Seafieldroad album, live show and Christmas single

winterof88rtThe third Seafieldroad album, The Winter of 88, is almost finished and will be in iTunes and other digital retailers from early 2015.

Before that, there will be the first (and possibly last) Seafieldroad Christmas single, Don’t let the winter freeze your heart, available from Monday 8 December 2014.

If you’re one of the 88 people who pre-ordered the limited edition physical release, your CD and handmade artwork will be available at the album launch at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh on Sunday 7 December – or, if you can’t make it to the gig, it’ll be posted to you the following day, arriving just in time for Christmas.

The Winter of 88 consists of 11 new songs written and performed by Andrew from Swimmer One, including the recent single This Road Won’t Build Itself. It is produced by Hamish from Swimmer One and features choral singing and arrangements by Laura and Andrew from Swimmer One, plus our friends Joanne Richardson and Martin Bainbridge. Listen out for the lovely baritone voice of Drew Wright (aka Wounded Knee), reading the 88 names, and some beautiful live trumpet playing by Andy Moore of NoFit State Circus.

Track list below:

The last house on Holland Island
A port in the storm
There is no authority that we won’t argue with
Don’t let the winter freeze your heart
The world is just noise
This road won’t build itself
Clean pale hands
Findhorn
Leave the stadium
The winter of 88
Islands of the north Atlantic.

 

Inspired by Independence

Seafieldroad portrait

This portrait of Andrew was taken by photographer Andy Summers – aka Robb Mcrae – for a new book called Inspired by Independence: Artists and Writers Imagine a Better Scotland. Contributors to the book include Alan Bissett, Jo Clifford, Zoe Strachan, Jenny Lindsay, Liz Lochhead and David Greig.

The book comes with a downloadable album of music by Scottish artists, from RM Hubbert to Karine Polwart. We’re very pleased that Seafieldroad’s song This Road Won’t Build Itself is one of the pieces of music included.

You can buy the book online here, and look at all of Robb’s portraits for the project here.

 

All Back To Bowie’s – a project for the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe

It’s been a while since Swimmer One released any new music, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon – although there will be a new Seafieldroad album in autumn 2014. In the meantime, we’ve all been working together on this…

All Back To Bowie's artwork

All Back To Bowie’s is a big, collaborative project led by the playwright David Greig, with whom we previously worked on Whatever Gets You Through The Night. It’s a daily lunchtime show at the Edinburgh Fringe billed as ‘an hour of gentle thought and hard daydreaming’ about the Scottish independence referendum – the title is, obviously, a response to Bowie’s ‘Scotland stay with us’ provocation at the Brit Awards.

As well as David and ourselves, the team putting it together includes Kieran Hurley, Julia Taudevin, Peter Arnott, Sara Shaarawi, Jenny Lindsay, Lucy Macaulay, Cora Bissett, Fiona Ferguson and Kirstin Innes. We’re all Yes voters, pretty much, but we’re interested in exploring issues around the referendum, and bringing them to a wider audience, rather than trying to convert anyone. We’re really pleased with the line-up of guests we’ve put together, which includes some of Scotland’s leading thinkers – academics, journalists, politicians, poets, theatre-makers – and some fantastic music too.

If you can’t make it through to Edinburgh in August, all the shows will be made available as podcasts. Some are online already.

Anyway, go take a look at the website. Even if you have no interest in the independence referendum (although you really should, if you live in the UK at very least), it has some good Bowie jokes.

Andrew

Whatever Gets You Through The Night: Film now available to watch online

Whatever Gets You Through The Night was a sprawling, collaborative project that produced an award-winning theatre show, a 16-track album, a 32-page book and a film, made by Daniel Warren. The film is now available to watch online. So, here’s some background…

Whatever Gets You Through The Night began as a series of conversations between Cora Bissett, David Greig and Swimmer One. The plan was to create an ambitious live show, half gig, half theatre, inspired by the hours between midnight and 4am and featuring some of our favourite Scottish writers and musicians.

The first result of those early conversations was a wishlist of writers and musicians to approach about contributing work. As the scale of this (then nameless) project became clear and more and more of our ‘dream team’ enthusiastically came on board without any need to use any of the ‘subs bench’, we soon realised we needed to take things in several different directions at once to best serve the contributed work.

We had already planned for there to be an album collecting the music, but soon realised that the written pieces and song lyrics contributed wouldn’t be done justice in a CD booklet – not a format we fancied much anyway. Far better to collect them into book form, presented alongside the photography documenting the theatre and recording sessions.

It was also becoming clear that the growing scale and ambition of the live show would make it impossible to tour using the resources available. A film seemed like the obvious solution, and it soon became integral to the project. There was a strong filmic element already thanks to Kim Beveridge‘s visuals for the show, and we approached long-term collaborator Daniel Warren about making an accompanying feature-length work. In line with his previous films Mercury for Scottish Ballet, and National Galleries of Scotland commission The Nation Live, this was never meant to be a ‘making of’ documentary but a standalone piece in its own right – and one that could tour.

The film features key Whatever Gets You Through The Night show contributors Withered Hand, Wounded Knee, Bigg Taj and Emma Pollock in a variety of locations, but also provides a showcase for contributors who didn’t perform at the original theatre run at The Arches, Glasgow in July 2012, such as Rachel Sermanni, Eugene Kelly, Errors and Talkingmakesnosense.

Produced in association with The Arches, the film premiered at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall, followed by live performances from Rachel Sermanni, Seafieldroad and Bigg Taj – a format repeated at the 2013 Glasgow Film Festival, and the nationwide tour taking in screenings in Dundee, Banchory, Ullapool and Mull (featuring performances from Wounded Knee, Emma Pollock, Withered Hand and more).

Tour screenings finished a while back, and it’s great to be able to share this more widely. Dan made a beautiful film, and it was great to be part of making it (I recorded location sound and mixed the film audio.) Like the best hard work, it was also a lot of fun: Loch Lomond shore with Wounded Knee on what felt like the first day of spring; the Bongo Club the following night with Bigg Taj; an odyssey to Orkney and an exploration of its many intriguing structures with Withered Hand (and De Selby); studio visits to see Rachel Sermanni at the rural Watercolour and Eugene Kelly at Glasgow’s Green Door, and a session in our own Swimmer One rehearsal space (now defunct).

You can watch the film using the Distrify player above. You can either stream or download the film for £2.50. It’s DRM-free, meaning it’s yours forever and will work on any device. Proceeds are distributed between contributors. There are also packages to buy combinations of the film, music and book.

Enjoy.

-Hamish

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