Tag Archives: Snow Patrol

The astrid story so far….

The Isle of Lewis

The Isle of Lewis

Find yourself on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides and you’ll find the deep roots of a band called astrid. It started in 1990 when an 11-year-old boy called Willie Campbell met a 10-year-old boy called Charlie Clark and they bonded over a shared fanaticism of comic books, movies and music. Soon after, the pair began to experiment with playing various instruments in barns, garages and sheds throughout the island their only audience the flora, fauna and possibly livestock of the Isle of Lewis.

Astrid-Play-Dead-Album-S-403580

Four years later Willie moved to Glasgow and Charlie started playing cover songs on the local bar circuit with school chum and bassist Gareth Russell this duos audience had grown to include people.

Following Willie’s lead in 1996, Charlie and Gareth moved to Glasgow and formed astrid with drummer Gary Thom. A mutual love of 60’s pop, psychedelia and tight harmonies brought Willie into astrid and their lineup and sound were finally realized.

ASTRID

ASTRID

In the beginning the boys of astrid spent their days writing songs and working flower stalls. At night they donned their finest charity shop threads to play astrid’s complete catalogue of seven songs at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, The 13th Note and Nice & Sleazy’s. Stop by the Halt Bar on Woodlands Rd. any Saturday afternoon and the boys of astrid could likely be found playing the open stage or spending their giros at the bar, even more likely, doing both. It was here Stevie Jackson from Belle & Sebastian heard astrid and asked the boys along for the first UK Belle & Sebastian tour. astrid accepted; their audience was quickly becoming their fans.

Belle & Sebastian

Belle & Sebastian

It was on this tour after a show at The Union Chapel in London that the boys of astrid met managers and founders of Fantastic Plastic Records, Darrin and Julie Robson. astrid signed to Fantastic Plastic in 1998 and all was right with the world.

Edwyn Collins

Edwyn Collins

Produced by Scottish Indie legend Edwyn Collins, astrid’s debut album, ‘Strange Weather Lately’ would go on to sell 10,000 copies and solidify astrid as 1999’s darlings of radio as they garnered support from the likes of John Peel, Steve Lamaq and Mark and Lard. The aforementioned setting in motion tours and shows in 2000 with acts from The Go-Betweens, Ben Lee and Sean Lennon to Lou Barlow, The Pernice Brothers and fellow indie circuit players, Snow Patrol.

THE REINDEER SECTION

THE REINDEER SECTION

In 2001 Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody asked astrid (with then drummer Neil Payne) to join and ultimately become the core band for his Scottish indie supergroup, The Reindeer Section. Among others, the ambitious project included members of Arab Strap, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, The Vaselines and Idlewild. Spanning a three year period, The Section went on to release two albums and toured frequently, including a rather memorable trip to Japan for Summer Sonic 2003.

astrid 2002

astrid 2002

astrid released nine singles, three albums and three EPs before disbanding in 2004.

Willie and Charlie remained friends throughout the years. They still shared a fanaticism of comic books, movies and music and never lost their mutual love of 60’s pop, psychedelia and tight harmonies, but they stopped making music together. Willie made his home and family in Lewis while Charlie did the same in Los Angeles.

July 2015, Willie Campbell and Charlie Clark met on the Isle of Lewis and took a stroll along the beach in Gress, the two men fell into a chat about the idea of writing a few songs together. Four months later the pair found themselves in a studio in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles recording the fourth astrid album ‘Fall, Stand, Dance’.

Fueled with the same buoyant energy that made astrid such an endearing live band, ‘Fall, Stand, Dance’ radiates the familiar pop sensibilities, irresistible melodies and soulful harmonies of astrid’s early days infused with a more mature and robust songwriting style; their audience, stronger than ever.

Summer 2016

Summer 2016

‘Fall, Stand, Dance’ will be released Spring 2017.

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Broken Arrow Xmas LA Show

Broken Arrow will be playing our final show of the year on December 9th at Harvard & Stone with our friends Bullet & Snowfox and special guest from the UK, Paul Freeman. This will be our Xmas Party for fans, friends and family and good way to wrap up the year after spending most of it on our record.

