Memory is prismatic. It often amazes me how much all of us will misremember or partially recall an event and the outsider might well have to take an average of the collective narrative to capture a true picture of what really happened. None of this is news to m’learned friends who will make considerable capital from such mists of time.
I love when people tell me they saw me play at a gig I know I didn’t set foot in, or say they saw me a few years before my band existed. It’s pointless correcting them; it’s their story and nothing I can say will change it. I recently read a blog which insisted something happened to me onstage which I know for certain never happened or would ever happen. My good friend Simon Mayo’s first ‘confessions’ book had a story in which someone insisted they’d thrown up (unintentionally) over my shows during a gig. I never had the heart to correct it but I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of thing you don’t forget.
Often too something happens in the early days of a band’s career which is spun into a living myth. If all the people in Dublin who said they’d been at our debut gig there had actually been there I’m pretty sure we’d have had a bit more of the box office to spend on the way home. Instead it was the variation on Michael Marra gag, ‘Do you want onions with your concert appearance fee?’
This Tuesday we all get the chance to create a new myth with the added complication that this week’s debutantes have been recorded and put on film for posterity. We’re proud to bring you a new band from Edinburgh as part of BBC introducing. We’ve already played you some of Monticule‘s records and on this week’s Another Country you can hear what happened when they are let loose in AC towers and we let the tapes roll. I have a strong feeling you will love the sound of a band who have taken all of their influences (and a few off their folks’) and cooked them into a great rock/soul/country blues stew. Once you’ve got them into that swampy bracket of White Stripes/Black Keys/Tony Joe White you’ll be pleasantly surprised to realise that their influences spread so much further. The cover they have chosen to perform comes from one of Americana and Folk’s finest albums of the last 10 years, ‘Anais Mitchell‘s Hadestown.’ Pay close attention as you may well want to be having the, ‘Do you remember Monticule when they did their first radio session?’ chat a few years down the line.
On this Tuesday’s show we’ll also bring you some new records by Jess Morgan, Kris Dane and Brandy Clark. We’ll hear what The Jayhawks are up to and remind ourselves how wonderful it all was when Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris first decided to make that Trio album together. If you remember that as brilliant album of harmony singing then your memory is working just fine.
Join me this Tuesday for all of this and more from five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland.