The Pearlfishers re-release The Strange Underworld of the Tall Poppies for Record Store Day 2015. A limited vinyl-only edition (750 copies worldwide) will be available from selected retailers on 18 April 2015.
David Scott has created a video for Sugar Mountain Babies.
Form an orderly queue...
The Pearlfishers (full band), with support return to the Tolbooth, Stirling to play a host of songs from new album 'Open Up Your Colouring Book', alongside some old favourites on Sat 18 October, doors at 7.30pm / first band 8pm - tickets are £12.50 + £1 online booking fee.
David Scott, supported by Maeve O'Boyle and Acoustic Soundz, at the Whistlefield Inn (near Dunoon) on Friday, 25 April 2014 (from 9PM).
19 April 2014
Exclusive Daily Record live session: To The Northland
New 16 track album in the shops on 25 April 2014 on CD and 2-LP vinyl (with CD) and via The Marina Records Store NOW - both include an exclusive set of three postcards if ordered directly.
Also, visit Marina to hear exclusive clips of all the songs.
Get along and, who knows, he may play some new choons from the forthcoming Pearlfishers' album - due out in 2014 on Marina Records.
Album eight sessions carry on apace at Gorbal Sounds. Due out in 2013.
Frenzied activity in Gorbals Sound studios as the Pearlies record some choons for their eighth album in 75 years...
The Los Angeles Beat - No Room for Rock Stars: an Interview With David Scott
While you're there read the interview with Amy Allison - Everyone Ought to Know Amy Allison too:
Read my new (semi) academic blog: http://davidscottmusic.co.uk/ - please follow and comment :)
Sneak preview of the cover of our single "The Way You Remember Things"...
Details of release date very soon!
01 January 2012 - More Tea, Vicar?
This company, Teajay, are doing teas named after their favourite songs, amongst them are Night And Day, Pennyroyal Tea and...
Across the Milky Way!
It's from the Sunflower At Christmas show a few years back. We played Ice Race live with 8 singers along with this little clip. A very good memory.
Have a wonderful Christmas.
I thought you all might be interested in this link to my blog on Bobby Henry, the man who taught me how to make records...
The new issue of Uncut magazine comes with a Brian Wilson-themed CD featuring - among many other great tracks - The Pearlfishers' rendition of "Go Away Boy" (originally recorded by The Honeys).
I'm doing two shows in Glasgow over the next month which, as you know, amounts to frenzied activity on my part.
The first is at the gaelic music / culture club called Ceol's Craic (pronounced kay-ols-crack) next Saturday 10th September where I'm doing a bunch of songs (including a couple of new ones) with two other Pearlies, Jim Gash and Stuart Kidd. The event itself also features singers Kirsteen MacDonald, Suzanne Houston and a screening of Hallaig, the amazing film about Sorley MacLean, introduced by its director Timothy Neat. CCA GLASGOW, kicks off at 6pm, we're on at 9pm. Click here for more info.
The next is the Ricky Ross solo benefit show in aid of Islamic Relief/Christian Aid East African Famine. I'll be playing with Ricky and also doing a little Pearlies set too, again with The Gash and The Kidd. Sunday 25th September @ Oran Mor, Glasgow. For tickets go to www.gigsinscotland.com, or phone 08444 999 990.
Hope to see you at one of these shows
Wee BBC update:
My new series of Classic Scottish Albums (series 5!) has just kicked off with a feature on the great Al Stewart and Year Of The Cat.
You can listen here
Please do leave a comment on the blog if you enjoy - it really helps me get these progs made.
Written tons of new songs for a new Pearlies project and finished some B-Sides and extras for the Amy Allison / David Scott album. News on release date very soon.
I'm working on two things right now - lots of new songs for a possible Pearlfishers record (nowhere near a studio yet -just trying to write, write, write!) and the artwork for the Amy Allison/David Scott record Turn Like the World Does. The record will come out on Poppy Discs over the next few months. Watch this space for details!
10 April 2011 - Love Letter to Japan
Hello again folks,
We are proud to be part of a wonderful online benefit album for the Japanese Red Cross:
Produced by David Scott; Recorded live at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline - October 2004.
