Tagged: Shambles Miller

having a bit of a drought…

The title says it all really, or maybe it doesn’t actually. If you scroll your mouse down you will see that the last time we posted,

it was still the month of March, and there was over a week left of that month. It’s not the case that we’ve been up to nothing mind you, life gets busy and sadly the things you love get pushed to the side a little bit. After all, it’s more important to be able to put sneakers on your kids’ feet right?!

When I say drought we’re talking strictly in a writing sense, getting the words into my keyboard so that they appear in wordpress and end up on the Elba blog. You see, this is a time issue, pure and simple. It’s not because there is a lack of things to write about, if I could pay myself a lovely salary I’d do it all day but needs must and off to work I go each day.

So here I am, finding time in my complete lack of time, to moan about not having the time to write. Kind of ironic, maybe I’ve just wasted a precious 200 words that could have been better spent giving a lot more attention to some of the things I’m sure I’ll go on to mention.

As I have said, there’s no lack at all of good things to write about. I’ve found an abundance of new things to listen to recently and I’ve also filled in a few gaps with old albums I’ve not ever had the chance or even inclination to listen to at the time. I found that I’m really liking the lo-fi/west coast (USA) type bands at the moment, y’know some of the bands who sounded like the kind of band my brother listened to in the early to mid nineties. Smith Westerns, Ringo Deathstarr, Girls (okay so this ones not just out but I’ve been listening to it for the last year), Lower Dens and have I rekindled my interest with Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Best Coast in anticipation of the former’s new album and latter’s gig at The Arches on the 27th of this month.

Talking of things I’m liking at the moment, I’ve received a couple of really great records in my emails recently that I really must mention.

The first EP in question here is The Whittling EP from Andrew Lindsay and The Coat Hooks. Chock full of jangly guitars and sing-a-long melodies it’s been the perfect listen for me on my way to the office in the morning. The Coat Hooks include, amongst others, Shambles Miller and Matthew of Elba favourites Loch Awe. If you fancy giving it a go, you can head over to their bandcamp where you can purchase either a digital copy of the album for £3 or a nicer wee package including badges, a note and some demos for a couple of quid more.

Knowing of my slight penchant for their music, Johnny Reb have sent me over their first album, or ‘debut exertions’ as they have put it. It was recorded in Portugal with Boz Boorer, him being Morrisey’s guitarist and that, and it will be released through their Bandcamp on April 18th. It really is rather excellent.

Also, if you’ve not yet picked up the Song, By Toad label sampler yet, you really should. It can be downloaded for free over here. My personal favourite is the Lach track. I’m looking forward to hearing that album when it comes out in July.

I’ve not just been hiding away listening to records though, I’ve been to a couple of cracking gigs by Deerhunter and Josh T.Pearson (Skinny Review Here) in the last couple of weeks and rather looking forward to seeing Marina Celeste and Best Coast over the next weeks.

Also coming up on the 21st this month, three days after the official release date, is the Le Reno Amps album launch at The Captain’s Rest. Not only are LRA playing, obviously, it’s a monstrous line-up completed by The Douglas Firs, Super Adventure Club and Galoshins. It will be awesomes!!!! You can stream or buy the album over here!

Anyways, we’ll be back again shortly with more stuff, hopefully in a more timeous manner giving a bit more focus to stuff.


A hasty but (now) accurate update

Greetings to one and all. We realize we have been a little quiet of late and thought we should bring you exciting tidings. You will be glad to know that we have been fussing over various things that we love. Our silence has merely been a result of a post birthday high, distraction by lovely things (thoughts of babies and New York adventures), some tedium (nine to five related woes), fantastic grub and a lengthy amount of time dedicated listening to Sufjan Stevens’ The Age of Adz and The Phantom Band’s The Wants. All in all it is making it damn near impossible to accomplish anything at all. I am also undertaking a speed reading of Simon Pegg’s autobiography Nerd Do Well for stalking/book signing purposes tomorrow. If it weren’t for the fact I was taking a short break from work I am quite certain I would be snoring my head off with a keyboard as a pillow.

However, I have switched off the stereo and put the book down to update you on a few most charming items of interest.

I Build Collapsible Mountains debut mini album A Month of Lost Memories was released last week. This outfit is the solo work of The Gothenburg Address’ Luke Joyce. It is a stripped back offering. It is pure, simple, emotional and melancholic. The album is available on digital download as well as a limited run of 50 special edition hand made CDs. The CDs feature three further exclusive tracks and we encourage you to seek this out. I Build Collapsible Mountains plays Sneaky Pete’s on 30th October and will be playing the next Elba Sessions Presents… at The Liquid Ship on 4th November.

Favourite Son and Oxjam present a line up to make you tingle Friday 29th October at The Classic Grand. The eclectic evening will feature The Winter Tradition, Nevada Base, Kochka and The Clyde. It’s £4 in advance or £5 on the door. Its a great cause and there are rumours of fund-raising including PRIZES on the night.

Finally, Shambles Miller is releasing a follow up EP to his debut Shambles Vs The Dragonwizard entitled Shambles Sails The Clockwork Sea. I do enjoy how all of his titles and songs throw my imagination into fairytale land. That is, a nice, shiny, pleasant fairytale land. Not a creepy Guilermo Del Toro imagined world where creatures have too many eyes in many a weird place. Anyway, I’m losing focus. I think it is the feeling of freedom that is to blame. The four track release will launch (it will literally be catapulted into the air…)(no)(not really)(I was exploiting the connotation of the word launch) this Friday (the 22nd) in The Liquid Ship.

