The inclusion of Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher to the Strathpeffer Pavilion Band Showcase seems to be at first, second (and let’s be honest a third glance), an absolute no-brainer to anyone that has experienced the Dundee based band over the last year.
The guys have had slots locally at Bogbain, Belladrum and Bfest, although this is only the tip of the iceberg for a band that are generally acknowledged to be destined for achieving great things; a view to which anybody who has heard their debut album would attest.
Having the opportunity to speak to David Webster from the band, I was keen to start by finding out how he felt the festival season had been.
Unsurprisingly positive he starts “This Summers been excellent! We had some really good shows at some really good festivals and the weather in Scotland has just topped it off. Do you remember the last summer when every festival was sunny? Me neither”.
Earlier in the year the band were invited to collaborate with Dougie Maclean in a reworking of Scotland’s unofficial anthem ‘Caledonia’ a process which Gary feels has been very beneficial ; “It’s been great meeting and working with Dougie. He’s a great guy and a great musician. We’ve learned a lot not just from him but from all the people around him”.
On considering who AMWWF would want to ideally collaborate with in the future, he replies, “We always enjoy working with other musicians, and there’s a huge list of guys we’d like to work with, some more realistic than others but I guess this is one of those anyone you like questions so I’ll say Tom Waits simply because he’s one of the most unique musicians on the planet”.
Perhaps, indeed almost definitely, a lazy description of the band is to draw similarities to the nu-folk of Mumford & Sons, but Gary observes that, “Personally I don’t really see too many similarities, possibly just the fact we have a banjo and vocal harmonies. We have electric guitar and bass the same as Prince too”.
As a band it is the amount of talent that the guys have at their disposal that instantly impresses, particularly at live shows; Gary explains how this impacts on the creation of music; “It’s a great process with loads of ideas, the only time it becomes difficult is when we’re making a final decision on something. Our live performance changes all the time, often from show to show but when we’re making a decision on a recording it will be there forever and we all want to get it right.”
Indeed the forthcoming EP highlights their talents with each of them taking lead vocals for one of the five tracks. The release of the EP is imminent; “It’s in the final stages of production and will be available in December. We recorded with 3 different engineers also, we used Robin Wynne Evans (Dodgy, Sam Brown, The View) John Wood (Nick Drake, John Martyn, Kate and Anna McGarrigle) and Scott Anderson (Scary People)”.
Before that, of course, is the Strathpeffer Pavillion gig on the 29th of November where they will be joined by Three Blind Wolves, Donald MacDonald & The Island and Dr Wook, a return to the Highlands does not come across as a chore in any way, “ We’re very much looking forward to it. We’ve always had a great time up that way and I’m sure we’ll have fun this time too.”
The band are clearly not ready for a break yet, and so after the EP release a return to recording looms for the next album and AMWWF have used their experience of the first album to good effect; “We learned a lot about each other during the recording of our first album. I don’t think there was a single track that all us knew from start to finish when we went to record it. I think we’re hoping to be a bit more prepared this time. We’re hoping to be in the studio again at the start of the year.”
AMWWF have a charm, an ability and the momentum to take them to the next level, be sure to catch them at the Pavilion on the 29th, it might be the Winter months, but they will warm the soul.
Click for tickets for Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher, Three Blind Wolves, Donald MacDonald & The Island and Dr Wook at Strathpeffer Pavilion.