Five Hungry Joes – A pictorial archive of the Trashcan Sinatras. Legendary Scottish Band

From Here To Obscurity
June 29, 2011, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Press | Tags: , , ,

In Steve Lamacq’s world they may well have drifted into the land of obscurity, but back in 1990 he wrote about big things to come for the Trashcan Sinatras.

Here’s what he had to say in his NME article from March 1990…

“Rock bands try and clobber you over the head with their image. Like Texas and Deacon Blue come in, ‘f___ing hell, it’s us, we’re like this, BUY US YOU STUPID BASTARDS!’ And people do. And you think, oh no, it’s happened again…”

“And yet there are bands who just meander along without shoving themselves down your throat. They just do their own thing and you kind of stumble upon it.”

You’ll have done well if you’ve stumbled across the TRASH CAN SINATRAS so far, seeing as their debut single, called (funnily enough) ‘Obscurity Knocks’ has been widely ignored by DJs in favour of bright new hopefuls like Yell and Cliff Richard.

To fill you in: the Trash Cans are a shy, subtle five-piece ‘pop’ group from Irvine, Scotland. They’ve just played some selected dates with They Might Be Giants and the single ‘Obscurity Knocks’ is out on Go! Discs.

Like in the FA Cup draws, the first person you heard from was guitarist John Douglas; the away team is drawn by other guitarist Paul Livingston.

“As a first single,” says John, “we thought it was a funny title, like tempting fate. It’s going to come true the way things are going.”

With more than a hint of self-depreciation, the Trash Can Sinatras are the first Scots band for a while to hark back (albeit unintentionally) to the charm and refreshing brightness of the Postcard era which brought you Orange Juice and Aztec Camera, almost a decade ago.

The Trash Cans wouldn’t have been out of place alongside fledgling Edwyns and Roddys, but with their singular, sad guitar strumming style they more importantly have a role to play now.

“Postcard just went away,” confirms John. “Before that, there was always a kind of muso scene in Glasgow which liked the American soul thing and then there was the wee punk guys who thought, ‘f___ this, let’s arse about’.

“But then there was the backlash to it and it faded out – Postcard was almost ignored in Scotland apart from the people involved in it: everyone else went back to soul music or (grimace) heavy metal.”

Having attracted the interest of the majors since birth, the Trash Cans slyly signed with Go! Discs, warning at the time that it’d take them a while to sort themselves out recording wise.

It did. They did the single, then they did it again. And then they did it once more, delaying it from last summer until now.

‘Obscurity Knocks’ is a camera snap-shot of the Trash Cans’ talents, starting off with a sprightly acoustic intro and leading through a series of reflective verses into a stumpy chorus.

In the same way that they like XTC, a very English pop group, there’s a definite Scottish flavour to the Trash Cans, a funny, natural bunch.

Straight in at number 8…

3 March 1990 NME Magazine

June 26, 2011, 11:39 am
Filed under: Related | Tags: , , , ,

…is the latest long player from Lotte Kestner – a solo project of Anna-Lynne Williams, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of Seattle based Trespassers William.

She started recording solo music under the name Lotte Kestner in 2007 and released a collection of songs on the album, China Mountain. This follow-up is an intriguing mix of cover versions from artists including Bon Iver, The Natonal, Eels, The Cure, New Order and Interpol.

The song, however, that brought me to this CD was her sublime cover of the Trashcan Sinatras’, ‘Earlies’. I could give you my own take on how good it is, but I thought it would be better coming straight from the horses mouth, as they say.

Here’s what John Douglas had to say: “I am honoured by Lotte’s beautifully sung version of ‘Earlies’. She effortlessly captures the feeling of yearning and nostalgia inherent in the song. I thank whatever drew her to the song and wish her well with the recording”. Seal of approval don’t you think.

Don’t steal it. Buy it here.

A wee foot note: Matt Brown, who is the other half of Trespassers William, was once on the same record label of a very good friend of mine. The very gifted de trop

2011 Saint-Loup Records SLR02


In A Big Country
June 20, 2011, 7:55 am
Filed under: Related | Tags: , , , ,

…was the third single release from another of my favourite bands – Big Country – and it was also the title given to this ‘New Scottish Music’ CD, released in 2004.

Disc 1 includes the Trashcans’ ‘All The Dark Horses’, alongside other well-known Scottish artists such as Franz Ferdinand, The Grim Northern Social, Snow Patrol, Malcom Middleton and one time touring partner, Roddy Hart.

All these artists were showcased at the 2004 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival – a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring (usually in March) in Austin, Texas, United States.

Between March 17-21 the Trashcans made a number of appearances and interviews in support of their upcoming fourth album, ‘Weightlifting’, with their official SxSW showcase gig, taking place at midnight at the Fox and Hound on Friday March 19.

Disc 2 features artists who were to be showcased at the 2005 festival and include King Creosote, Hoboken, The Cinematics and the wonderfully named Fuck-Off Machete.

2004 Nemis

Tongue Thai-ed
June 14, 2011, 1:51 pm
Filed under: 1990-1991 Cake | Tags: , , , , ,

Here’s a cassette version of debut album, ‘Cake’, all the way from Bangkok.

There’s not much to say about it though. The tape and the inner J-card is much different from the regular release as you would expect. I can’t imagine it would have been released in any great quantities in Thailand.

Nice all the same.

1990 Go! Discs/Polygram Records 828 201-4 

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