Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Sounds of Scotland--Part 5: Lord Cut Glass, The Phantom Band, People Places Maps...

As a recording artist, the name Lord Cut Glass is relatively new to the scene, although the man who created the alter ego and named him after a character from a Dylan Thomas play has been around for a long time. Alun Woodward was a songwriter, singer and guitarist for the iconic Glasgow band The Delgados, and with his former bandmates he formed the Glasgow label Chemikal Underground Records (Chemikal Underground Website). A few years ago Woodward started working as Lord Cut Glass. In the resulting album, Lord Cut Glass, the instrumentation tends toward acoustic guitar, piano and full orchestration, but the songwriting reflects the wry, acerbic, and sometimes bittersweet observations that will be familiar to fans of his former band. In the first single, "Look After Your Wife" , his Lordship shares some common sense domestic advice:

One of my favorite songs from the album is Holy Fuck!. The song begins as follows:

Daylight came and you refrained from calling me your love
The truth to me seems fair, a Faustian despair
That I love you much more than you can bear

Walking close and talking loads I'd love you to love me
But you live inside a safe, and the code's been worn away
so gelignite is on my mind all day

But a stanza later the narrator reveals a bit more about the relationship:

See, I believe you and me will never be
A Fred and Ginger matinee romance
I'm not wild, and you're not clean
But those other girls they don't mean what they mean

Holy fuck, I've found a buck who's willing to believe
I'm not entirely mad, there's a love here to be had
And everyone's got a reason to be sad

The song seems to me to be about the bit of decay in every romance, and the kernel of redemption that exists in the decay. I could be wrong, but that hasn't happened in years.

Woodward's second single from the album is "Big Time Teddy":

If you are interested by these clips and the portion of "Holy Fuck!" I provided above, take a chance and buy "Holy Fuck!" online.

Lord Cut Glass on Myspace

Another Chemikal Underground Artist is The Phantom Band. Their 2009 release,Checkmate Savage, was very popular in Scotland and parts of the UK (one large Manchester record store named it the album of the year) and the band has been endorsed by Peter Buck of R.E.M. The sound of the band is similar to the late Beta Band, but I think more disciplined.

"The Howling" was a single off of Checkmate Savage:

"Folk Song Oblivion"

In 2010 the prolific fellows released another LP, The Wants.

The Phantom Band on Myspace

People, Places, Maps ... -- sometimes referred to a PPM -- is from Dumfermline, Scotland, and was formed in 2010.

I'd love to tell you more about them, but I don't know much. There are six members and their style is folk/pop/rock. However, other than the free download at the Bandcamp link below, there isn't much music from them out there at this point.

"People, Places, Maps... on Bandcamp (above songs available free)

People, Places, Maps... on Myspace

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