Desolation Yes!

desolation yes

An Interview with Paul Elliott of Desolation Yes!

Think they don’t make music like they used to? Well Glasgow band, Desolation Yes! agree.

Lead singer, Paul Elliott, said: “These days people don’t release albums, they release collections of songs. We wanted to make an album with a central theme and a narrative, which is what we’ve done.”

The album Out of Orbit offers electric- rock- crossover, with Elliott on vocals, Jagged on guitar, Miro on drums, and Shisho on bass.  All tempered with some sequencers, drum machines and synthesizers.

Using this mixed bag, the band tells the story of Tech, a character searching for utopia. Elliott explained the concept was influenced by theatre.

“It sounds a bit arty-farty but it was an interesting thing to try and I think it worked. There’s a song on the album called Army of Flesh, which is basically a play within a song.”

This unusual approach comes from a band with unusual roots. While the founding members Elliott and Jagged grew up together, the latter two Slovakians only met once they had immigrated to Glasgow.  One advert and some sessions later Desolation Yes! was formed.

“The name Desolation Yes! was inspired by a Smashing Pumpkins lyric. Apparently ‘desolation yes’ is also in the bible. That obviously makes us the first band to be mentioned in the bible. Jesus was a fan… still is.”

Jokes aside, Elliott said the band owed its fan base to a breakthrough gig at Classic Grand, where they supported the Howling Bells.

“That was the one that kinda got the ball rolling for us. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for that gig.”

Since then Desolation Yes! have played venues including: the O2 Academy, 13th Note and Strathclyde Union, a far cry away from their modest roots.

Elliott said: “The first Desolation Yes! gig was myself and Jagged performing at Fury Murray’s. Jagged got so drunk he stood on his guitar lead and it popped out.

“He left me to play two songs solo while he figured out what happened. I’m glad to say we’ve come a long way since then. We’ve discovered strap locks for a start…”

Now the band practice at Creation Studios in Maryhill. However, that’s not where they recorded Out of Orbit.

“We had all the equipment we needed to record, so we decided to do it on location. These locations tended to be in flats and houses, but there was something more natural in doing it like that.”

To hear the album, and decide for yourself go to iTunes.

From Green to Granite


An Interview with Charly Houston

They say romance is dead, but here to prove them wrong is Charly Houston, a musician taking on the Scottish scene with a style she calls ‘romantindie’. No, not a new kind of ethnicity, rather a mix of folk and inde music that sees her don strings and sing about love.

Each track on my new E.P is also named after an eventful month, for example I have a ukulele track called November, which was the month I fell in love, how romantic.”

But it’s not all mushy stuff, naming her new EP after her niece, Ella-Grace; Houston was inspired by moving up to Aberdeen and missing her Glasgow bound family.

“I grew up in a very musical environment watching my dad play guitar, as well as obsessively watching bands live on YouTube, definitely made an impact.”

Houston, who started playing at the age of seven, dabbles in guitar, ukulele, mandolin, cajon, drums and piano. She even writes her own songs.

“I took to music instantly, but I certainly wasn’t a prodigy at guitar, it took many broken strings and sore fingers before I could perform it to a competent level.”

After years of practice she started performing, under the banner Charly Houston Music, before getting her first break at Kelvingrove City Sounds festival, in 2007.

“I remember shaking so much that I could barely play the chords I wanted on guitar, and I spent the full time staring at my dad for support.”

Many gigs later, the nerves are gone and Houston is promoting her EP nationwide, at venues like Aberdeen’s Café Drummond, and Glasgow’s O’Neill’s bar.

Jumping between cities has become standard for the musician, who recorded her album at Aberdeen College, with help from producer Drew Gibson.   Despite being a weegie at heart, Huston is warming to the Granite City.

“In comparison to Glasgow, Aberdeen has a much smaller music scene with less diversity and only a few well known venues, however, I have played in a number of places up here and I quite enjoy Café Drummonds, almost as much as I enjoy King Tuts Wah Wah Hut!

Having performed King Tuts Wah Wah Hut in 2012, Houston supported established London band, The Diagrams. She remembers it fondly.

“It was super cool; the venue gave me my own fridge- shelf full of beer.

“I got a VIP pass, a good crowd and it was also the best sounding venue I’ve played.”

Looking forward to playing many new venues, Houston is continuing to promote her music across Scotland, as well as via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Bandcamp.

Check her out at Soundcloud.