This article is from 2008.
‘It’s never been part of our gameplan to be a cool band,’ says Broken Records’ singer and guitarist Jamie Sutherland. In that case, they better start redrawing the rules right now. Attracting Arcade Fire comparisons like iron filings to a magnet, the Edinburgh-based seven-piece have been building a dedicated live following around their home city and the rest of Scotland, and just the other week the NME’s gaze fell upon them. With a full-page spread in the indie bible, they are hurtling ever closer to widespread national recognition.
If it seems strange that an Edinburgh band should be earning such acclaim ahead of the usual crowd of Glasgow hopefuls, it’s an even further cry from the relative musical outpost in which Broken Records were formed. ‘I played music all through my time at St Andrew’s University,’ says Sutherland. ‘I wasn’t really interested in the uni side of things, you see, and I was having these encounters with the Fence Collective when we turned up on the same bills together around town. In fact Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) burnt our first CD for us, so we had this really loose affiliation with the scene in Anstruther.’
This nascent form of Broken Records consisted of Sutherland, his friend from university Ian Turnbull and Sutherland’s brother Rory. Rory plays violin and would travel up to St Andrew’s from the family home in Edinburgh, although all three moved back to the capital soon after university. Here they would meet pianist Dave Smith, drummer Andy Keany, bassist David ‘Gill’ Fothergill and cellist Arne Kolb, and find that the former pair, unknown to Sutherland or Turnbull, had also studied at St Andrew’s.
The recruitment of these additional members was supposed to be a temporary measure designed to compete with the volume of Edinburgh rockers Degrassi during a support slot at the city’s Bannerman’s venue, but all concerned were so pleased with the results that they made the arrangement permanent. Time spent playing around Edinburgh then brought the group to the attention of Two Thumbs, the Dundee-based management company that helped to break local heroes The View.
‘We’re not 19 or 20 anymore,’ says Sutherland, ‘and we pride ourselves on having the experience to really know how to play. That’s why what we do works, I think.
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