A new name to many, perhaps, The Strange Blue Dreams may however be familiar faces to Scottish indie music lovers. Formed out of The Shiverin’ Sheiks, that sharp-dressed 50s-inspired combo can be traced back further to highly-regarded Aberdonian garage punks The Needles. But with the band in talkative mood, best we let them tell the full, unexpurgated story…
Dave Addison: vocals/guitar, David Rae: mandolin/vocals, Richard Andeson: double bass/vocals, Ross Wilson: drums, Duncan Kennedy: guitar
The Strange Blue Dreams formed when the four members of Glasgow 50s dance floor combo and interpreters of vintage tunes The Shiverin’ Sheiks started working on songs singer Dave had been writing. With the addition of singer and mandolin player Dave Rae to expand the sound The Strange Blue Dreams first gig was opening for Glasvegas at the Fruitmarket in December 2013. In between starting to record some songs, the SBDs spent much of the next 18 months in a relentless gigging schedule of playing 6 nights a week as the Sheiks and producing and playing on records for other people as a band for hire during the daylight hours, thus completely mothballing The Strange Blue Dreams.
Although us 5 SBD chaps have now produced 11 albums between us in some combination or other of working together we decided the time was right to push on with our own stuff. So, last year we released ‘Up To The Stars’ as a download single and embarked on a brief UK tour to promote it. We landed a slot at Glastonbury, played some sold out shows at the Edinburgh Festival, finished recording our debut album and between all that malarkey they made a BBC TV documentary about the history of the ukelele with Gus Raucous.
2016 started with the release of our first EP which was playlisted nationally in Scotland by the BBC and the video for ‘Reverberatin’ Love’ was premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival recently and the band were snubbed by Richard Gere when we all dressed up as Julia Roberts and chased him down the street (this did not happen but the video was premiered at the closing night of the film festival which was pretty cool).
The group’s sound reflects a shared love of both rock and roll, doo wop, r&b, country and the Tin Pan Alley hits of the 1920s and 30s. In particular the mavericks and oddballs of popular song, be it Morricone, Joe Meek, Duke Ellington, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Nick Lowe, Tom Waits, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. We love the golden eras of popular songwriting but also the strange points in between where what came to be the given styles of the age didn’t really matter because they were in the process of being invented. When people aren’t scared to mix things up a bit in the name of magic and atmosphere.
After doing the film fest and the Country 2 Country festival at the Armadillo/Clyde Auditorium already this year you’ll be able to catch us at a lot of other festivals including, Belladrum, Kelburn, Doune The Rabbit Hole, Southern Fried and a few more to be announced in a wee while.
Bloody nora? why we do what we do? We have been working musicians playing roots music
in all its various forms for what seems like an age and along with a small group of friends and fellow musicians, we have been on something of a crusade to make great new music out of the best of old music influences. We like high fidelity pop music from bygone eras because the values of song writing, arrangement, singing and playing is so utterly vibrant and exciting it remains as fresh and interesting now as it was 70 and a 100 years ago in some cases. That and a fear of monday morning alarm clocks means we are forced into a twilight netherworld.
The Reverberatin’ Love EP is available on Holy Smokes Records – www.holysmokesrecords.co.uk