Elba Sessions Presents…(Seven)

Summer’s here and it’s been a bit of a scorcher this week. Hopefully it continues but as it’s Glasgow, there’s always the threat of rain just ten minutes away. We’ve had this listed on myspace, facebook, last fm and songkick for a while but I just realised I’d not stuck it on the blog! How foolish of me.

June 3rd sees us ‘Present’ at the Liquid Ship for the 7th time and we have a belting line up! It’s a very acoustic affair this time with stripped back sets from Blue Sky Archives and My Cousin I Bid You Farewell as well as including the acoustic storytelling of Shambles Miller.

House rules apply, free to get in for 3 brilliant artists.

P.S. We hear that Blue Sky Archives are awaiting a shipment of shiny EP’s, if we’re lucky, they might take some along to the gig. If we’re unlucky, you can get it here, on their bandcamp page!

Shambles Miller

Shambles Miller is a delightful ‘folker’ from Glasgow ways. I’m very glad to have had the opportunity to get a little insight into his world of tiny guitars and wizards. Quite possibly the nicest (not to mention most patient) artist I’ve had the pleasure of picking the brain of, I encourage you to mosey on over to his myspace. There awaits some enthralling little tales that you can immerse yourself in.

There have been some charming photos of you in your youth with various musical instruments added to your blog recently. When did you start playing and writing your own material?

Well, my mum will always insist that I wrote my first song when I was about three, singing about being in bed. I don’t think that counts though and much to her chagrin, I doubt I’ll be releasing it as my first single.

I’ve been playing the guitar and writing songs since I was about 14, but it was only a year or so ago that I felt I had the kind of material I was really confident in sharing with a wider audience. Wider than my mum, dad and dog, anyway.

You released your EP Shambles Vs The Dragonwizard late last year. What were the themes you were working with when you started putting it together.

Well, being my first E.P. I wanted to try and showcase a good range of the sort of stuff I do, so it incorporates the humorous side as well as a slightly darker stuff. A lot of it is about fighting against certain things: be it myself or some kind of authority or the idea that everyone has to be the same in someway. Or, y’know, evil wizards.

Are you pleased with the finished work?

I am, yeah, I’m very proud of the record. Although a year on I can definitely hear areas where I feel I’ve improved, (especially after nearly a year of gigging at least every fortnight) I think that’s natural. You have to be your own worst critic. There’s a saying that “art is never finished; only abandoned” and I’m sure that with unlimited time and money I’d have added certain elements, but this is always the sound I wanted from my first E.P. I originally put out a limited run of 50 copies and I sold the last one a week or so ago, which was a little strange, seeing it go. If there’s enough demand in the future though I’ll hopefully do another run.

Neil Slorance’s artwork for the EP is absolutely adorable. How long have you known one another?

We’ve been best friends for over 10 years now, since secondary school. He painted my guitar for me and when I decided I was going to put out my own E.P., there was no question about who I was going to get to do the artwork. He also does the odd poster or flyer for me and of course my badges feature his work too. I usually have to pay him by taking him for dinner. Most people actually recognise the Neil Slorance version of me before they’d recognise me in the street. Even in reviews, features and on blogs folk will use a wee Slorance Shambles. I quite like that.

You’re often noted for singing in your native accent. Why do you think that there is such great focus on that?

I think it’s because for so long, so many people seemed to sing in a faux-american accent, and singing in your own accent for a Scottish person meant comparisons to The Proclaimers. I think partly the success of Biffy Clyro and the rise in popularity of folk music means it has become more acceptable to hear someone sing in a Scottish accent. To me it just sounds more true. So many singers nowadays modify their voice, either to sound different to everyone else, or possibly even to imitate whatever sound or accent is in vogue, but it often comes off sounding forced. It just sounds false.

Where did the tiny guitar come from?

Haha, the tiny guitar. I think a lot of people expect to see it at every gig because I mentioned it on my myspace page, but it only features on one song so far. It was a present from my mum and dad after they’d been on holiday. I think it was intended to be a toy for children but with some jiggery-pokery I managed to turn it into a playable (albeit temperamental) instrument.

You’ll be playing Sloans Ballroom again on the eighth of June. Are you looking forward to the show?

Definitely, I really enjoyed it last time and this time I’m sharing the bill with some great acts who happen to be some of my closest friends, so it’s that wee bit extra-special. Plus it looks like it’ll be my first gig back after the first month off from gigging that I’ve taken in nearly a year.

Are you quite fond of the venue?

Very much so, it’s gorgeous. The sound is great and it has a really lovely atmosphere, plus it’s not every day you get to play in a ballroom.

We try to ask (though I always forget) anyone involved in a podcast or interview for Elba Sessions if there are any bands we should be checking out? Any recommendations?

Well, I would definitely recommend Florence and Lauren, one of the bands I’m playing with on the 8th of June. They change their name a lot (its a woman’s prerogative I understand) and seem to have invented the genre “folk-pop melodrama.” There’s Mr. Andrew Lindsay, also appearing on the bill on the 8th. He plays some really catchy folky pop too and has a voice that’s just as impressive as his haircut. I’d also keep an eye out for Reverie, soon to release her debut album, and Anavris; one of the best unsigned bands in the business just now.

Finally, what will the next venture for Shambles Miller be?

Well, I’d absolutely love to get to play any wee festivals this year, so if anyone will have me it’ll make my summer. I’ll also be recording my next as-yet-untitled E.P, which I can’t wait to get into. Apart from that, I’ll be back gigging regularly within the next couple of weeks and hopefully I’ll manage to fit in a wee Scottish tour. I might try and lose my beer belly too, that’d be a plus.

Shambles Miller will be playing Sloans Ballroom on the 8th of June

Also, Shamble Miller is looking for your vote in his bid to open Green Man this year. You can head along here to cast your vote!