THE DELGADOS are ~' sweetenin theme '1 . selves up or fame ' ' and fortune. But whatever you do,
WHEN HE WAS THIRTEEN, THE DELGADOS' co—vocalist Alun Woodward almost died by choking on a peach. Fortunately. he was able to swallow it and he is now hoping that the public will do the same with their third album. The Great [faster/I.
With their new work (an easily digestible and sweet collection of songs) The Delgados are on a mission. They‘ve had enough of being slammed into a pigeonhole marked ‘lo-fi‘ or 'indie' or even. it seems.
‘(ilasgow”. lixpansion is on the agenda: of
both the band and (‘hemikal L'nderground. the label they set tip just over five years ago in order to get their own music heard and that of other like-minded souls. Bis and Arab Strap made their names with the company while Mogwai and Suckle are currently making waves with them.
Located in the heart of (ilasgow‘s liast lind. (‘hemikal
['nderground shares a building with the likes of
Strathclyde Iilderly and something called ('lub Ties. ‘People have always misconceived our way of thinking] insists drummer Paul Savage. 'People think that because you're a small indie label. you only want to sell to families and to trainspotters and that‘s it. Well. that’s bollocks: we want to compete nationally because the
whole idea of a record label is to let people hear
the niusic and get these bands as much attention as possible. People have always imposed this indier-than-thou attitude towards the label and yeah. some of the major labels are terrible but
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a lot of indie labels are shocking. too.‘
The Great Eastern (named after a Glasgow hostel for alcoholics situated within spilling distance from a brewery) won‘t shock fans of the band with its radical new direction: they have just laid on extra layers to their sound. adding depth without losing sight of how to weave a nifty pop tune. You could say that at times. they sound like the good bits of midlife Prefab Sprout. At others. The Breeders spring to mind. ()pening track 'The Past That Suits You Best‘ even has a Tom Waits—esque clunky clanging intro. Alun Woodward confesses that in a heavenly ideal world. Tom Waits would be on (‘hemikal L'nderground.
'A lot of the things that are popular are
chronic. but most indie records you hear are shite.’ Alan Woodward
And. perhaps as a first step to nabbing their man. they state their ambitions which vary from moving offices next door to setting up an operation in the ['SA. 'We’ve got too much belief in what we’re doing to do anything in a half—arsed fashion and we certainly don't have a fear of success.‘ says Woodward. ‘We‘re against that indie ethic that insists that once you've had
success. you’ve sold out. Why write a book if
you don’t want people to read it‘.’
‘As it works out. a lot of the things that are popular are chronic. but most indie records you hear are shite. from start to finish. I‘ve got
something that is literally just a drone for about twenty minutes and that’s just someone taking the piss. But they know that there are hundreds of wee guys out there who are going to buy this and think it‘s great. I know it‘s not.‘ Savage adds: 'Maybe we're just too low-brow or we're existing at such a base level.‘
Of course. you couldn't accuse The Delgados of any such thing. The (irmt Eastern may sound like four happy people at their shiniest (limma Pollock and Stewart Henderson complete the line-up) but the lyrics often belie the joviality: ‘('ome on babies. find the vein; roll your sleeves up. find your arms insane'. on ‘.\'o [)anger’ and ‘We spent our years dreaming but our dreams were misleading and now we're through’. on
‘Witness‘. Little surprise then. that at their recent fifth birthday party celeb- rations at The Garage. the evening‘s compere John Peel heralded The Delgados as one of the greatest bands in the world.
‘In our view. we've progressed since the first album so no one can now call us lo-fi. but we still get this tag.. bemoans Savage. ‘With l’clomn (album no. 2) we thought no one is going to think we‘re lo-fi. now. Yet. the first review. in Music ll’cck. had “lo-f1 with strings from Glasgow indie masters The l)elgados".' We were like "shut up".’ Be assured. The (ireut liaslcrn should have those voices changing their tune. Peachy.
The Great Eastern is released on Mon 17 Apr.