BAND PROFILE Peeps Into Fairyland
Catch the name, and you might assume you were dealing with a troupe of girl goths in ripped tulle. Catch the sound, and you'd be forgiven for thinking it had issued forth from a scorched desert town where tumbleweed tumbled and cheap whisky flowed. You’d be wrong. You'd be experiencing the latest unexpected detour on Scotland's musical mystery tour; five boys equipped with layers of heart-twisting melodies, tales of drunkenness and yearning, and a really daft name.
‘I saw it on the Antiques Roadshow,’ admits frontman Michael Angus, whose mild manner disguises a startling ability to sing as cracked and low as Stuart Staples, and as plaintive and vulnerable as Michael Stipe. ’It was an old book that said “Take a peep into fairyland" — a pop- up children’s book. And I thought, "that sounds nice".'
Peeps Into Fairyland it is, then. The seeds were sown by Mike and his friend Paul Herbert, at Dundee University. Not enthralled by the Dundee scene, they moved to Glasgow, where the other members were enlisted. A rapid ascent saw them notch up sets at the Reading, Leeds and T In The Park festivals this summer, as well as a tour support with Idlewild. ’In London we're just known as ldlewild's mates; but it’s not a massive connection,’ protests Mike. ’We’re friendly with Roddy and we used to hang around when they started out. He
Getting into the groove: Celtic Wah Wah
Perfect Celtic Groove Glasgow: The Arches, Thu 23 Dec.
ludicrously fast Hoover noises. It’s a serious form of music adding yet another dimen5ion to the Scottish
Elf esteem: Peeps Into Fairyland
kind of liked what we were doing, so he asked us to come and play.’
Idlewild have also covered one of the songs from the Peeps' entrancing new ’Rain And Wires’ EP. 'Palace Flophouse’ is a treacle-dark jig with gravelly vocals and slippery guitars that borrows its title and air of faded Americana from John Steinbeck. The same taste for the weary, the weird and the windswept applies musically: REM, the Red House Painters, Leonard Cohen and the Silver Jews are mentioned. And . . . John Denver? Mike? 'When I was fifteen, all I had was my mum’s old records and she had a massive John Denver collection. So I used to listen to that. And then go and wash myself.’
’Rain And Wires' will saw on many heartstrings and win many fans, but the Peeps remain cautious about the music industry. ’I don’t like the idea of not having control over what I'm doing,’ says Mike. ‘But I want to play to more people. I have no real desire to stay within this little Glasgow band thing.’
’We’re not very marketable; we don't have an image,’ ponders Jeremy, modestly overlooking his own status as the most intensely photogenic member of the most intriguing, atmospheric Scottish band to emerge in years. A fairytale ending awaits. (Hannah McGill)
. The ’Rain And Wires’ EP is out now on D&C Records. Peeps Into Fairy/and play 73th Note Club, Glasgow on Wed 22 Dec.
With dance mu5ic is Just another road that you can take’ This willingness to
experiment has resulted in sweeping, «
beautiful dance music that is as easy to groove to as it is to appreciate. The three play their fiddles and percussion live, but also have keyboards and samplers on stage.
Supporting the band's recent gig in the Shetlands was a local DJ, Richard Thomasan. GOing by the DJ name of Fetler (named after the croft he grew up in), it is safe to say that he has honed his skills as a deck technician through an extreme lack of anything
that l’ve got up here, really,’ Thomasan admits. ’l’ve been buying lots of records over the past two years, and have put heart and soul into it.’ Spending his pennies on records and whiling away the hours mixing is the
else to do. ’Mixing is the only thing '
By its very nature, dance music is a constantly evolving creature, feeding off different styles with reckless abandon and ne'er a thought for the purists or notions of legal difficulties with sampling. Bringing together Celtic music and dance beats isn’t just for the ill advised hardcore uproar scene, which added bagpipes and the like to
’We played in folk bands and things like that,’ explains Jamie Wilson, one third of Celtic Wah Wah, who are headlining the event. ’And we were into traditional and dance mu5ic, but they were getting stale, boring and cliquey, so we thought that we should mix them together. Dance music is a lot more acceSSible; you can mix different strains together. Celtic mixed
only way he can hear the kind of house and techno that he likes, and the 26-year-old is a little shocked at making his Glasgow debut at The Arches. ’I was down a couple of months ago seeing Laurent Garnier play. There was no way that I would have believed it if someone said that the next time I was there, I would be DJing.’ (Simone Baird)
ROCK PREV Del Amitri
Edinburgh: Princes Street Gardens, Hogmanay.
’We fancy dorng a Joy Div/ision ballads- on—mogadon set,’ declares Del Amitri’s Justin Currie. ’A realiy, really slow verSion of “She’s Lost Control”, that's what’ll go down well '
Do not be alarmed, all you party- friendly punters, the gentlemen of Weegie rock have not taken the scrawny frame of l\.larilyn Manson as their new god This is merely Currie's i iokey reaction to finding out the band Will be playing on llogmanay with that fearsome pair of rock beasts, The Mavericks and The Bay City Rollers
Bay City Rollers before,’ ponders
Currie. ’\‘.’e've been introduced by
DaVid Cassidy, and he's on a par With them. Strangely other members of The Partridge family the same week, which is quite weird;
'l'm sure we've heen on bills with The
enough, we met two
' one of whom had jtlSl got out of Jail
for assaulting a prostitute'
Havrng not released a record since 1997, Del Amitri are under little pressure to hurry up another. ’We’re being lazy bastards, to be honest,’ says . Currie. The show at Hogmanay wrll no i doubt remind them of the Joys and ; pains of playing live again — but what ' of the other gig earlier that evening by ; their contemporaries Texas? Would the ' roles not be reversed had his own band not undergone the musical nip and tuck Spiteri and Co have received? 'I don't think Texas really reinvented themselves as such,’ reckons Currie. ’I think they Just developed a bit and started listening to different records. Which is what you do when you're in a band — you can’t listen to Rod Stewart and The Faces all your life.’
Currie ends on a more mellow and philosophical note, one which inevrtably concerns us all: 'I think marking the end of the 20th century is important, as it is qune unique in that it started With the invention of light and it all went fucking hayWire from then on. And we are going to end up standing in the street, in the cold, doing something entirely inappropnate.’ (Mark Robertson)
I See Hogmanay supplements for more end-of-the-year gig details.
Third degree sideburns: Del Amitri's Justin Currie
16 Dec 1999-6 Jan 2000 THE UST 49