5 April 2011 - News Update from David
Sorry I've been quiet of late. To those who seek new Pearlfishers music: I hope to make a new record really soon. I'm writing songs and making demos and throwing the demos away then realising they're pretty good then doing it all over again with other songs. Exhausted? I am.
In the meantime I should have news soon of where you can get the brand new album by myself and Amy Allison titled Turn Like The World Does. We wrote the songs quickly and recorded them even more quickly in two 5-day sessions over the last couple of years. It's an album I feel really proud of and I hope you enjoy when you get a chance to download or even purchase a CD. I'll put details here as soon as I have them.
Also about to start work on Classic Scottish Albums Series 5 for BBC Radio Scotland. Details soon. In the meantime you can read my BBC blogs here...
The messages in the guestbook prove very sustaining to me. Thank you.
26 February 2011 - Burnsong Showcase and Mondo Morricone!
"I can't recommend the show enough. Mondo Morricone! Viva Scotland's finest!" The Herald
Curated by Davie Scott and Duglas T Stewart - A live musical salute to probably the most celebrated living composer of film soundtracks, Ennio Morricone.
As well as his collaborations with Sergio Leone on a series of spaghetti westerns (including The Good, The Bad & The Ugly), renowned for their forward thinking use of motifs and musique concrete influence, Morricone has scored more than 450 films, from the Italian Giallo movies of the 60s and 70s to huge Hollywood hits such as The Mission and The Untouchables, to classics of European cinema including Cinema Paradiso and Le Cage Aux Folles.
His music has found a new generation of fans through its use in many of Quentin Tarantino's films.
This event is part of The Glasgow Film Festival. For tickets and more information click here.
21 November 2010 - Burnsong Showcase
From 6 to 7:30pm.
"Burnsong show at Scottish Parliament (hosted by me, Davie Scott) on 27th November... Emma Pollock, Kim Edgar, Riley Briggs, David Ferrard, Fiona J McKenzie, Alex Hodgson, Jo Mango and me... free. I can show you the way to free tix...". Or phone: 0131 348 5200.
14 June 2010 - Pearlies Chilton Tribute
From the Alex Chilton tribute, three tracks by a temporary Pearlies line up - Me, The Gash, Finlay MacDonald on bass and Jim McCulloch on guitar.
Classic Scottish Albums
From my new
BBC Scotland radio series - here's the Classic
Scottish Albums page with links to my blogs on Donovan
and Big Country listen on the iPlayer
18 March 2010 - Alex Chilton
Very sad news about the passing of Alex Chilton, singer, songwriter and guitar player with The Box Tops and Big Star. Alex was a major talent who definitely travelled his own path and provided some of the most memorable moments in popular music culture. How about The Box Tops The Letter for starters (vocal recorded when Alex was 16) or Big Star's magnificent September Gurls, or one of the most beautiful songs ever written about being a kid, 13. You can go on and on finding gems...
I was very lucky to work with Alex on a number of occasions and enjoyed both sides of him; like Oor Wullie, Alex had a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The devil was very entertaining, however, even when you were on the receiving end of its wicked tongue. Don't get me started on stories, we'll be here till 3 in the morning. But the music is the thing, you see. When someone opens their mouth in a rehearsal room and belts into What's Your Sign Girl or Duke Of Earl and plays the most I'll Be Goddamed guitar you ever heard you just go, okay, you're a genius, this is amazing. He was witty, well read, bright as a tack (or should that be sharp as a tack) and talented talented talented. I'd suggest a glass of red wine (he liked that) and a listen through to The Ballad Of El Goodo (he might not approve of that).
RIP Alex Chilton, thank you for your incredible music and spirit.
21 December 2009 - A Sunflower on Camphill...
In the late summer of 2004 I was living in a flat in Camphill Avenue, Glasgow. The flat was a bit, you know, strange. It consisted of one large room with bay windows into which had been built a small kitchen and bathroom. Off to the side was a small bedroom which had clearly also been a part of that large room. The building itself had originally been a Victorian Townhouse according to the landlord, who owned around 40 such flats on that part of the street and who himself lived in one, chain smoking on an ash flecked sofa while collecting the dough. When I moved in he told me that the space I was renting had been “the musician’s room” in prosperous days, a place where hired musicians could prepare before entertaining the master and mistress of the house. Given my own background in music I took great comfort from this nugget of (probably false) information, imagining my new path was somewhat blessed by the association.
