Friday 28 January 2011

K&A with Letters

Around this time last year, I was sent two cracking demos by Curators, at that point, an unknown-to-me Edinburgh band, who went on to be one of, if not thee band of 2010 in my eyes.  So, it's a good omen that Letters, another band from our fair capital, sent me out their upcoming double A-side single to have a listen to a fortnight-or-so ago.  The fact that you're now about to read their K&A session, the first of 2011, should give you some indication of how excited I am about this "dark cello pop" 5-piece.   

They're set to release their debut double A-side single The Grand National / Pipe Dreams on 16th February for free!  Both are really rather good but Pipe Dreams is the track that's been on repeat for a while now.  As it starts, it reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy, with the gorgeous strings and the similar vocal style, before shifting up a few gears and taking a darker, rockier turn round about where my SoundCloud comment pops up!  There's a sneak preview of both tracks below, but before that, let's find out a but more about them...

Kowalskiy:  Who are Letters?
Mikey:  The best thing to come out of Scotland since David Hume.

Kerr Donaldson – Drums
Dougie Fuller – Bass
Georgie Williamson – Cello/Vocals
Ed Ellis – Guitar/Vocals
Mikey Ferguson – Guitar/Lead Vocals

Kowalskiy:  How did the band get together?
Mikey:  I should draw a flow chart for this! Erm...I advertised for a drummer and Kerr responded and not only turned out be quite good but also not a cunt. Georgie was playing in other bands in Edinburgh so we stole her. Me and Dougie were school mates and have been in and out of bands for years. Me and Ed are also both actors so we became mates through a theatre group. Add some baking soda, turn the oven up to 200 degrees and let the flan rise.

Kowalskiy:  How would you describe 'your sound'?
Mikey:  Dark cello pop noiseniks.

Kowalskiy:  Who/what/where etc are your main influences?
Mikey:  Literary giants, European cinema, jingle jangle bingo bango.

Kowalskiy:  On Feb 16th, you're releasing your debut single, the double A-side The Grand National / Pipe Dreams.  What can you tell us about these two tracks?
Mikey:  Pipe Dreams is pretty much does what it says on the tin. The idea that your unrealistic and unattainable dreams, in the end, will fucking kill you.

   Pipe Dreams by Letters (uploaded by Sound and Vision PR)

The Grand National is just a nice piece of nostalgia. Split into three acts - It's starts out with my childhood spent growing up with my brother in a dead end council estate and how you end up pining after a simple more 'innocent' time. Skip through a few years to overspent time reading in cold rooms, devoid of any lyrical inspiration, spending too much time with my (old) band mates in cars having meaningless conversations (which was brilliant), to being part of the real world and feel like you're going nowhere...oops, same as Pipe Dreams I suppose... dreams man... they'll fucking kill you!  It's about feeling old before your time. There. Done.

Kowalskiy:  On the same night, you'll be launching the single at Henry's Cellar Bar - your first gig! Nervous yet?  Any idea yet what folk can expect from it?
Mikey:  Not really nervous, just desperate to play. We've tried to time all this to perfection which means it's been really frustrating being confined to living rooms and practice studios. Every band says this (nearly all of them are rubbish anyway) but people can really expect a live show from us. For not being all that heavy we're mental. No band I've seen that comes from our part of the world is better than us live. And that's only going by how good we are in practice.  Oh and we'll also be giving away free limited edition CD's of the single.  Soon we're going to start using visuals in our shows, it's just taking a while to prepare

Kowalskiy:  What would be your ideal gig anyway?
Mikey:  Don't know about the rest of the guys but I always dreamed of headlining the Barrowlands in Glasgow or one of the stages at T in the Park where everyone sings your song back to you. That would be my dream. The ultimate gig I suppose is the one that people will travel a long way to see you. A gig full of hardcore fans, that's what I'm trying to say.

Kowalskiy:  What can we expect from Letters in 2011?
Mikey:  We're obviously doing the single launch on the 16th February at Henry's Cellar Bar in Edinburgh. We'll be playing a few gigs around Scotland for the rest of March and April (go to to keep up to date) which are being confirmed as we speak and at the same time we'll be recording an EP which we hope to release in May.  Thereafter, expect to see posters of Kerr's ravaged torso splattered across university breezeblock walls fro June onwards.

Kowalskiy:  Since its that time of year, which band would you recommend we all look out for this year?
Mikey:  Band I'm absolutely loving at the moment are Ideals from London. They've got a handle of that age old relic called song writing which is absolutely devoid in most of the vaccuous shite around at the moment. The Last Battle are also another band to watch out for this year, they hail from the same place as us.

Kowalskiy:  Is there something else you'd like to share? Any interesting facts about the band or a bandmember?
Mikey:  If you put in a request on our website (, we will actually write you a letter. The title of our website doesn't lie.  Dougie looks like a Duracell bunny when he plays the bass.  Kerr has webbed feet.

For me, Pipe Dreams is the best song I've heard so far this year.  If you like it too and fancy hearing some more, get a free copy of the great single, and see Dougie's best Duracell bunny impression, then you can do all three next month...

Upcoming Gigs
16th Feb - Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh (with OSO and The Last Battle)


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  2. These guys could well be stunning live (I wouldn't know, seeing as they've never played a gig) but it just sounds arrogant, and a wee bit desperate to say things like: "No band I've seen that comes from our part of the world is better than us live." Especially seeing as they're from the same city as Meursault and Withered Hand, two of the best live bands in Scotland at the moment.

  3. Don't forget Broken Records! ;)

    To be honest, I think its a bit tongue-in-cheek from Mikey. Suppose we'll know more after their single launch gig...

    Just announced a King Tuts support slot in March too.