Frank Finlayson was recently able to catch up with local super-group, The Little Mill of Happiness, in the shape of Matt Campbell and Pete MacDonald, and put a few questions their way.
They’ve popped up in a few places this year so my first question was an easy one, in terms of gigs, and festivals,what have been the highlights this year for the band?
TLMOH: We really enjoyed playing at Belladrum this year.We were on at a good time and the tent was really full.We were lucky enough to have Gareth Ince do our sound which was an added bonus. We got a very good reaction to the songs and we are looking forward to hopefully playing more festivals in 2012.
We also had a couple of memorable gigs at the Ceol-Mor which we always enjoyed, even if we had to throw aggressive drunk ****s out of the gig mid song. The band are not known for their mainstream approach. Even when it came to the launch of their EP they used that space in the clouds known as Ig:lu. The boys were keen to explain:
TLMOH: I’d seen He Slept on 57 play a great gig in there and have a lot of respect for the ICA guys. I think it’s a great space which really benefits the community by showcasing local artists, photographers and musicians. We wanted to put on an intimate gig for our EP launch, as we intended to play two sets, one acoustic and one electric. We just felt the venue was the perfect size for an intimate launch and are very grateful to Graham and his team for helping us out. (review of the gig here)
This was a move I could only applaud, as it was one of the defining moments in the local music calendar this year.But it wasn’t just about music, there was that cake….
TLMOH: Every year since I’ve been born, my mum makes my twin and I ‘unique’ Birthday Cakes. She makes cakes for other people too, never for money but just because she loves doing it in her spare time. The band talked about bringing food etc for people to have at the gig, just to show our appreciation and make the gig feel a bit more homely. My mum was up for making the cake and was really chuffed with the result.The night wasn’t just about cake, however good it tasted, but the release of the EP. With a growing repertoire, it was surely difficult to choose which tracks went on the EP.
TLMOH: This was quite difficult because we have a lot of songs and not very much time in the studio. We had to compromise a few things in order to get 5 strong songs on the EP. Some of our songs are 6 minutes plus so we couldn’t record too many of these due to time limitations. The final songs are a good reflection of the band’s direction. The lyrics generally speak for themselves. Villa Boas is based on the true story of a Brazilian farmer who claimed he was abducted by aliens, as he embodied the ‘perfect’ human being…he even has his own wiki page!
And there was me thinking that it was a reference to the Chelsea manager! It may not be Brazil, but closer to home the boys took part in the Summer Showcases at the Ironworks. I was keen to know how important was to have such events in Inverness?
TLMOH: I think it’s a great platform for bands to play in a big venue they may not normally get to perform in. We took part in the Summer show case and was really impressed with the turn out and setting. I hope the Ironworks continue these next year.
Not only do we hope that the Ironworks continue these next year, but we are pleased that The Little Mill of Happiness are appearing at the Winter Showcase on 28 December. But that’s this year. So what do the Little Mill of Happiness have in the pipeline?
TLMOH: We just released our debut EP ‘Capsized Sailors’ (available at www.thelittlemillofhappiness.co.uk) but are already aiming to record our album next year. We have a tonne of songs we want to cram in. We also plan on touring/gigging a lot more next year. I think it’s really important for bands to hit the road in order to develop and play to new people. We’d also like to do another video as we had a lot of fun with the last one and it’s had some great feedback.
Special thanks to Matt and Pete for taking time out to chat with us. Go see them on the 28th of December at the Ironworks… (www.ironworksvenue.com)
Article by Frank Finlayson
Pictures by McIntosh Photography