Swimmer One: promoting dance and positive mental health

2015 SMHAFF trailer from SMHAFF on Vimeo.

You wait ages for a festival trailer with music by Swimmer One, then two come along at once. Today saw the launch of the 2015 Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, and the trailer is soundtracked by music from our 2010 album Dead Orchestras.

Meanwhile, the touring dance festival Pioneers of Performance opened in Greenock today. The tour is being promoted with a trailer featuring music from our 2007 album The Regional Variations.

We have a vested interest in both these events – Laura created Pioneers of Performance in her capacity as director of the Work Room, and Andrew is currently working as arts lead for the Mental Health Foundation in Scotland. But we reckon we would want to support them anyway – also, they seem like appropriate settings for sad music you can dance to.

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.

The album will be launched with a rare Seafieldroad live show at the Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Sunday 7 December. You can buy tickets here.

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 – 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.

The second single from the album, Don’t Let The WInter Freeze Your Heart, will be available to download from Monday 8 December – Seafieldroad’s first Christmas single.

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
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.