Tag Archives: The Vaselines

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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…..

Leave a comment

Filed under Easy Listening