And that can mean only one thing – the BAMS (Blogs and Music Sites Scotland) are back. The unofficial guild/club/clique voted High Violet by the National as our album of the year in 2010 and I* was delighted to be a part of voting once again. The top ten – in reverse order – was as follows:
10= PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
10= The Moth and the Mirror – Honestly, This World
10= FOUND – factorycraft
7= The Son(s) – The Son(s)
7= Conquering Animal Sound – Kammerspiel
5. King Creosote and John Hopkins – Diamond Mine
4= Mike Nisbet – Vagrant
4= Bon Iver - Bon Iver
2. Adam Stafford – Build a Harbour Immediately
1. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat – Everything’s Getting Older
Now then. Bearing in mind that each blogger only had three picks, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note that my top three is nowhere to be seen. Metronomy is lurking just outside the top ten and Ringo Deathstarr are considerably further down – no great surprise to see a slightly obscure US fuzz-pop three-piece making little impact in a Scottish poll.
What is a surprises me is that it looks suspiciously like – from the breakdown of voting – is that the The Tidal Wave of Indifference is the only site to have voted for Mogwai’s superb latest. EH???
The winner’s something of a surprise too. I have the Wells/Moffat album but am less than blown away by it. It’s had a few listens and I’ll certainly come back to it but it’s not album of the year for me. But who are we to argue? Naebody, especially when it comes to actual factual science of a poll which has again been put together by blogging ledge Lloyd ‘Peenko‘ Meredith so big thanks to the friendly fella from the west for taking the time to do it all again.
Lloyd also managed to catch a word with this year’s winners and the full interview is below.
Congratulations Bill and Aidan, you are this years’ winners of the Scottish BAMS award, how do you feel? Does this rate as a career highlight then?
Aidan: I think it might be the first award I’ve ever been presented with, with the exception of the joint 4th Year English Prize at Falkirk High in 1989, so it’s very exciting indeed. Not sure about a career highlight – that accolade is always reserved for the work itself, and Everything’s Getting Older is certainly one of my favourites, yes.
Bill: Feels good – though when it dawned on me, obviously quite some time ago, that awards are only ever decided upon by other people, not by some almighty, all knowing, arbiter of taste and quality looking down from the clouds, I thought it always best to never get too excited about any of them coming my way, not that there’s been much occasion to, right enough.
How did you end up collaborating together in the first place?
Aidan: Bill says we found ourselves at the same table in a pub and I immediately asked him to play on some Arab Strap songs. I have no recollection of this at all, but at the time I was very much in love with his Also In White album so I’ve no reason to doubt him. After he played on the Monday At The Hug And Pint album, we did one song together and then took years to book a studio to do some more. We always seemed to have other things to do, but I’m glad we waited because I can’t imagine the album any other way. It would’ve had an entirely different theme and tone if we’d finished it in 2005, and I really don’t think it would have been as good from my side.
Bill: Indeed this is what happened – I was very surprised and flattered actually because although I was a huge Arab Strap fan, and though we were all from Falkirk, or, more likely, because, it never occurred to me that we’d ever all be in a studio together, so it did, for me at least, even at the time, feel like quite an occasion, and looking back, even more so now.
"Yay! Go us!"
I am guessing that you’ve spent a lot of time in each others’ pockets this year; has this bonded your love for each other, or are you sick of the sight of each other?
Aidan: We haven’t really spent that much time together at all, to be honest. We haven’t done a lot of touring, although what we did do was quite hard work. There’s more gigs being planned for next year, so hopefully we’ll have more to do, but it’s not as though we’re a young rock band out on the road and in the NME every week, there’s not a lot of fuss or constant attention to deal with; there’s been a minimum of upheaval, thankfully.
Bill: Yeh, sorry, you’re guessing wrong.
If the love is still there, are there any plans to work together again in the future?
Aidan: We’ve just started talking about our second album now, so it will happen but we’re not sure when. Certainly not next year, we’ve both got a couple of albums each planned for 2012, so we might try and have it ready for 2013. There’s no rush though, it’ll be ready when it’s ready; the last thing i want to do is dive into it and force it out, that’s why a lot of second albums these days are a bit shit. Bands and labels are desperate to hold onto any momentum and profile a new band has, but we’re lucky in that respect because we’re not really a new, young band; we’ve both been making records for ages and there’s no pressure on us at all. So 2014 at the earliest!
Bill: Just to add that I’m really looking forward to this, the musical ideas for first album were pretty much all on one cdr I gave Aidan ages ago, then the EP happened pretty quickly this year so, personally, I’m more hopeful for the 2013 result but, whatever and whenever, it’ll be great to get working together in the studio again.
Seeing as we are on the subject of albums of the year, what have been your personal favourites of 2012?
Aidan: I would’ve said Slow Club’s Paradise a couple of weeks ago (which I still love) but it’s been pipped at the post by the last-minute release of Josh T. Pearson’s limited live LP, The King Is Dead, which I think is far superior to his studio album. There’s been a lot of very good music this year though, but my memory can never work when it’s put on the spot, sorry!
Bill: I look at these end of year lists and realize I haven’t heard so many of these records, so it feels like a very uninformed opinion. The last time I was asked I said the re – release of Annette Peacock’s ‘I’m The One’ which is truly one of the greatest records ever made. However after writing that I realized that “That’s Reality’ by Yumbo, which is Koji Shibuya’s (bass player in Maher Shalal Hash Baz) Pop masterpiece, came out in Japan in early 2011.
The participating sites this year were: The Daily Dose, The Steinberg Principle, Dauphin, Ed Rock, Found In Sound, Elba Sessions, Kowalskiy, Aye Tunes, Edinburgh Man, 17 Seconds, Scots Whay Hae, The Spill, Last Years Girl, JockRock, Dear Scotland, Manic Pop Thrills, Favourite Son, Peenko, Jim Gellatly, Detour, Jenny Soep, Net Sounds Unsigned, Listen Before You Buy, Song By Toad, The Daily Growl, Glasgow Podcart, Rokbun, The Pop Cop, Radar, Blueback Hotrod, Blues Bunny, Vic Galloway, Nicola Meighan, Scottish Fiction, Rave Child, Phuturelabs and Curious Joe.
If the above list seems to be lacking in links, I’m writing this in a rush and don’t have the time to link everything just now but I’ll come back to it. Most are linked at the bottom of the page though!!
Finally, as Christmas is approaching I’d like to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone that’s read the Tidal Wave of Indifference in 2011. There genuinely seems to be more and more each week, which is a lovely feeling on top of this being a big year generally. My first gig in September was a roaring success, I’ve done a stack more writing for Radar and my inane witterings have even popped up on scotsman.com and theskinny.co.uk and I’ve even done a bit of DJing and some radio presenting for Freshair (with hopefully a bit more to come in 2012).
The site will be back with more album reviews, band features and random bullshit in the middle of January. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here’s some Christmas cheer…
* Grammar pedants like Last Year’s Girl will note that I’m writing this in the first person as it’s a more personal post.