It was roughly about a month ago that I was up at the goNorth festival, and I came back raving about a couple of bands that are based in Glasgow. Don’t you just love the irony of me travelling hundreds of miles to catch artists that I could quite easily see in my own backyard?
Anyway, one of my personal highlights of my adventures in Inverness were The Seventeenth Century, a band that my fellow bloggers have been getting quite excited about for a while now.
Having only heard a couple of songs prior to their set I was excited, yet still felt that they had something to prove before I would be fully convinced. I think they won me over in the sound check. Yep, they were that good.
Once again I find myself getting just a little bit over-excited about a band that have a folk-rock tinge about them, but then saying that somewhat sells them short. The stirring vocals of lead singer, Mark Farmer, combined with one of the tightest outfits I have seen in ages, make for a wonderful combination. I have really high hopes for these guys, with the right amount of support they could be something really fucking special…
Would you care to introduce yourself?
We are a Glasgow based five piece called The Seventeenth Century. The members are: Andy Truscott – Drums Mike Truscott – Cornet, vocals Mark Farmer – Violin, vocals Ryan Burns – Acoustic Guitar, vocals Nicky Grant – Electric Bass, glockenspiel, vocals.
How would you describe the music you make?
Dramatic folk rock music with orchestral influences and a somewhat distorted pop sensibility.
How did you come together as a band?
Andy, Ryan, Mark and Nicky met when they were studying at Reid Kerr College. Andy’s twin Mike was brought into the picture shortly after they met because he was just so darn talented.
How did you start out making music?
We started out by playing covers, same as every other band really. When Mike came into the band we started experimenting with song ideas and began forming the sounds we were looking for.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
The unique thing about the band is that we all pretty much have equal input into the songwriting. Each member of the band has written a song lyrically and song structures are always put together by the band as a whole, not by one person alone.
Who are your big musical influences?
We all have differing tastes in music and come from different musical backgrounds as well which is important in shaping our sound. Mike is classically trained and studied music at Glasgow Uni so he brings the orchestral aspects to the songs. Mark grew up listening to a lot of folk music from the Sixties such as Fairport Convention and Incredible String Band so most of the folk melodies come from him. Andy and Nicky are into more underground music and post rock music and Ryan brings the pop sensibility to the band’s sound. We all draw influences from similar bands as well. The use of dynamics in the songs comes from the influences of bands such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Dirty Three and we are all heavily influenced by Sixties music, in particular The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys.
You’ve got a gig lined up on Thursday (29th) at King Tuts alongside the French Wives, Washington Irving and Rachel Sermanni, now that is one hell of a line up. Do you reckon you can compete with them, or do you think you’ll be the one’s showing them ‘how it’s done’?
It’s definitely one of the best line-ups we’ve had the fortune of playing on. We’re big fans of all the acts and have witnessed what amazing live shows they put on. Sonically each band is very different though, so I don’t think there will be any competing between the acts. We put a lot of energy into our live sets so hopefully that will come across in the performance.
Having seen some of you throwing some shapes on the dance floor at last months goNorth festival, have any of you ever considered sacking it all in and becoming professional disco dancers?
Glad to hear you approve of our moves! Our reputation as dancers ise witnessed the amazing beginning to overtake our reputation as a band so the opportunity to move into a career as a dance troupe is a possibility. Nicky isn’t much of a dancer though but he is looking into a career as a stunt double for Mel Gibson (he’s hard at work trying to recreate the Lethal Weapon mullet as we speak.)
What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
We are hoping to get something released this year sometime. Probably a 7” single then some sort of EP. It would be fantastic if we could find a label to help promote and distribute our music to the masses. We just want to increase our fan base and let as much people as possible hear our songs. Hopefully that would mean that the next time we were to throw shapes on a dance floor, girls might dance with us as well.
The Seventeenth Century – Roses in the Park
The Seventeenth Century play at King Tut’s on Thursday (the 29th) as part of the series of Summer Nights gigs being put on in July. Joining them on the evening are French Wives, Washington Irving and Rachel Semanni, quite possibly the finest line up of bands you are likely to see all summer. Sadly I can’t make it along as I already have tickets for another gig that evening (Gribb in the unlikely event that you are reading this, you had better be amazing!) but if it sounds like it tickles your fancy then you can buy a ticket here.
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