It may not be prog rock, but releasing what could be termed a concept album as your debut long player could make for some interesting opinions and prejudices.
However, giving the music of Glasgow-based five-piece Turning Plates a listen should dispel such notions. The Shouting Cave is, as the self-confessed soundscapers say themselves, a collection of tales covering wilderness, discovery and isolation, as a metaphor for the internet’s effect on society. Perhaps vocalist Duncan Sutherland can elaborate further…

Duncan Sutherland (vocals & guitar), Jason Matthews (piano, clarinet, synth & bass), Jackie Baxter (cello),Tom Smith (trombone & violin) and Stephen Coleman (drums & percussion)

We started in our current guise in early 2011 and we released an EP entitled ‘Escapism’ in November of that year, which was included in the Herald’s top 50 albums of the year. We gigged around and did some soul/direction searching after that and wrote our first album across 2012-2013 and it’s finally finished.

Turning Plates

The band was formed in Glasgow almost entirely by scouring Gumtree ads for classically trained musicians who might want to be in a band. We’re still based in the Central belt and do most of our gigging in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We’ve done brief tours up North and down South (with another of those planned for October) and Two of us even went to the States to play some gigs in New York and New England coinciding with a hurricane just to keep us on our toes!

Ambient-indie? Maybe? We really don’t know what genre we are. And not in a cool way, it’s very frustrating to not be able to communicate what we do to people. Some of our music could be described as post-rock in the Sigur-Ros vein but we also write songs in the more familiar sense. I think there is a genre we identify with, under the well known sounds of Bon Iver, Fiest, Agnes Obel and the like but there seems to be no consensus about what that’s called. I just know it’s not folk, just because we sometimes use violin! I think folk musicians would be the first to tell you there’s more to it than that!

However moving away from that familiar rant… This album is all about this new world of the Internet that is inhabited by billions of us. Obviously there are many benefits to the internet but we feel there is a darker side that people prefer to ignore rather than confront. So the whole album is an allegory for this ‘world’. Some of the songs contribute to that over arcing idea and others tell individual stories from Characters in this world. Musically you’ll hear very fragile and bare moments, in Wild Roots and The Human Isle and also more frantic chaotic moments like Havoc and Things Grow. We feel that the internet can be a very isolated world and that scares some people and brings darkness out in others and we’re trying to reflect that in the soundscapes of the songs. We obviously have a slightly unusual instrumentation, so I think that helps us find our own sound and our own voice to get that message across!

My (Duncan) mantra is that art of any sort is 50% therapy and 50% responsibility to its creator. Part of it is just a coping mechanism to make sense of the universe and part of it is to try to inspire others. Either in a thought provoking way or through beauty or whatever… there are many ways to inspire people. We also try to do it because we enjoy it which most of the time we do! With the shouting cave we’re obviously trying to get people to reflect on a world and way of life that we’re constantly shaping, but we hope that people will also find the music beautiful and that it’s a little bit different.

Self-released album ‘The Shouting Cave’ is out now – more at