Usually these ‘introductory’ pieces have at least a picture to go with the music and words. Not so with The Grand Gestures. Mainly because the band have never been photographed together – in fact, they haven’t and will not even appear in the same room together until the show at KingTut’s on Friday June 1st.
The brainchild of Spare Snare’s singer Jan Burnett, the collective brings together a variety of friends and acquaintances to provide vocals to accompany his lo-fi tunes – all recorded on 16-track recorder and with no computers involved in its making.
Amont the artists who visited Burnett’s Glasgow home and recorded a volcal in his bathroom – for reverb purposes as well as “a nod to Joe Meek” – are Jill O’Sullivan of Sparrow and the Workshop, Andrew Howie aka long-time Peel favourite Calamateur, and Emma Pollock, formerly of Glasgow legends The Delgados.
Also, there are some names less-known in the musical realm, at least. For example, Sanjeev Kohli – aka Navid off of Still Game, and more tellingly, Synthesizer Patel of Look Around You fame.
Then there’s Craig McNeil aka Calamity Horse, a fellow ex-pat Dundonian who apart from working with the Beggars record label, has a children’s book in which he collaborates with Dizzee Rascal’s live vocalist Daniel Pearce.
And Celie Byrne, 2011 BP Portrait Awards finalist and like at least half her ‘bandmates’, not a musician in the conventional sense.
The budget is as lo as the fi, with all performing their vocal party piece in return for a curry lunch. It was then down to Burnett to piece together the backing tracks, with another couple of musicians – his father Dave Burnett, an accomplished guitarist and banjo player. Add Spare Snare bandmate Barry Gibson on drums, and hey presto, a band was born.
The album is due at the end of May, tying in with the gig. Maybe they’ll get together for a photo as well. For now, to go with the logo, a few tunes have been put forward as tasters for both show and album.