As singer with the Phantom Band, Rick Anthony has been at the forefront on Scotland’s indie scene for a number of years now. Now with anticipation for the Phantom’s third album building, Anthony has made the obvious choice and…… decided to do something completely different.
Anthony’s solo guise – the faintly piratey sounding Rick Redbeard – isn’t new, but has lain dormant for a while now. Altogether more countrified, as opposed to his main band’s mix of whirring electronics and pounding drums, his crisp baritone is unmistakable and to hear his latest songs you’d just assume that the Phanton Band had been listening to Waylon Jennings.
Not so. Rick Redbeard’s latest two songs are seeing the light of day via Gerry Loves Records on a split 7″ with Tidal Wave favourite and looping maestro Adam Stafford.
This is a combination every bit as exciting as the last Gerry Loves release that hit our radar – their PAWS/Lady North split – and knowing the amount of care and attention they put into presentation, we’d put money on the vinyl being a rather lovely piece of collectable plastic.
After having a natter with Redbeard around the release of The Wants in 2010, it was a delight to catch up with him once again.
So who the hell are you?
My name is Rick. I sing in the Phantom Band and have a going concern as a solo artist named after a pirate who sings (mainly) sad songs about sex and death. And occasionally other stuff.
Describe your sound in ten words or less!
How do you feel your solo material differs from the Phantom Band?
Well, it tends to be more intimate – the songs a bit more delicate and, in some cases, personal; the lyrics maybe a bit more direct. There is a clarity to it that comes from it being the product of one mind. That said it is also probably more ‘traditional’ sounding than The Phantom Band. I guess the two projects share some metaphorical office space; frequent some of the same bars.
How did you hook up with those drunken buffoons at Gerry Loves?
They got in touch randomly through email and asked if I was into doing a 7”. I thought it would be fun to actually release something for a change rather than just record songs and make cdrs for friends. And they are very into music as an artifact; in trying to preserve the physicality of music and that appealed to me. I have had the pleasure of one night out with them but have yet to fully experience the extent of their buffoonery.
Did you know much about Adam Stafford ahead of the release being planned?
I had met him at festivals when both Phantoms and Y’All Is Fantasy Island had played and he seemed like a nice guy. What I’d heard of his music was cool; quite singular. Great lyrics.
What can we expect from the short tour you have lined up?
I think they are pretty small venues so probably a bit of sweat. Maybe some tears. It’s the first time I’ve done something like this solo so maybe I’ll have learned my songs by the end of it.
Are there any further solo shows planned?
Nothing concrete yet but I’m putting out a solo album soon so I’m sure I’ll be around and about.
What news of the third Phantom Band album?
We are writing it at the moment. Songs are starting to take shape and we are starting to test-drive some of them live. Don’t know yet when we’ll actually record it but, suffice to say we’re on it.
The Rick Redbeard/Adam Stafford 7″ is out on June 25 (buy it HERE!), with the pair playing the following dates in support:
Edinburgh Henry’s Cellar Bar, June 21
Glasgow Captain’s Rest, June 22
Aberdeen Cellar 35, June 23