Trawling the depths of their home city, The Filthy Tongues – now a trio – have put their past behind them and delivered a debut album that puts their own ghosts to bed as much as it rakes through Edinburgh’s murky past. So the time is probably right for a casual (re)introduction to Martin Metcalfe and friends…
Martin Metcalfe : Lead vocals & guitar
Fin Wilson: Bass and backing vox
Derek Kelly: Drums and banking vocals
As the Filthy Tongues the last 2 1/2 years: 2014-2016
Recorded the LP ourselves. Funded the LP ourselves (by the skin of our teeth) on our own record label BLOKSHOK RECORDS. Hoping to get the next LP our within 7 months (a bit of optimism never hurt)
All three musicians in the Filthy Tongues were previously in these bands… in these years…
Isa & The Filthy Tongues 2006 – 2011 (had music/songs featured in Richard Jobson and David MacKenzie films in 2011) .
Angelfish 1992-94 with Shirley Manson (Garbage) on lead vocals only toured in Belgium, France and a huge tour of USA. Charted in college radio chart alongside Nirvana. Only released in USA. Eventually (21 years later) played live in Glasgow in 2014. A reunion that was a very long time coming. Angelfish’s appearance on MTV America secured Shirley Manson a place in Garbage alongside Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Foo Fighters producer Butch Vig.
Goodbye Mr Mackenzie 1988 – 95
The most successful of previous incarnations as far as chart action went: Top 30 LP & single in the UK.
Toured with Blondie, The Primitives, Aztec Camera, The Silencers.
The Filthy Tongues create highly literary musings on their hometown of Edinburgh, but also evocative of such celebrated US Deep South scribblers as William Falkner and Flannery O’Connor, possibly why Nick Cave and The Bad Seed’s classic Delta-Blues ‘First Born Is Dead’ album comes to mind. But it’s definitely an ‘Edinburgh’ album, a journey through the dark, damp closes and stairwells of the Old Town and all that goes with it. It’s claustrophobic, and menacing with nary a glisten of sunlight, but it’s all the more compelling and captivating for that. Martin offers this: ‘The LP is pleasingly grotty and more than a bit gothic. All based around a dark neo-feudal Edinburgh’. We also like comedian Billy Conolly’s description of Edinburgh – ‘full of beautiful dead things’. (as contrasted with Glasgow’s vibrant humanity and character). Another description would be Lou Reed meets Trainspotting.
For the fame, the money, or (as Tony Wilson would have had it, you had “no choice”)… what drives you, what’s your motivation, your hopes, your dreams, your liking for Hollywood-style cod-psychology when asked questions about the nature of your ‘art’.
Tony Wilson’s “no choice” quote does seem apt or James Joyce’s quote (which he hung above his desk as a reminder when he didn’t want to go on) “Write it, damn you, write it! What else are you good for?”
We’re much more into creating a world for people to live in in their minds. Maybe not a world they’d want to live in full time but somewhere dark and exotic to indulge their imagination. Along side that we are trying to point out that we’re all time traveling in the West at the moment. We’re at once living in the 21st century and travelling back via Dickensian times to a feudal model if the elites around the world have their way. In the UK we’re approaching at a pre WW2 level of healthcare. It’s not actually happening today but give it two more years and we’ll be back at a ‘parish’ system.
Never heard of cod-psychology & don’t want to be famous- fame sucks BUT it’s sometimes a necessary evil. Saying that, It’s useful when you’re 20 years old and want free drinks and casual sex. 🙂
Money is nice but it’s highly doubtful that we’ll make any with this kind of material so yes we probably do this for the sake of the ‘art’ which is funny because we never thought of our selves as artistic. Our manager way back at the beginning in Glasgow used to put his head in his hands if we presented a (perhaps slightly discordant) song and say “Edinburgh arty nonsense” and we didn’t have a clue what he was going on about….
The band promote the album with gigs as follows:
HMV store Glasgow 5pm 18th March
O2 ABC Glasgow – 19th March
Dundee 15th April
LOVE MUSIC Glasgow- Record store day – 16th April
More at isaandthefilthytongues.com