Flat 5 at 12 Camphill Avenue had one wonderful defining feature for me – the view outside its big bay windows. When I think of my time there the thing I remember most is staring out of the window. I don’t know why, but even at night-time, eating dinner and watching whatever happened to be on television I would usually have the curtains drawn back and would find my eyes wandering out to the street below. There were old trees, Glasgow-Style window frames painted dark green and a crescent rising up to the right of my window with dark tenement buildings dominating the skyline. The street was beautiful no matter the season or the weather. Winter Saturday mornings were particularly beautiful, silent and stark with just the occasional car passing and sometimes a delayed Friday night reveller heading home. On days when I was home by late afternoon I would see kids chasing each other down the road, or shivering against the rain as they headed home under the blossoming halogen. The flats opposite mine looked pretty fancy and for the odd moment I would imagine that when more prosperous days came along I would move in across the street, dragging my possessions across bit by bit. Then I remembered that no longer would I have that particular view to pass my winter nights and in any case, magical as my time in Camphill Avenue could sometimes be, I was always aware that it was a stop on the road somewhere else.
I had some fun phone calls when I was at 5/12. As a favour to some friends at an American record company I once pretended to be a reclusive Scottish pop star for an obscure magazine interview which lasted an uncomfortable 15 minutes and which tested my acting skills well past their tight boundaries. Don’t ask. One evening I was sitting down with a bottle of wine to watch the UK TV premiere of The Blair Witch Project; before I could turn the channel over I got a call from Kim Fowley. When I got him off the phone the end credits were just starting to roll and although momentarily frustrated I soon reflected that 90 minutes on the phone with Kim was almost certainly more entertaining than anything on TV. My favourite call was from Stefan Kassel at Marina Records, Hamburg. By this time Marina had released four of my albums with The Pearlfishers and we had become firm friends – Stefan would often end up playing some music down the line, always from a vinyl source, perhaps a Jimmy Webb song cut by Scott Walker or Bobby Scott singing The Rainbow Connection. When Stefan finally had a Beatles epiphany after years of resistance (“everybody loves The Beatles…except me!”) he called up to play Martha My Dear down the phone several times, a song I had by that time owned for 25 years. Around August 2004 Stefan called with a story about a dream he’d had. In the dream Marina Records were releasing a Christmas album by The Pearlfishers and he was in the middle of preparing the artwork:
“This would be fucking amazing, David”, he said, “but what’s the use in getting excited about something that will never happen? We probably don’t even have enough time and we’d only lose money anyway. I mean…you might not even be into it. Anyway, it was a fun dream!”
When he hung up I said to myself, okay, I give it two days and he’ll be back on the phone.
“We have to make this happen, David”, Stefan said, two days later, “my inner woman is speaking loud and clear and, as you know, I always listen to my inner woman”.
So, we eventually settled on a mini album format, something I could put together really quickly from a few little bits and pieces already started and some new songs written to order. I sat down at the bay window in 5/12 at my little foldaway table with a guitar, pen and pad and started trying to imagine the Christmas season. Outside, the summer afternoon slowly started transforming into the previous winter, the sun turning pale, the sky wan and gloomy and the kids running around shivering, wrapped in scarves and anoraks. It started raining and the old lady behind the Glasgow-style windows opposite turned on her Christmas tree lights and set the ceramic carollers in her bay window singing. By now it was dark and December. I wrote down what seemed to be in front of me:
So that’s how A Sunflower At Christmas got started, not really the story of a season or the story of making a record to order but the story of a journey I was taking at the time. Winter Roads, to paraphrase the words of the song, eventually led me into some enchanted places and I was grateful for the chance to travel. Next two stops were the slopes of Aviemore and Saint Moritz for a spot of Snowboardin’. In this song I channelled all the knowledge I had about this great sport into three and a half minutes - which is about all I was able to get from the Internet. I have no idea what it means to ‘spin 540s’ or to do a ‘rail slide’ but they sure sound fun. In addition to typing in ‘Snowboarding Terms’ into a Google search engine I did some rigorous primary research by asking my friend Carla Hillman about her love of the sport. “What’s it like, Carla?” I asked. “Amazing”, she replied. Snowboardin’ eventually ended up on two or three Christmas compilations in Europe, alongside The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Wham and Paul McCartney. I tend to play one of those compilations when friends are around at Christmas, hoping they’ll bring it up and I can act casual.
