Music for me is a sort of life blood. From a young age I have been involved in choirs, orchestras, and bands. I played and sang anything from baroque classics, to jazz standards. Unfortunately, I then decided to fall down a mountain and that pretty much hampered my ability to hold my instruments up for lengthy periods. I did eventually get back to playing guitar, but then that was stumped by me requiring some tasty hand surgery to fix an injury sustained playing American football. However, despite injury, and the ability to not actually play as much anymore, I still need music to provide me a quasi-soundtrack to my everyday life. Right now, I am sat listening to The Buggles “Video killed the Radio Star” setting the stage for this article. I am not saying I am unique in this, not at all. I am saying that music is a personal experience, it has the ability to stir up emotions or cause you to feel euphoria.
The problem is that very often music is seen purely as a product. It is written, produced, and packaged in a cookie cut process that often substitutes meaning, feeling or reflection for a club beat that is best listened to after a few pints of FUN. Yes, there are plenty of indie bands out there with their own unique style, but often they are drowned out by mega indie artist like oasis, or artic monkeys who swamp up most of the market.
Along with the music money machine, small and new artists are also finding it harder to perform, with many venues, either only offering single song slots at open mics, or charging a small fortune for venue hire. Independent venues are no longer an option, as gentrification has often seen new wealthier residents moving into the area, and then complain about the venues either being too loud or bringing in “the wrong crowd”, leading to them being shut down.
That all being said, there are bands out there that are forging their own path. On Wednesday of last week (30th of May) I was invited to a super intimate flat gig, put on by new comers “Lost Veda”. The front man, Andrew Scott-George, in his own words “brown-nosed” the neighbours in order to secure against the gig being shut down after the first song, and it was well worth it!
I immediately felt a sense of intimacy, entering into a small, smoky filled room, which you wouldn’t get away with in any public venue, and clearly showed signs of being a bed room when not moonlighting as a gig space for 40 something people. The band consisted of guitarist and singers, Andrew and Jamie Stark, with Calum Gordon on bass, and Jamie Linskell on drums. Their attitude was clear; they wanted to share what they had created with their friends and friends of friends. This music was catchy, but also personal. When they stood in front of us, they seemed at home. They didn’t put on a fake persona, but where just themselves. And the music was good! You don’t expect to walk into a persons bedroom and hear them play sixteen of their own songs and find it great… But these lads were, and I truly put that down to the honesty that I experienced. No fancy lights, no sound desk and expensive equipment, it was them, friends, music and dancing.
Speaking to Andrew after the show, I asked him what his favourite song to perform was, he responded “Hard to pick because I love them all dearly, but I would say “Waiting on a Sign”, it was the first track I co-wrote with Jamie and it was the one that made us think about getting serious about making music. It’s a fairly honest song and very catchy too which is good. I knew we’d done something right when my flatmates came home from Uni saying they’d had it stuck in their heads all day and been singing it round campus.”
This isn’t a story about a Glasgow band breaking big, this is a story about four lads that have come together, done something different, and produced a gig that I will not soon forget. They were true to who they are, an alternative rock/psych pop band. They didn’t just play for the audience, but for themselves, and you know what? The audience loved it!
Keep an out for their four track E.P. coming out this summer, we here at G-YOU certainly are excited for it!
The music industry is a hostile one, but there are folk out there offering something new, fresh and personal, and I implore you to seek them out, because there is something special about what they are serving up. Hopefully then, you too can experience the same ecstasy I felt that night while watching them perform their heart and soul to that crowd.
-Owain Campton, Editor-in-Chief