On Sunday we’re delighted that the rather wonderful Sound of Yell will be performing. Piloted by Stevie Jones, Sound of Yell are based in Glasgow and can number as many as twelve. The debut album Brocken Spectre is out now on Chemikal Underground Records.
Over the last 20 years Stevie has played as part of endless collaborative projects including; El Hombre Trajeado (with RM Hubbert among others) Rude Pravo (with artists Luke Fowler, Lucille Desamoury and Cara Tolmie), Sycamore with Friends (with Jer Reid and Shane Connoly) and Maxton Grainger (with Chris Mack of James Orr Complex). He’s also recorded and toured internationally as a guitarist, double bassist and pianist with groups including Arab Strap, Alasdair Roberts & Friends, Lord Cut-Glass, The Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan Band, Sophia and The Bill Wells Trio.
He records and produces his own records as well as those by groups such as RM Hubbert, The One Ensemble, Trembling Bells and National Bedtime. Sound of Yell’s Brocken Spectre is the first project which Stevie has produced, written and arranged. The extended band is a collection of many of his favourite musicians .
We asked Stevie if he could tell us a bit about what inspires him about Glasgow as a music city and he very kindly obliged. You can read his answers here.
How long have you lived/played in Glasgow?
I’ve lived in Glasgow all my life. I work out of town a lot and tour loads so I’ve never had any instinct to leave. I spend more time wanting to get back to Glasgow than to move on! My first ever gig was at a newly opened bar on Sauchiehall St called Nice and Sleazy filling in for my brother’s band The Fortune Cookies. Around that time the 13th Note opened on Glassford St too and I’d play those two venues with various folks all the time. I’m not going to give you an exact date but let’s just call it ages ago…
What makes Glasgow special/unique as a music city?
One thing I love about Glasgow is that bands and musicians don’t get too hung up about scenes and genre. I think there’s quite a pleasing cross fertilisation between styles. Improv, electronic, free jazz, modern classical, folk, punk, they can all sit together on a bill or within the same band without anyone blinking. These scenes all overlap massively. In a lot of London, for example, that might be less likely to be the case. Glasgow’s always had an ear for a pop sound too though huh?
There’s also a load of tiny venues that bands can play shows and develop what they’re doing without needing to get hundreds of people in. This is what Edinburgh is in dire need of. It’s an inspiring situation to be in – nobody’s self conscious about doing something that’s out there…
Favourite venue in the city?
Where do you start? Obviously with The Barrowlands. But at the other end of the (size) spectrum there’s the Old Hairdressers (which you can’t mention without a shout out to Stereo/Mono). I’d say some of my happiest days were spent in what is now The 78 but at the time was West 13/Stereo. And the Grand Ol Opry’s always special.
Glasgow also has a wonderful history of gigs taking place in non-commercial or unusual venues; The Chateau, Flourish, Kinning Park Complex, The Old Jail in The Briggait, countless back gardens, living rooms, worker’s clubs and rehearsal spaces.
What’s the best gig you’ve seen in Glasgow?
PJ Harvey Rid of Me tour at the Barrowlands?
Dog Faced Herman’s last show at Nice and Sleazy?
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played in Glasgow?
Arab Strap’s final show at the ABC was pretty unforgettable. El Hombre Trajeado’s first ever gig at the Vic Bar at the Art School was great – part of a festival called the 10 Day Weekend. I can’t have been 17. And of course, the first Sound of Yell show at the CCA last spring. Pulling all those amazing people together for the first time was quite special…
What other Glasgow artists would you recommend (and why)?
I don’t think I need mention RM Hubbert, Ela Orleans, JD Twitch, Alasdair Roberts or Kathryn Joseph but Sacred Paws, Isso Drummers, Sum Shapes, Wolf, The One Ensemble, Golden Teacher, Muscles of Joy and Trembling Bells are just some that spring to mind…
Sum up the Glasgow music scene in five words
Giddy with variety and parkas.
Sound of Yell play a free set at Mono on Sunday August 2nd around 4.30pm