Two tracks on A Sunflower At Christmas have their roots in an earlier project – The Strange Underworld Of The Tall Poppies – not the album of that name which came out in 1997 but the original concept which was going to be by a fictional band called The Tall Poppies. An earlier version of Away In A Manger / A Sunflower At Christmas was recorded for that as was a track called Magic Reader which takes its title from a work by the Scottish painter Allan Davie and provides the marimba-based backing track for my little seasonal folktale The Snow Lamb. Away In A Manger / A Sunflower At Christmas is kind of inspired by Jimmy Webb’s "Three Songs", where he runs Let It Be Me, Never My Love and I Wanna Be Free all together. These songs are really vocal heavy – it’s the Pearlies Christmas choir. Snow Plus Christmas is a rewrite of a stupid song called Love Plus Summer and gave Jim Gash and I a chance to camp it up in quite an extreme way while doing the vocals at East Kilbride Arts Centre. Camp as Christmas, actually. Ice Race is a piano exercise, which takes one phrase and repeats it in lots of different ways with more and more layers of instrumentation and vocals. Blue December is one of many alternate versions of the Young Picnickers songs; this time we added real street noise (recorded by Bill Wells in Hamilton for another project) and fake brass band (me going brrp brrp). If you want to hear what really great fake brass sounds like forget Blue December and go here to see and hear the great Earl Okin sing When I Fall In Love and deliver a mouth trumpet solo which kills.
In 2008 when Alistair Campbell at The Tolbooth in Stirling asked if we’d like to perform the complete Sunflower At Christmas we took the opportunity to add an arrangement of The Holly And The Ivy which hopefully has a little bit of the menace suggested by earlier versions of that carol. In our version however the ‘battle of the sexes’ symbolised by the holly and the ivy is resolved in a new line: ‘oh love oh love oh love we’ll walk through the morning’. We’ve added that arrangement to the updated version of the album along with a new song, Come Chase The Snow and unreleased full band versions of Battersea Bardot and Strawberries In The Snow.
Stefan and Frank gave me a chance to fulfil a bit of a songwriter’s fantasy with A Sunflower At Christmas so I’ll dedicate the expanded edition to them and hope those of you who hear the album enjoy it too. Merry Christmas and Ho! Ho! Hoh!
19 November 2009 - A Sunflower at Christmas: Expanded
David and Norman Blake, acoustic at Blackfriars this Saturday evening (21st November) at 8pm. First 100 people get in...
36 Bell Street, Glasgow - 0141 552 5924
16 September 2009 - David and Norman Blake - Hammond Song
David Vs Godzilla now added to Pearlfishers MySpace
I've been thinking about the song David Vs Godzilla and wanted to post it here for those visitors who might not have heard it...The song was recorded during the sessions for our 1998 album The Young Picnickers but didn't make the cut at the time. It just didn't quite fit the running order or the feel, I can't remember. Anyway it found a home on a deluxe (and I do mean deluxe) edition of the album which came out on the Japanese Quattro label then later on the Marina reissue.
The reason David Vs Godzilla visited me this week is that it was used in a new play that ran at East Kilbride Arts Centre. The writer is Kirsty Crawford, a friend and long time supporter of Pearlfishers music, and the title of her beautiful work is Fly Like A Bird Like.
The play deals with a lot of very tough issues and does so in an incredibly thoughtful and sensitive way. The central character Libby lies throughout in a coma, now and then waking up to give the audience clues to her story. Around the bed are gathered family and nurses all of whom reveal their own part in Libby's struggle. The most touching moment for me, of course, was the use of 'David Vs Godzilla' over a scene where Ade, Libby's twin brother, talks about their shared journeys as the girl lies silent and adrift in space.
