Regular readers of the site will perhaps already recognise the name of The Gramotones. I first heard and met the band in the summer of this year…remember? No! Shame on you.
Here’s a little reminder of what I’ve already said about them….
“Remember The La’s? Imagine invigorating that spirit with a fresh sounding 2012 go get em approach and you’re not a million miles off”
“There are definitely shades of a certain Liverpudlian sound emanating. Imagine the jangle of days gone by, shaken down and freshened up to make a vibrant 21st century feel good sound.”
Well, a couple of weeks ago The Gramotones released their first single, Soldiers Kiss. The story of unnecessary loss of life during war, or a tongue in daydream of drummer James that portrays the complete annihilation of an entire box full of free range eggs? Watch the video and decide yourself. The song starts lively and continues in the same manner. There’s plenty of musical variation in the song too, with the drumming nodding a knowing wink to a military march. The combination of guitar sounds brings that battlefield effect and vocals are accentuated perfectly, all combining to give a good old indie stomper feel to the sound whilst ensuring the message is delivered appropriately.
At the same time they released the single, the band embarked on a tour. After the launch party in Manchester it was on to Preston, before heading North for their first Scottish gig at Fiddlers Elbow in Edinburgh.
And it was here, I caught up with the band once again.
Worth saying, quite fitting that the evening was a John Lennon birthday celebration, (organised by Edinburgh singer songwriter Aaron Wright) given my previous comments about the bands sound.
Fiddlers Elbow is a quirky little spot for live music, the upper floor holding perhaps 150 people. The exterior’s Georgian architecture is still reflected inside, which gives it a real warm, pleasant, cosy feel.
Aaron put on a number of bands, who all gave their own different variety of warmth to the nights proceedings, before The Gramotones took to the stage at 2350.
By this time, the crowd were in good voice and certainly not lacking the party mood. Getting straight down to business, they immediately had heads nodding. It was pretty clear that these guys were well rehearsed and knew exactly what they were about. Testament to the nature of their perfectionism could be seen as Jake tweaked the EQ to have the sound crisper than it had been all night.
A couple of songs in and it probably wasn’t just me thinking that it’s really hard to pigeon-hole these guys into a particular genre. With that said, why should we.
James’s quite methodical drumming style is interspersed with a wildness usually reserved for references to Animal…but he’s no muppet, for sure. Ryan moves about a fair bit for a bassist, but it’s when he points it skyward that you sense the sheer concentration on his face..key to that perfect delivery.
And Sid..well he’s everything a front man should be…engaging, endearing to the crowd and quite obviously not too upset at the advances of some of the Edinburgh collective. It’s safe to say he invites the few hecklers, but certainly not slow in delivering an effective response each time.
Soldiers Kiss is given an airing as was favourite M62, both well received by the Scottish fans. During Nowhere Man, Aaron joined the band on stage for what appeared for many, the highlight of the night. It certainly summed up the feelings that are still very very alive for the Beatle.
All in all, a great first outing for The Gramotones on Scottish soil.
Unfortunately not one they had too long to revel in though. Another gig in Blackburn the following night meant they could only watch part of Aaron’s set before getting back on the road…dont worry, I’m pretty sure they’ll be back!
Finally, in a fortunate turn of events, I found myself sharing a short part of their journey home. In fact, just long enough to fit in a little interview with the band.
Here it is…