Bullet & Snowfox

Bullet & Snowfox

We’re really happy with how the record sounds so far and will be playing most of the songs from it as well as a new song we recently got together in rehearsal called ‘Love Like This’.

It’s been a minute since updating what’s been going on with BA on this site since recording the new astrid album. Broken Arrow was still very active since we announced the astrid reunion. Brandi and I went out to Joshua Tree with photographer and director Nitin Vadukul and shot all the artwork for our debut and also shot a video for future single ‘Promises’.

Last month saw us play H&S with Lauren Ruth Ward, Marc With Love and Jeremy Pinnell and the 55’s. This was a really awesome night and our first show with Matt LaRocca on guitar as Pablo has been working on the new Snow Patrol album.

Our management is working on some exciting things for next year and we should have some news about the record by early 2016. We hope to see some of you at Harvard & Stone, Dec 9th. Happy Holidays!

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A Majestic Month in Los Angeles

Sugarplum Fairies 1998 record Flake

Sugarplum Fairies 1998 record Flake

January seemed to come and pass in a flash for me this year. After a fairly uneventful (due to sickness) but restful holiday period the New Year got going immediately with a recording session with Sugarplum Fairies (1/4). This record is sounding so incredible and I feel very lucky to have collaborated with Silvia Ryder on our song ‘Bonnie Brae’ which will feature on the album. I’ll post more news about this album as soon as I know where it’s at, though I believe the recording parts are nearly done!

Trevor from Tall Tales

Trevor from Tall Tales

Next up was having a wee cameo in the new Tall Tales and the Silver Lining video for their single “Something To Believe In” from their forthcoming album “Tightropes” which drops Feb 24th on Other Music/Fat Possum records. These boys are dear friends and one of my favorite LA bands right now. This record sounds so beautiful so please check out Tall Tales and fall in love!

Just before Christmas I started working with the Manimal Group who are now managing me, to be specific, a wonderful Scots girl by the name of Lou Marron-Paige is now looking after all my music stuff. I’m super excited about this and have been a big fan of all things Manimal for a long time. I work with several of their label artists at Harvard & Stone where I book and it’s an awesome team of creative people to work with. Exciting times ahead!

Dash with Haim

Dash with Haim

After all this it was back to the studio for me where I did a session at Grandma’s Dojo Studio (1/23) with Eric Mcann (Feel Something Producer) and Dash Hutton from Haim. This is for a 7″ release I have planned in the next couple months. The Devils Pulpit/Sleepwalking 7″ will come out under the name ‘Charlie Clark and the Majestic 12’. These songs were a bit too the left for Broken Arrow and a bit too happy for my next solo EP so I wanted to have total fun with this project and pretty much just make up a band for this release. We had a total blast doing these songs and I’m working on them again tomorrow (2/3) at Sugarplum Fairies HQ with producer Eric McCann. More news on that as we go along.

Now, onto Broken Arrow.

We were back in the studio recording some more backing tracks for our forthcoming record (1/24) then went in with Producer Pablo (Snow Patrol) to finish off the song ‘Promises’ (1/26). Brandi and I are so pleased with how this song turned out and can’t wait to share it with y’all. We team up again with director Paul Orehovec this week to start a 4 day shoot for Warning Signs/Promises so this whole week will be spent putting everything and everyone together for this shoot. It’s our biggest production to date since working with Mr Orehovec so we’re looking forward to seeing the results!!

Citywalk_02

I’m really happy to announce that ‘Grateful’ from my “Feel Something” EP just got picked up for City Walk on KCET and will feature on Episode 4 which airs locally on February 3 on KCET and a few days later nationally on Direct TV and Dish Network.

A very big thank you from Brandi and I to Kevin Bronson from Buzzbands LA for spinning ‘Warning Signs’ on his show on KCSN. This is the first radio play we’ve had for Broken Arrow.