Their story, delivered in Ade's narrative between the lyrics of the song, is dark and troubled but ultimately redeemed by love. 'David Vs Godzilla' started life as a word association game but quickly became a song about taking a big journey through a 'world of wonder' which chews you up, spits you out and shows you beauty and hope along the way. The song keeps coming back to the phrase 'maybe nowhere is the place we're going, but it doesn't make a difference as long as I can travel there with you'. Naive? Yes. Clunkily expressed? Probably.
Heartfelt? Definitely. I like to close shows with 'David Vs Godzilla'
For that reason - it feels like the best way to say thank-you to an audience and hope that we'll meet again...In 'Fly Like A Bird Like' the song takes on a much darker feel - Ade and Libby have to cling to each other just to make it through the days, weeks and years. Now Ade is wondering if he will be able to continue that journey with his sister.
Thank you Kirsty and Studio 32 Company for taking my song somewhere else. I hope some of you get the chance to see 'Fly Like A Bird Like' one of these days. In the meantime I hope you enjoy the song.
26 August 2009 - David Scott - LIVE!!!
Two Pearlfishers related events coming up very soon. The first takes place this coming Friday at The Edinburgh Fringe, where David will sing all three movements from his Wendy Weatherby Celtic Connections collaboration of ‘A Scot’s Quair’. Based on the famous books by Lewis Grassic Gibbon the work sets Wendy Weatherby’s music to David’s words, backed in this performance by the 25 piece Phillomusica of Edinburgh… Details, details…
Friday 28th AUGUST - 7.30 p.m. - St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral - Palmerston Place
premiere of a new version for 2 singers and orchestra
£9.00, concessions £6.00, children £3.00
Next event is a rare solo show by David which takes place at The Sapphire Club in Edinburgh on Thursday 24th September. Please visit the Sapphire’s website
Work continues on the long promised 'Pearlissimo!' Best and Rare compilation... watch this space for details on that and new Pearlfishers recordings and shows.
Thanks for keeping the faith.
my dad the
takes a look
out the window
sky, angels push the clouds away
if the sky's
turning for the worst
sky, angels push the clouds away
for Tom Scott, 1938 - 2009.
We have had numerous requests for information on downloads, we're pleased to tell you that all Pearlfishers releases are downloadable from iTunes. Including an exclusive iTunes Essentials compilation.
Remember: you can receive (occasional) SMS text alerts when this News page is updated. Email your mobile number to firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Williams songs from 'The Muppet Christmas Carol'
to close the show...
Thanks to all who came along to 'A Sunflower At Christmas' last night at The Tolbooth. It was really wonderful to play those songs for you. Merry Christmas and love from
Hi all – there’s a free gig at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh at 6pm on Sunday 26 October. Actually, not sure one could describe it as a ‘gig’. It’s a performance of Wendy Weatherby’s ‘Sunset Song’ for which I wrote the lyrics. I’m singing some of the songs along with Wendy and accompanied by the Edinburgh Philomusica, a small chamber orchestra. For the music think Dick Gaughan meets Michel Legrand and both get slaughtered in a very polite island ritual. I may be giving the wrong impression there. Wendy’s melodies are beautiful and Lawrence Dunn (aka Santa Claus from The Pearlfishers string section) has made beautiful arrangements.
Anyhoo – 6pm, St Giles, ‘retirement collection’ – for all you heathens that means you put ten bob in the tin on your way to the pub...
Please say hello if you do manage to come by…
Live from the Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline - via YouTube (ya tube)...
Live at the Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline - www.tigerfest.co.uk
A unique bond formed between two of Scotland's finest songwriters as they toured Europe together in 2007 as part of the 'Sit Down and Sing' tour.
Accompanied by a string quartet and other friends, David and Norman will perform some classic tracks from the Pearlfishers' and the Teenage Fanclub catalogues with a few choice surprises along the way!
After an extended hiatus, Glasgow's The Pearlfishers returned refreshed and all improved with Up With The Larks, their sixth album for Marina Records. The album is clear evidence that main Pearlfisher David Scott continues his unique musical journey with renewed joy and verve - and that classic songwriting and well-crafted arrangements are alive and well in 2007. The Pearlfishers are firmly rooted in the classic tradition of three minute cinematics as pioneered by Webb, McCartney and recently Rufus Wainwright.
