Thursday 12 August 2010

Ten for 2010 Revisited... and K&A with Admiral Fallow

Time to have a look at how another of my Ten for 2010 have been getting on. This time, it's the turn of Brother Louis Collective Admiral Fallow. So far this year has been pretty amazing for the band with widespread acclaim for their stunning debut album "Boots Met My Face", a radio session for Vic Galloway, TV appearances and a trip to T in the Park. As well as all that, they joined King Creosote, The Pictish Trail and Kenny McCluskey of The Bluebells on stage at Oran Mor for what was quite easily the best gig I've been to in ages. It won't be topped for a while!

Brother Louis himself was kind enough to answer a few of my questions one drunken night. Here's what he had to say about the band, that name change and his happy life in Canada. Here goes...

Kowalskiy: How did the band meet?
Louis: Most of us met at university in Glasgow 5 years ago. Myself and Joe knew each other from years back when we met and formed a funk band for a day in Dundee. Said funk band also featured Robs from Luva Anna on guitar.

Kowalskiy: Before the release of your album you changed your name from Brother Louis Collective, how come?
Louis: When we put out our album in April this year the band had been around for a few years under the name Brother Louis Collective – a moniker we issued ourselves when booked for a fairly high profile gig at short notice. At that time we were wary of changing it as we were worried too many people had heard of it already. Having never been too keen on this name, when it came to putting out an album that would hopefully be a bit of a legacy in our lives we wanted to be happy with all aspects of it. So we changed our name to Admiral Fallow.

Kowalskiy: How would you describe your music (without using the word "bittersweet")?
Louis: Our music has always had an acoustic root. It’s always the bases of how we put songs together from their birth and so there will always be a so called ‘folk’ element to what we do. Even a song like "Bomb Through The Town" – the recorded version of which is anything but a folk song – was born from a very simple guitar line and melody. I suppose I like to describe the songs on this record as orchestral folk-pop.

Kowalskiy: You're starting to gather a lot of attention with your appearance on STV's The Hour Show and your Vic Galloway session (which fellow blogger Peenko called "possibly the best I have heard all year"), as well as numerous blogs singing your praises. Are you surprised at how things have taken off?
Louis: We’re pleasantly surprised that people are enjoying the record. Off the back of our Vic Galloway session and being asked to play the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park, it led to some radio play which has, in turn, led to a whole new bunch of people hearing our music. This is a great thing. And after all, you bloggers are the people who are genuinely interested in music so it feels good when we have nice words written about the music we make. We’re very proud of the record. It was made on a fairly small budget (with the help of the arts council, Paul Savage at Chem. 19 and some talented friends who played on the record) and I’m glad that people are giving it a proper listen. We’re amazed when people get in touch from all sorts of weird corners of the world asking us to come and play in their town.

Kowalskiy: You recently released your stunning debut album "Boots Met My Face". Whats the story behind it?
Louis: ‘Boots Met My Face’ is a record of my upbringing in Edinburgh. Documenting the years from as early as 11 up to the present time, it’s about the great and the shitty things that happened to me and that no doubt happen to a lot of kids at that age. People think it’s a really bleak outlook but there are happy moments in there too. It’s about discovering the opposite sex and that you’re not immortal. There are also a lot of football references. Everyone can relate to that stuff.

Kowalskiy: I'm intrigued about the front cover too, whats that all about?
Louis: The cover and artwork feature the incredible photos of Luke Joyce. There are some beautiful inlay pictures of boats taken on mull which tie in nicely with the admiral theme. When I first saw the photo we used for the cover I called everyone straight away. It’s a total belter.

Kowalskiy: What would be your ideal gig?
Louis: Earlier this year we opened for King Creosote in Glasgow which was a personal treat for me. So maybe Elbow next, then Tom Waits. After that I could die happy. As for fictitious roadie’s – maybe some Swedish girl guitar techs? I don’t know. A gig at Buckfast Abbey would be fun.

Kowalskiy: That was a great gig! As one of my tips for this year, who would you like to see do well?
Louis: Bands that work hard and have great songs deserve to do well. Forget a set of braces and cravat or hanging out with the ‘right’ people. But then again, it’s all about what a band wants for themselves isn’t it. Not to hark on about him but I would say Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) is very successful - what him and Jonny (Pictish Trail) have achieved up in Anstruther with fence records is an incredible thing. But has Willy Wanker Big Wig down in Shoreditch ever heard of them? Probably not. As a wise Irishman once said, "you’ve got to love what you do".

Kowalskiy: What can we expect from Admiral Fallow in the future?
Louis: We tour as of Wed 11th Aug in Scotland for a week or so with the beautiful Rachel Sermanni and into England in September with some shows with The Felice Brothers. all listings on our MySpace (and below).

Kowalskiy: Any interesting facts about the band or a bandmember you'd like to 'exclusively' share with me?
Louis: Clarinet player Kevin has only 9 toes and is a quarter Portuguese. no one knows where he was born. Drummer Philip was on the cusp of becoming a semi-professional badminton player before he opted for a career in music. He still plays to this day. Bass player Joe once stage dived into a crowd after performing with a metal band called Abortion Of Chips. Nobody caught him. Geordie chanteuse Sarah has a secret lady crush on sporty spice Mel C. She wept like a lost boy the day said Spice got married. Guitarist Tom speaks 7 different languages including Mandarin and English. He owns and rides a chopper bicycle even though he’s just turned 23. I had to get 52 staples in my head after a hand gliding accident at age 9. I’ll show you the scar one day if you don’t believe me. I now live in Winnipeg with my wife and 5 children.

Their album can be bought from Amazon MP3 and you can catch Admiral Fallow on their tour tonight in Gourock before they set off all over the country. Details below...

Upcoming Gigs
12th Aug - Continental Cafe, Gourock
13th Aug - Duke's Corner, Dundee
14th Aug - Hootananny, Inverness
16th Aug - Haarfest (with Adem and Silver Columns), Anstruther
17th Aug - Paisley Town Hall (with Paolo Nutini), Paisley
9th Sept - Oran Mor, Glasgow
11th Sept - TJ's Woodhouse, Leeds
13th Sept - Thekla, Bristol
15th Sept - The Lexington, London

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