The Vaselines

The Vaselines

After a month in the studio and booking/working with 36 different LA bands for Harvard & Stone this January it was time to get a night out and catch up with some old friends. The Vaselines were in town last Wednesday night (1/28) for the last night of their US tour. The Scots were out in full force at The Roxy for this amazing show and we, kind of, had a works night out with Brandi, Pablo, myself and my wife showing the guys round LA afterwards. Always a pleasure seeing these lovely peeps!

Eric McCann and I getting down to business

Eric McCann and I getting down to business

Finally, whilst Brandi and I are shooting the Broken Arrow video/s Eric McCann will be starting work this week tracking bass and drums for “Lemon, Water & Ginger” my next solo EP. This is a lot more cinematic than the last and will feature a whole host of guests this time round, I think nearly 20 or so! My good buddy Joel Patterson (David J/Mark Gardener) is playing drums on this one and hopefully the boys will get wrapped up for me coming in next week and putting down all my parts before the revolving door open for the other guests. More news at the end of Feb…..

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God Speed & Silver Linings

HS LOGO

I’ve really been neglecting my blogging duties as of late for many reasons but the main one being that I’ve been working a lot more at Harvard & Stone lately, so apologies to anyone who might even have noticed that! I’m now booking 3 nights a week at this quality LA bar/music venue and I’m getting to see, hear and work with so many great new bands and also some well seasoned scenesters. The whole “World Cup” thing has passed me by completely. I have noticed though, this last few weeks, when people hear my accent the first question they ask is “who are you rooting for?” and in all honesty I’ve been more excited about the latest pictures of Kevin Smith crying on the set on Star Wars Episode VII or having Tashaki Miyaki come play at H&S at the end of this month to care about football! Admittedly, I’m a terrible Scotsman I don’t drink (anymore) or like football. I do however enjoy a good black pudding but that’s pretty hard to find in LA.

Last week was the official launch party for the release of ‘God Speed & Silver Linings’ by Sugarplum Fairies out on Starfish Records now. This is my record of the year so far next to ‘Lost in the Dream’ by The War on Drugs. The album was produced by Marlon Rabenreither (Gold Star, Lael Neale), mixed by Todd Burke (Belle & Sebastian, Ben Harper) and features guest performances by me and RT Valine. Silvia Ryder, who pretty much is SPF, is an old friend and I’m so happy she asked me to be involved in this project as the full record is really something quite special indeed. Silvia’s vocal on this record has developed so much since it’s predecessor and to quote ‘American Songwriter Magazine’ sounds like Nico on a double date with Leonard Cohen! There’s a whole range of different styles on this record ranging from Americana to Jazz yet it’s solidly cohesive sounding and held together perfectly by Marlon Rabenreither’s beautiful production. You can purchase this record from all good online record stores.

So, an update on Broken Arrow. We recently finished our run of shows at The Hotel Cafe and have started to record our first two singles which we hope to have finished by August. We really did have such a great time during the residency and thank you everyone who came down to support us.

Tommy Schobel

Tommy Schobel

We had a new line up for these shows including Tommy Schobel (who played with Brandi in The Fox Must Pay) on drums and Paul Wilson from Snow Patrol on guitar. Paul’s out here in LA right now and though we shared many adventures in the past I’d not seen him in years so it’s been great catching up not to mention playing music together. Paul and Tommy did such a great job so thanks from Eric, Brandi and myself for helping us out.

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Brandi and I also did a little run of promotion to help with these shows including a 2 hour interview with 5 songs live for Suicide Girls Radio. This was definitely a new one for me as these straight talking ladies gave me a radio experience I’ll never forget! It’s certainly not the BBC but hey, that’s not a bad thing! If you would like to hear acoustic versions of some of our new songs or better still watch me sweat profusely for 2 hours you can watch it here! The whole thing was filmed so I’m definitely looking forward to my Mum and Dad hearing me share about my extensive knowledge of uncircumcised penises.

Brandi & I will be returning to The Hotel Cafe as a duo on July 24th opening for Fred Page from the UK.

Once we get our record finished we will be announcing more dates and release news. In the meantime Brandi and I are continuing to write some more new material together. Keep checking this site for updates on Broken Arrow.

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