"The Sunday Mail Scottish Album of the Year for 2007"- Billy Sloan
Norman Blake happens to be one of the best songwriters to have come out of Scotland. This has not been said often enough over the years.
After first gaining acclaim for a densely melodic sound which anticipated the coming emergence of grunge, Norman and Teenage Fanclub spent their careers as torch-bearers for the power pop revival, unparalleled among their generation for both their unwavering adherence to and brilliant reinvention of the classic guitar pop approach of vintage acts like Big Star and Badfinger.
Date:16 May 2008
One of the highlights of this year's Tigerfest music festival is a gig next week featuring two of the most influential men in Scottish pop: David Scott of the Pearlfishers and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub.
The pair have appeared together on collaborative projects in the past, but it was when they toured Europe together last autumn, playing each other's songs, that the current partnership was forged.
The rapport between them is uncanny and attempts to find cracks in the perfect facade of their relationship prove futile: theirs really does seem to be a musical match made in heaven. Here, in their own words, Scott and Blake explain how it all came to work out so well.
David on Norman: "Everybody always says that Norman is the nicest guy in pop, and I guess that was probably my first impression of him. We first met through Douglas Stewart of BMX Bandits. Norman came and played in a series of concerts that Douglas and I did a few years ago, one featuring the music of Serge Gainsbourg and another featuring the music of Ennio Morricone. I'd been a fan of his records with Teenage Fanclub anyway, but there's something about hearing an amazing singer in person that just knocks your socks off - it's the kind of thing you never quite forget. After that, I'd always thought that if there was ever an excuse to work with Norman Blake I would take it without thinking twice.
My favourite Norman songs are ones like Planets and The Concept. I love all the Fanclub songs, but Norman's are probably most in my world - they are the ones I most aspire to as a songwriter myself. There's a simplicity about them but there's a sophistication as well, an effortless sophistication. That's the kind of thing that drives you mad as a songwriter, trying to achieve that.
It's been a real marriage of sensibility and I think that makes for a richness in what we do. There are lots of bits I really love in the show, but I think my favourite is right at the end. Last year we were closing with an encore of Hammond Song by the Roaches and that became the unofficial hymn of the tour. It's beautiful song, so make sure you stay to the end.
Norman on David: The first thing that struck me about David is that he's a very, very talented musician. Most people think of him as a piano player, but his first instrument is actually the guitar, and he's a fabulous guitarist. He's recorded a lot of stuff for Geographic, Stephen Pastel's label, including some Japanese bands who are pretty out there. People tend to associate David with the pop thing the Pearlfishers do, but he's very open-minded in terms of music.
Our paths have crossed several times, but I remember there was one thing I recorded with him a few years ago - the Caroline Now! record that had people covering Beach Boys songs. We were singing together and I remember thinking, "this is a nice blend, we could do something with this." I think he and I have very similar influences - Bacharach, Morricone and Paul McCartney. We're both McCartney fans. Poor Paul gets a bad press from the cognoscenti, but that's definitely a point where our tastes in music meet.
We'll have some string players with us at the Carnegie Hall, so I'm looking forward to doing the songs in their stripped-down form with strings. Dave McGowan from Teenage Fanclub will be playing some pedal steel, and also upright bass. Then Stevie Jones, who plays with Malcolm Middleton, plays upright bass as well, so you never know - we might have a song with two upright basses on it. Whatever happens, we're going to try and throw some curveballs.
David Scott and Norman Blake play the Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, on 16 May. Other Tigerfest shows at the same venue next week include the Twilight Sad, Idlewild and Paul Haig. For a full programme, visit www.tigerfest.co.uk
ROGER COX (The Scotsman)
The Pearlies have a heavyweight political fan - Alan Johnson, the UK's Health Secretary - read the full article in the Observer.
Hi everyone. Difficult day yesterday to see our friend Lindsay laid to rest and as Davie said, so soon after Eddie. Was so heartening tho to see so many people in attendance to see him off and realise just how loved he was!!
So thanks to Lindsay and Eddie for everything you did for us but mostly just thanks for being our friends!!
Love and peace Jim Gash XXX
Thanks for all the lovely messages - glad that UWTL has found a corner of your hearts...
It's been a tough few weeks - we lost a couple of people who played a big part in the pearlies story - Eddie Trayner and Lindsay Chapman. I'm going to write something and explain a wee bit more about that soon.
