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  • Rob


I follow a really knowledgeable guy on Twitter who recommended an album as a hidden gem that apparently sounded like another band I liked.  So I did a little digging and listened to a few songs on YouTube and Spotify, and he was dead correct.  This album is cracking, and it is also as hard to find as Lord Lucan!

It took a while for a copy to surface on Discogs, and although the seller described it as "Very Good Plus", one look at the pictures showed that this LP had a hard life.  The sleeve had creases and cuts, and the vinyl had a worrying mark.  Nonetheless, I took a punt, convincing myself that the dings just added character - honestly, as it was the only one available in Britain then, I had no choice!

It eventually arrived and was as shabby in real life as in the pictures.  Thankfully, the mark on the vinyl must have been a hair or a trick of the light, as I couldn't find it upon inspection.  The record got a good wet wash and hoover and then a dip in the ultrasonic cleaner, and I was confident it would sound "Very Good Plus".  It doesn't.  It is crackly, poppy and noisy.  Ah well, it adds to the character, eh?

So, what is the actual music like?  It is right up my street, Scottish folk/rock following the classic quiet-loud-quiet sound motif.  Heartfelt vocals with a Caledonian twang.  Acoustic songs that build into rousing, singalong, room-filling anthems.  Beautifully delicate one minute and then crank-it-up-to-11 the next. 

This is the band's only album, as the lead singer sadly died while hillwalking a few years after the record was recorded.  It is a massive shame that there wasn't a follow-up, as this is indeed a hidden gem, and I would have loved to hear more from them.

One thing I found was a beautiful cover version of 'What Is Love' by Haddaway, which can be found by searching for 'Auld Archie' on YouTube and scrolling down the list.  There are videos for 'Auld Archie' and' Sand' there, too, which will give you an idea of the band's musical style.

Fancy a copy?  I've just checked, and none are available on Discogs or eBay.  I thought I'd touched lucky by finding the record available on the band's Big Cartel site, but I think the message is old and the vinyl has long since gone, as the link to Paypal doesn't work.  If you fancy a copy, set up an alert for when it becomes available.

Tracks To Try: ‘Auld Archie’, ‘Sand’, ‘Kilburn’, ‘This Is No Time For Old Men’, ‘Dolores’.


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