main stage, well played!

You have a single out as well I believe?

Called: “Man Around Town”?  

L: We brought it out last Saturday, and launched it at The Voodoo Rooms.

Fantastic, how was that?

L: Yea it was great; we got a really good response from that as well

What about the single specifically, what responses have your had so far?

L: We are sending it out to Radio companies, seeing who is interested in it, which places are downloading it, and seeing what happens with it.

You also performed on the Castle Sessions show at Castle FM.

L: Yes I did a show for Castle FM.  The guitarist, David and I were there. Yea it was good.

Yep always good banter and music on that show, amazing. Are you planning to gig around Edinburgh now?

L: Over the summer we’re just going to be gigging around Glasgow/Edinburgh, and go down to Newcastle. We’ll go to places like that, and hopefully make our way down to London. Just promote it and then get back into the studio and start on our second single.

Oh great! When is that going to be produced?

L: Couldn’t tell you just now

Do you have a lot of songs in the back burner, seeing as you’ve been doing this since you were 13?

L: At the minute, it’s just songs with the band, cos I play acoustic in a band too.  We’ve got about nine songs that we play a set with. It was just meant to be an acoustic set on the bus today. The full band isn’t here. The drummer is actually away gigging. And the guitarist is doing his own thing as well. I just soloed it.

Do you all just do your own thing?

L: Yea I met up with a bunch of musicians who wanted to help me do a few sessions here and there. We work really well together; it was actually the bass player who produced the single.  It’s going really well.

You got some good responses on the bus today!

L: Yea people were clapping away!

Are you planning on making a video?

L: Yea it’s something that was meant to happen at the launch night but we were let down. Not sure what’s happening with that right now. If we’re doing one for the first single, we’ll do one for the second as well. We’ll release that before the second single is released.

Okay so you need a Video Producer, I will get the word out for you for ….

L: That would be great.

What do you think of the current live music scene?

L: There’s always a lot going on, Glasgow is quite hectic for music.  It’s got a good music scene, but, it’s just one of those things I guess, you’ve just gotta play in the right place at the right time.

Are you looking to collaborate with other musicians?

L: Actually a friend of mine has just flown back from San Diego today.  He just did a single launch and got me a couple of contacts over there.  So fingers crossed next year, something may happen with that.

Big news!

L:  I’ve got a few friends in London that are gonna be sorting a few shows out over the summer as well.

Your name will be out there in the UK and worldwide, brilliant.  There’s so much to ask after that! First, other than being a musician, is there a deep rooted purpose/message behind what you’re doing?  Do you have a specific goal?

L: I’ve been doing it for so long, growing up in a little town. Loads of people have been doing gigs; they’ve dispersed and done their own thing. I was the only one who was not doing my own thing. That’s why I thought I should broaden my horizons. I definitely wanna be gigging/touring all over. I also want to keep working in the studio, keep chipping away and see what I can get from it.

When did you actually move here?

L: Last September

Are you still at Uni? Studying music?

L: Yea, I’ve got another two years .

Great, that’s really good. You’re doing well so far.

Who are your musical influences?

L: The main guy for me, who basically started me writing my own stuff  is James Morrison,  and the likes of Jason Mraz and all of that.

Yep!

L: Band wise, I’ve grown up listening to Oasis. Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, all that sort of stuff, Madness as well.

If you could pick anyone to have on stage and perform with you, who would you choose?

L: I’d say James Morrision, I’ve been to see him a couple of times and he is outstanding!

Fantastic!

L: I would definitely like to jam with him

Great! Do you perform any James Morrison covers?  Is that something you plan to do more in the future?

L: I’ve done one or two, here and there, but no nothing serious. I like to perform my own stuff really. But, depending on what kind of gig it is, I will chuck a cover in now and again, just to get the crowd going a little bit. Let them listen to something they know. Hopefully, they’ll start listening to my stuff more often.

Nice work!

So you’re planning to tour America as well?

L: My main focus this year is to promote myself in the UK. Just get myself out there, and yea that’s really the main focus. Going over to the states is more of a treat for me.

Yea that would be amazing!

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If you could have a song of yours played anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

L:  Could I choose a Radio station?

Of course, any platform/location

L: I’d have to say Radio 1 because the single Man Around Town would fit perfectly on the playlist right now, If I do say so myself.

Kenedi Arthur: It’s definitely, current and trendy

L: Yea, it’s just like, people are always listening to Radio 1, and I listen to a band on there and go, yea I’ll look them up.   Catfish and the Bottlemen are getting a lot of radio play at the minute. A lot of my mates were like, oh yea I heard these guys on the radio today.  I’ve got their album now! So yea, being played on Radio 1 would be ideal.

They were playing the BBC Introducing Stage at Radio 1s Big Weekend in Glasgow, they are doing well.

Are you friends with them?

L: Our drummer is friends with the singer

Ahh okay, excellent

L: Yea it’s always a good connection to have.

Absolutely

Is there anyone else you would like to give a shout out to?

L: I’d like to give a mention to a band that came and supported us at our single launch.  They are called Lizo.  They are based in North Lincolnshire which is also were they are from.  So yea big shout out to those boys, great band. Go check em out!

Great, thank you.

Any final words or lyrics you would like to share to capture the essence of you and the band?

L: Not really off the top of my head.

There’s me and the others, we have a bassist who’s very very funky. We have a drummer who’s a great drummer and the guitarist who’s great on the backing vocals. There are so many elements chucked into one band. When you listen to the single, you’ll hear it all, you’ll hear the bass riffs, drums and vocals; yea it all blends very well.

I say we’re a bit like The 1975 that’s another great band on the scene.

That’s brilliant, thank you very much.

In the most time efficient interview I’ve ever conducted, I was very impressed.  It’s nice to see a young man so focussed. It seems like Lewis and the rest of the band have carefully mapped out their music journey. If the result is anything close to: Man Around Town, then we have another quality band on our hands.  I look forward to seeing where the rest of the year takes them. With Young Arthur also making a name for themselves, perhaps an American tour is not that far away after all. I’m adding Lewis Kaye and band to my watch list.

*At the time of publishing this piece, Lewis Kaye had finished recording their second single. Can’t wait to hear it!

Links:

www.Facebook.com/LewisKaye

https://soundcloud.com/lewis-kaye

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/man-around-town/id874950465?i=874950474

www.facebook.com/youngarthurpromotions

 

 

 

 

 

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