Stereogram Records came into life in 2012. Initially as a home for label founder Jeremy Thom’s beat combo The Cathode Ray and to facilitate the bands musical output being heard by a wider audience. The initial single & eponymously titled debut album garnered rave reviews in all the right places. The label then opened it’s doors to host The Fabulous Artisans & Ray Moller featuring some wonderfully avant garde pop. James King & The Lonewolves were the next to nail their sail to the mast with the release of the critically acclaimed Lost Songs Of The Confederacy album.
At this point, Stereogram had become a more adventurous, and indeed ambitious proposition than originally intended, and other artistes of a similar creative disposition to those already on the label were taking notice. What followed was unexpected, but welcomed – St. Christopher Medal, Lola in Slacks, and Milton Star all joined the Stereogram family and over the New Year, the ever challenging and hugely entertaining Band of Holy Joy considerably contributed to the swelling of the Stereogram ranks. Perhaps unwittingly at this stage, Stereogram were laying the foundations for what one journo recently remarked upon – ‘Stereogram are fast becoming the most interesting new independent label in Scotland, perhaps the country’.
The event at The Westgarth Social Club on Saturday September 19th was to put together to showcase the eclectic mix of talents on what is certainly Scotland’s, the UK’s even, finest independent record label.
Opening the night will be Lola In Slacks. Fronted by spellbinding chanteuse Lou Reid, rising stars Lola in Slacks exude the sexy garage swagger of the Velvet Underground and the bold confidence and freedom of Tim Buckley. The group is fronted by spell-binding femme fatale, Lou Reid (!). Like her famous namesake, Lou is never seen without her shades, but has been captivating audiences with her distinctive and mesmerising voice, which effortlessly fuses Eartha Kitt and Marianne Faithfull. With their debut single, “Tramlines”, being released on Stereogram Recordings on August 31st 2015, Lola in Slacks are poised to become everyone’s new favourite band.
The Cathode Ray are an Edinburgh based alternative rock band who released their second album entitled “Infinite Variety” on Stereogram Recordings in April 2015. Accompanied by the singles ‘Resist’, ‘Buck The Trend’ and ‘This Force Of Nature’, it has garlanded ecstatic praise from all corners of the music press. Originally based on a loose concept of forging late seventies New York, with late seventies Manchester, The Cathode Ray started life in 2006 with a mix of 60’s garage, soundtracks, glam rock, Northern soul, disco and psyche before releasing their self titled debut in 2012. The band was formed by Jeremy Thoms with ex-Josef K front man Paul Haig in 2006. While Haig dropped out early on, leaving the band after two well-received singles to focus on his solo career. The 70’s new wave and post-punk influences of the first album are still very much in evidence on the new album Infinite Variety.
The band also features Guitarist Steve Fraser, who replaced Haig, and was in early 80’s Edinburgh post punk band the Scars, and also worked with the young Mike Scott before he formed the Waterboys in his earlier groups, Another Pretty Face and Funhouse. Bassist Neil Baldwin was in 80’s chart act the Bluebells and post-punk group TV21, who once supported the Rolling Stones, Both he and drummer David Mack have also been in and out of various of Thoms’ other bands during the last twenty years.
Headlining the show are the Band Of Holy Joy who release their latest album Land Of Holy Joy on Sept 21st. The band were formed in 1984 by Johny Brown in New Cross, South London. Early experiments revolved around cheap junk shop instrumentation and rudimentary electronics. The Band of Holy Joy reached a commercial and critical peak after signing to Rough Trade with Manic, Magic, Majestic in 1989 and Positively Spooked in 1990, supported by a tour of the U.S.S.R.
The band have existed in various forms and names through out the last 20 years until settling on a more stable line up to release 2014’s Easy Listening which garnered critical acclaim from all corners of the press. These days the junk shop instruments of old are long gone, and guitars, violins and visuals very much to the fore. But the band continues to write about the same outsider concerns with the same measure of spirit and care and man, they still put on a show.
This event promises to be a unique night of varied, quality music from a diverse range of acts and one not to be missed.
Thanks to Sterogram Records web site for providing the bulk of this post. The site is a mine of information and well worth checking out.
Tickets are available from the venue and on line.