Monk‘e? bus mess ,
Clockwise from left: Scott McDonald, David Jack, the Magnificents, Penpushers
For a local label to have one good band, well, that’s great, but three? That’s something special. David Pollock delves into the world of KFM RECORDS
cott McDonald is telling The Us! about his beat-
up old yan. quite possibly the most rock'n‘roll
artifact iii the whole of Scotland: ‘()ne that got away was Robbie Williams. It was an emergency and l was asked to take him from his hotel to the airport. Your man on the phone‘s saying. “So what's your yan like?" “It's a piece of shite." I told him. "Well. it‘s a private jet and there‘ll be photographers there.’ he said. “Can you clean it'.""
Such anecdotes trip easily off the tongue of a man who‘s spent as long as he can remember on the frontlines of the Scottish music industry: repping gigs. loading in and out for most major promoters. ferrying the great and not-so-good around in that van (around two hundred ‘mostly crap' indie bands and counting. plus Chris Martin and the Strokes) and playing in his own outfit I Am Scientist. And also. of course. heading up lidinburgh’s KFM Records (it stands for Knife Fight Monkey. since you asked). home to Anticon-compared hip hop six-piece Penpushers. one man engine of dubby ambiance David Jack. and — perhaps most significantly — the capital's hotly-tipped electro-art- rock quartet the Magnificents.
'11 all started out of necessity.. he reflects on the label that began in 2()()l with the release of an album that Toaster (remember them?) recorded for (‘reation just before Alan McGee shut tip shop. ‘The only thing that qualified me was that my friends were making great music: no one else was putting it out and no one else was going to. Plus I’m a nosey bugger. so I sit and read manuals and learn about things like royalty systems and the like.‘
The Magnificents‘ co-y'ocalisl Tommy Stuart also paints a picture of an ever astute wheeler-dealer. ‘Scott drove us to gigs fora long time until he hit upon the idea that he might be able to make more money out of us by releasing our record.‘ he recalls. little did he know . no. Scott's got a million dollar mouth and really good quality control. Unless you count lAm Scientist.‘
Not that any of the bands on the label take much
46 THE LIST '0 7‘1 Jun 701).:
‘ANY ATTEMPT TO CREATE A SCENE IS CONTRIVED. IF YOU GET OUT THERE AND DO IT, THESE THINGS JUST HAPPEN'
selling. Penpushers and Jack have both recently released high quality second albums (:lri .llr't'liuiiit's and Hit/mu! lbt'ulmluiy. respectiyely). while .\logwai are currently remixing 'Blueprint’. a stand-out track from the Magnificents’ shatteringly good self-titled debut. In addition. McDonald. Jack and the Magnificents have recently returned from this year's South By South West (‘onference/A&R-fest in Texas. ‘lt was fantasticf says McDonald. ‘The local press and radio had been running the Magnificents for weeks. and their opening gig was rammed. But get this. the venue was actually a comerted stable where (leneral (‘uster used to keep his horses — we had a game of footie afterwards and kicked a hole in the roof. Shit. the only history they‘ve got and we put a hole in it.’
A conyincing metaphor. that. for the impact of the .\lags’ Jesus-and-l\lary-(‘hain- covering-the-Stooges-and- Kraftwerk-as-remixed—by-New- ()rder liye edifice. Despite hooking tip with fellow gonna-hes like Sons and Daughters in the States. however. McDonald is keen to play down talk of a ‘scene‘. ‘I think any attempt to create a scene is contrived.‘ he says. ‘lf you get out there and do it. these things just happen. We don't hang out exclusively with musicians. which is a good thing — we’re friends with the people who run the limbassy gallery. for example. and they’re doing it from the ground tip too. It’s just good to surround yourself with people who inspire you. and then when The List. for example. write about it. it becomes “real".'
Back in McDonald‘s reality. meanwhile. the next task is to put down the phone and find some sugarbowls for Metallica‘s dressing room backstage at Download. ‘lf it‘s not right. Lars’ll really be pissed off.‘ he laughs. Hang in there. mate . . . one day all this will be yours.
The Magnificents, David Jack and Penpushers play King Tut’s, Glasgow, Fri 11 Jun; Venue, Edinburgh, Thu 17 Jun.
The (good news, good news and
goo news in the wonderful world of music
ONLY GOOD NEWS THIS ISSUE, we promise. The first good news is that Nick Cave is bringing his Bad Seeds back to Glasgow this year. Shame we have to wait until 6 November to see him at the Carling Academy. Tickets are on sale 12 June. Even more good news is that Stereophonics have picked Edinburgh as the place for their warm-up show before their appearance at Manchester Move Festival. They stumble up to the Usher Hall on 8 July. Further positive notes can be heard from the Scottish debut of American Jolie Holland who plays, appropriately enough, on 4 July at the Venue. Holland was given her record deal by none other than Tom Waits on the Anti label and her distinctive bluegrass sound has been gathering her rave reviews worldwide.
IF YOU FEEL THE URGE TO DO something charitable this fortnight you could do worse than buying a ticket for the Amnesty International fundraiser at the Tron in Glasgow on 13 June. Comedian Andy Gray is the compere (but don't let that put you offi and the music comes from Arab Strap. ballboy and Zuba. There‘s musical comedy from Sandy Nelson and 7:84 theatre group is performing a special one- oft of Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Donald Margulies' Last Tuesday.
WIN MATCHBOX TWENTY DVDS
Coming Home Studios is delighted to announce its first offering for the UK market with the release on 5 July of SHOW- A Night in the Life of Matchbox Twenty, which showcases for the very first time on DVD, 588 Labs Circle Surround 5.1(r) technology. The band played the show of a lifetime to fans and followers at Philips Arena, Atlanta last year and we have five copies of this DVD to give away. To enter, send an email to email@example.com by no later than 25 June. The first five names out of the hat win.