It does make the heart leap to see your lovely comments though...we want to do some shows really soon - keep fingers crossed for us.
Love, David xxx
Finniston were first up on Sunday night. This fine little beat combo's tight harmonies, intelligent lyrics and fine musicianship combine in a promise of great things to come. And they're hip with it, right down to the bare feet of keyboard player of Jolene Crawford. That coolness was confirmed with the announcement that, as part of their merchandising, they do fridge magnets.
There were many Pearlfishers on the small stage; the five-piece augmented by a string quartet and a two-man brass section. There's no denying the song-writing talents of frontman Davie Scott, and the band is as good as I have heard it. That they are still something of a well-kept secret is curious, but this performance was chock-full of joy, vigour and ambition. Even their perfect cover of Paul McCartney's Let Em In sat seamlessly with the rest of the set.
summed the night up when he described it as a romp through some 20 years
of back catalogue, and as a body of work, it more than holds its own.
Courtesy of Stu Matthews
Review by is this music?
Connections @ Glasgow Classic Grand (Sunday 20th January)
Everyday I Read Your Stars provides us with all the evidence we need to arrest Mr. Scott for his Beatles infatuation, not only musically do his songs often pay tribute to the Fab Four but his moves with a guitar in tow do also, he just can’t stop shaking his head while he hits those high notes! However we’ll forgive him because the song itself could easily have been written by a Beatle with its jangly chords and cookie lyrics. There are many highlights throughout the set, and Scott provides us with many an anecdote to accompany them, like how he felt, “slightly perverted” at entertaining the notion that his wife might run a post office, documented in Send Me a Letter, or when introducing the title track of latest offering, Up with the Larks asking the audience whether they bought it or not, there’s a middling cheer and Scott turns to the band and says, “that’s another five!”.
The most beautiful moment tonight comes with Blanket of Ribbons, from The Pearlfishers 1993 debut album, Za Za’s Garden. Unfamiliar with this song before this evening, it’s a credit to the quality of the song-writing that this arrangement is so striking; you can’t help but get swept up in the soaring strings in the middle section, the band themselves seem to be really enjoying it also.
ridden Let ‘em in McCartney cover aside, The Pearlfishers
gallop through a joyous set, We’ll Get By is a
personal favourite and is received by ripples of whoops and cheers and
the wonderful, Stella Painted Joy closes the set with
gusto. Returning to the stage to perform a majestic version of My
Dad the Weatherfan, the crowd are in genuine awe and the band
seem humbled beyond belief, hopefully it won’t be another eight
years until they return next time.
The Pearlfishers Up With The Larks is The Sunday Mail Scottish Album Of The Year for 2007! from today's (23.12.07) newspaper:
"This category caused a major headache. I was spoiled for choice with great albums by Steven Lindsay, Eddi Reader, The Proclaimers and Biffy Clyro. But Davie Scott of The Pearlfishers remains one of our most inspiring writers and "Up With The Larks" was a record of rare beauty while the 1990's "Cookies" was a mix of fiery guitar and sharp lyrics. I couldn't split them - proof the Scottish music scene has never sounded better." (Billy Sloan) Hooray!
David plays Berlin tonight. He and Norman Blake will also be guests on the evening show of the main radio station of that area, Radio Eins. There are two interview slots and at least one live track. You can listen to it live at: http://www.radioeins.de/_/livestream_jsp.html (you need to click on the player).
They will be in the studio between (approx) 19:00 and 20:00 this evening.
The Pearlfishers will be appearing at The Celtic Connections 2008. They are on at the Classic Grand on Sunday, 20th January 2008 - 7:30pm. More details and online booking facility at: www.celticconnections.com.
Sit Down & Sing Tour: Munich Ampere (23rd October 2007) set list
Thanks to Chris MacFadyen
Rarely seen 1997 promo video.
What the ****? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u11dFJW40YU
The Pearlies appear on the November 2007 Word magazine cover disc: Now Hear This! It features the wonderful title track Up With The Larks. They say: "It seems reasonable to assume that if Richard Scott (sic) was ever going to be put off the music business it would probably have happened by now. His Pearlfishers have made five albums and still he continues to work out of an arts centre in East Kilbride. In a better world than this one Terry Wogan would be kicking off his breakfast show with this tune. From the CD Up With The Larks".
