here we go again - these would noth fit in the 'local heroes' section, or anywhere else you like!
I'll have the news tomorrow (STOP PRESS!) plus a bunch of photos to go with it, I'll put them here or hereabouts...
ballboy cd sleeve
the Wave room
No place like home
Ballboy perform for and chat to BFM
We're in an Edinburgh art gallery with the unusual exhibit,
or 'installation' in the corner being Ballboy, who are launching
their single 'I Hate Scotland'. Singer Gordon chides us for applauding
- it's not as if you applaud the paintings after all". In
fact the audience banter is part of the charm of Ballboy, along
with their down-to-earth lyrics. There's an almost simultaneous
webcast too - just out of synch, so a tiny pixellated version
of the band can be seen, projected onto a screen and heard to
be not-quite keeping up with the act on the 'stage'. Vocalist
Gordon later comments "Webcasting is not the way foward until
broadband technology becomes the norm. Sometimes it's more interesting
just to listen to music I think, but I am an old fud so it's
maybe just me!" Never ones for messing around, Ballboy get
right down to business and start off with the reason we're all
here -the lead track from the new e.p. Later, Gordon's happy to
clear up the title, for the benefit of anyone who hasn't heard
"'I Hate Scotland' doesn't necessarily address hating Scotland as a whole - it just addresses the parts of it that I do hate. As the song says the concept of punishment being at the heart of everything is something I don't agree with. And the parental thing - for example, when a Scottish child asks its parents if it can do something the parent invariably thinks 'why should I let him/her do that' when they should think 'why shouldn't I let him/her do that. Also, any nation which counts Brian Souter and Cardinal Winning as two of its most prominent spokepeople has a lot to be ashamed of."
Also aired are the previous radio hit 'Donald in the Bushes', 'Swim For Health', and the fantastic 'Essential Wear For Future Trips to Space' where "even polar bears need warm hearts to make it through the snow". Since the 'new' Ballboy i.e. the one with the grand sound experienced live recently is not evident, we are allowed to focus on the lyrics which is as Gordon would like. Nice litte intimate gigs like this are fine for now, before they start playing stadiums. Catch them while you can. (or see the gig at www.superchannel.org)
A cheery wave...
Stuart McHugh talks to the Wave Room's Hamish Macintosh...
A Dundonian singer-songwriter with a stunning distinctive voice
- so let's get the Billy Mackenzie comparisons out of the road
right away. Hamish Macintosh's album isn't the new Associates,
and his voice, despite the comparisons, isn't particularly reminiscent
of the city's most famous singing son. That's not a criticism
however, Mackintosh's vocals simply don't attempt the vocal gymnastics
that might be expected.
So what about the Billy Mackenzie comparisons?
"It wasn't me that wrote the press release but I was flattered, he was the reason I started singing 20 years ago now, after 'Party Fears Two' on Top of The Pops."
However, there's plenty else to sing about - The Wave Room does have a modern feel to it with only the 80's-ish 'Dreaming in Tongues' having anything of a retro sound. If anything there's more of a hint of Long Fin Killie coming to mind - indeed there's even a track called 'Houdini' and the instrumentation feels ethnic in places, plus sampled speech used to great effect along with Jah Wobble's customary thundering bassline.So are the guys you are working with your heroes?
"PIL were my time rather than the Pistols. The had attitude plus great basslines. I eventually got to sing with Invaders of the Heart. But the Cocteaus were my band, they were so original."
The album's quite upbeat generally, when you consider the Cocteau connections.
"I think I write less poetically when I'm in London. I always started with an acoustic and put loops and samples round it but now I have more time with the studio; there's more beats to this record than previously. I changed to the Wave Room as it's competely different to Fuel (his previous band)."
Hamish also works for BellaUnion, the label of former Cocteau Twins Simon Gallup and Robin Guthrie, so was his move south the traditional Scottish one of going where the work was? "A bit of that - the Cocteau Twins studio's down here so I got access to that, though I did some of the album in Dundee at Seagate. I'm one of those sad ex-pats that leaps up when an Irn-Bru ad comes on tv!"
"It's horrible to admit it" Hamish continues "but it seemed necessary to embrace London otherwise the industry keeps you at arms length. Though I have a lot of respect for Chemikal Underground etc doing it from home. Perhaps it's more possible as they're in Glasgow - maybe I should have moved to Glasgow rather than London but I suppose that as I was moving I thought I might as well go the full hog.The record label's there too."
Do you miss playing in Dundee then?
"There's loads of young bands in Dundee, they come and go but it's on the up at the moment. Oh yes, I'm not going to stay here forever. "
Haste ye back. The Wave Room's Love Medicine is out now on Bella Union.