The opportunity to catch a beer with Paul Elliott has eluded us for quite some time, he is a busy man and he likes it that way.
We first met Paul when he was promoting The Boosts, the band that caused quite a stir and hype, including a very positive review in the local press. ”We started very well coming in with good songs , an image and the active use of the Internet”, Paul described the dividends of a good dialogue with fans, especially with fans already knowing and enjoying the material. The last gig they played was Belladrum 2011, having also played Rockness, “we were really in a good stride.. and we had some good gigs lined up after that”. Tinged with the feeling of regret, Paul noted that “we felt we were on the road to something good.” However Paul’s keen to emphasise that whilst the band is not playing, at the moment, the band is not over “We’ve got a good base to build on if something was to emerge.”
Full of praise for former tour mates The Whisky River Band, “We watched them get better and better and better with every gig” explained Paul, “and now you can see them as one of the most popular bands in Inverness”. Paul also points out The Leonard Jones Potential as being another stand out act in Inverness, “ bands in Inverness don’t get the credit they deserve”. However he warns “Inverness can be a comforting place, you know you’ll get x amount of people and their your mates and you know that they will enjoy your set…. I hope more bands will come out of the Inverness comfort zone and test themselves”.
Asked the tricky question of bands to look out for he also adds the Little Mill of Happiness whose EP “Capsized Sailors” he highly recommends and KOBI , especially given their seven year absence. It is clearly a difficult process for Paul giving considered thought to the list “I don’t want to miss anyone out”. His grasp of what’s happening on the scene is very clear, he is particularly looking forward to going to the Winter Showcase, with Roadway being one act that he is looking forward to seeing live for the first time.
With a list of achievements this year, including playing the Cavern Club and Belladrum, it was the event at Eden Court that had an obvious poignancy “The C.R.Y. Gig was very special to me” although a source of great anxiety and pride in being able to bring back bands that hadn’t played together for years.
Paul also draws pride from his support and becoming manager of Megan Blyth, and trying to push her boundaries having played Cafe Drummonds in Aberdeen, a gig which Paul felt went very well “that was a cracking gig, it was really enjoyable, she got a really good reception.” Next on the agenda for Megan is the Winter Showcase on the 28th of December, with view to recording a couple of track for an EP. The tracks have already been decided. Whilst there is no set plan, getting her name out is clearly a priority through gigs and her music. Megan’s desire to be less folky than some of her contemporaries going for “a dirtier darker style”.
Paul’s return to the Outsiders has obviously been a big part of his year, his return being on a permanent basis “unless they kick me out” he playfully comments. “It was an instant yes” when they asked me to play. An album is looming , with the design now being fine tuned, which will lead to a February release. Prior to this Paul fulfils his ambition to play King Tuts in January, a venue that he said he would never go to until he performed there.
Later in the 2012 Paul gets the opportunity to fulfil another ambition, one that seemed a lot less likely than playing King Tut’s, watching The Stone Roses in Manchester, “before the Stone Roses I was into the likes of Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, the Stone Roses changed my musical tastes”.
As time runs out, Paul gives great consideration to those people who he wanted to thank this year , although again very conscious not to miss out anyone – “Steve Robertson, everyone in each of the bands I have played in this year, the Blyths, Margaret Chrystall, all those that helped out with the C.R.Y. Gig, Isla at the Newmarket Bar..and loads more..”
It is clear that 2012 offers much for Paul and the projects that he is involved in, and we have every faith that he will have success in the forthcoming year.
Thanks very much to Paul for his time, support and patience.
Written by Chris Lemon
Edited by Frank Finlayson
First image by McIntosh Photography