Wake up everybody, they are back back back: After an extended hiatus, Glasgow’s The Pearlfishers return refreshed and all improved with Up With The Larks, their sixth album for Marina Records - the latest in a line of orch-pop masterpieces including Across The Milky Way, Sky Meadows and A Sunflower At Christmas. The album is clear evidence that main Pearlfisher David Scott continues his unique musical journey with renewed joy and verve - and that classic songwriting and well- crafted arrangements are alive and well in 2007.
Joyous title track, Up With The Larks kick starts the day, “shattered and blue in splinters and sparks”, rich with trademark Pearlfishers lush vocal harmonies, multi-layered guitar texture, the wild jangle of a battered upright piano and exquisite melodic twists and turns. Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake co-produced four of the album’s cuts, starting with The Bluebells – not a tribute to once famous Scottish popsters but a beautiful, string-laden rumination on the turning of seasons.
One act who do indeed receive a full-blooded name-check are Womack And Womack in a song titled, aptly enough, Womack And Womack which recalls Scott’s early days running with the hawks of the major music industry (“...left the school and joined a band, like other lads across the land, gladly kissed the corporate hand...”).
Morning breaks again in Ring The Bells For A Day, complete with the glittering Big Star chime of massed Fender Stratocaster, an exultation to “cast the night away”and a line written in tribute to one of Scott’s enduring heroes, Brian Wilson: “Wherever you lie down, wherever you wake up, the world follows”. The Pearlfishers 2006 Japanese tour with BMX Bandits is thrillingly recounted in The Umbrellas Of Shibuya, a song which takes its reference point from Michel Legrand’s classic movie opera “The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg” but locates itself in a Tokyo rainstorm – with neon puddles, painted in Morricone banjos, Sakamoto synth blooms, Nilsson mouth music and, most tellingly, Scott’s truly unique sense of melody and structure. Another highlight is the Randy Newman-esque With You On My Mind which sounds like a lost Tin Pan Alley classic arranged by Van Dyke Parks. London’s In Love could be the theme song to an as-yet-to-be-made romantic comedy blockbuster starring the new Cary Grant, set in the “blue black air”of Britain’s capital – full of promise and heartbreak.
The Pearlfishers, firmly rooted in the classic tradition of three minute cinematics as pioneered by Webb, McCartney and, recently Rufus Wainwright, reach a great finale with the album’s two closing songs: Blue Riders On The Range, a sparkling widescreen epic (sounding like Marvin & Diana doing “RAM”) and the gorgeous, pastoral I Just See The Rainbow which ends the album on an optimistic note. “And call me cock-eyed if you will, but I don’t see that dark hill, I just see the rainbow...”. The only way is UP!
David Scott will play numerous live shows with Norman Blake during October and November 2007. The Umbrellas Of Shibuya is also available as a limited 7”.
Album Release date - 28th September 2007
The new Pearlfishers album, Up With The Larks is released on 28th September, also issued that day is a limited edition 7" vinyl single featuring album track The Umbrellas of Shibuya and the otherwise unavailable Clumsy on the b-side.
The Pearlfishers: Thank You For The Music: BBC Radio Scotland
The music of David Scott and The Pearlfishers was celebrated in a one hour special, onThursday 13th September 2007 on BBC Radio Scotland, presented by Janice Forsyth.
The show was recorded live at the BBC’s new Pacific Quay building on the River Clyde, Glasgow earlier in the summer and features new songs, old songs and David’s unique take on the craft of the songwriter in an interview spanning influences, inspirations and the sheer amount of animals appearing in Pearlfishers songs.
Thank You For The Music offers a sneak preview of one new Pearlfishers song, Fighting Fire With Flowers, David’s recollection of Falkirk’s Boulevard Café, unofficial home of CND and the Socialist Workers Party circa 1980-82. This and other songs are illustrated with stories and anecdotes, giving a real sense of “the life behind the song”.
You can listen online by visiting the following link: http://www.pearlfishers.com/site/sounds/thank you/pearlfishers.mp3
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Launch: European Tour
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