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Saturday, 2 April 2011

Griff says; Spooky happenings in Edinburgh

Edinburgh, surely the most haunted place in Scotland judging by the sheer number of ghost walks put on for the eager tourists, and home for tonight's band; Scotland's own The Spook School. Those of you educated in art history may well be confused at this point, as previously the phrase 'Scotland's own Spook School' referred, of course, to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and friends and their Celtic influence on the Art Nouveau movement etc. But forget all that, it's irrelevant (unless the band get in touch and tell us that the Glasgow School is an influence on them, which would be unusual, admittedly, but pretty cool). Anyway, I digress, this The Spook School are a young, unsigned, indie-pop band from Edinburgh who have thus far recorded two songs, funded by Creative Scotland, both of which can be freely downloaded on either their page or bandcamp page.
I know very little about the band other than that the members are; Naomi Todd, Adam Todd, Anna Cory and Niall McCamley. I also really like this blurb on their bandcamp page:

NOTE: Even though it says 'Buy Album' above, you can download these songs FOR FREE. We wont mind. Honestly. Obviously we'd be very flattered if you decided to give us some money, but it's really not a requirement. We'd rather you had them. TAKE THEM!

Well, it would be rude not to do just that after such a generous invitation. As regards the songs, it's difficult to say just what sort of sound The Spook School will eventually evolve. The first track 'History' has a memorably oblique and quirky lyric, the backing though is a fairly standard but competent stab at indie-rock. The second song Hallam is, in this writers opinion, much more interesting and had me sitting up right away. Again the lyric is arresting and unusual; this time, however, the accompanying music is perfectly matched and every bit as attention grabbing. The track starts with the melancholy calling of seagulls before some lovely light mandolin(?) playing ushers in the music. The song then builds slowly up with sweeping reverb-laden guitar chords and some wonderfully ethereal backing vocals. This produces a marvellously evocative and eerily doomed air, which I found impossible to resist. Have a listen below and see what you think:

Excellent, I hope you'll agree. More like this please, guys.


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