SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #173 : THE KARELIA

From wiki:-

The Karelia were a Scottish band formed by current Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos, known at the time as Alex Huntley, in 1996. The four original members were Alex Huntley (vocals, guitar, bouzouki and banjolele),Glen Thompson (bass guitar and percussion), Alan Wylie (trumpet) and Thom Falls (drums) – Falls was later replaced by Greek drummer Tassos Bobos.

Their sound has been described as “prog/techno rock with Iggy-voxed overtones”, and “jazzy film-noir lo-fi”. The band’s only album, Divorce At High Noon, was released in 1997 on Sum Records to little acclaim. Produced by Bid of The Monochrome Set, it was an off the wall mix of rock and jazz trumpet with unusual lyrics. The final song, “Garavurghty Butes”, was completely freestyle with improvised lyrics and musical arrangement. The band did not tour and were unknown outside Glasgow. Very few copies of the album sold and the band split in 1998 after contributing to an EP for the Guided Missile label.

Upon the huge success of Franz Ferdinand fans began to exchange originals of Divorce at High Noon for £50-£100. Because of this, the album was re-released in February 2005. It featured all of the previous album and two bonus tracks.

What it didn’t feature was a song The Karelia contributed to The Glasgow EP, four tracks that also featured Mogwai, El Hombre Trajeado and The Yummy Fur, released in 2000 by Plastic Cowboy Records.

mp3 : The Karelia – New Year In New York

The Glasgow EP was one of a collectible series released by the label, with the other cities being London, Liverpool, Oxford and Tokyo, with another devoted to Essex.

JC

One thought on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #173 : THE KARELIA

  1. The Karelia; the band before pop stardom beckoned. The Blisters; the band before The Karelia. A band that is extremely dear to me.

    I really like Franz Ferdinand. I enjoyed The Karelia. I love The Blisters.

    From the off you could see The Blisters were trying to create something different both musically and fashion-wise; a fashion that persisted throughout all 3 bands. Glen, Thom, Hubby and Alex – the men in suits ably assisted by the glamorous Tracy. Stalwarts of the Kazoo Club (run by Alex) I saw The Blisters many, many times and each time was enthralled. There was a clear intensity to the band (something I’m generally not at all keen on) but they managed to cut through all of that with their comedic on-stage (beer-soaked carpet), inter-band chit-chat.

    When I reminisce about this wealth of musical talent that graced The Kazoo Club and subsequent 99p Club (also run by Alex) I do feel that The Blisters have been somewhat overlooked. I know Alex and Hubby have both referred to the LP The Kazoo Collection with some disdain. I look upon the LP as a wonderful moment, captured in time, of a burgeoning Glasgow music scene. The live LP suffered, in my opinion, due to some bands insisting on overdubs to their tracks. That was just beyond silly and it created some slight tension as the LP took longer than most anticipated and some bands fiddled to achieve their ‘live’ sound.

    I think all involved in the LP should be extremely proud of their contributions and to the organising committee: you created a wonderful piece of Glaswegian musical history. There isn’t a weak track on it.

    Now … I wonder if The Blisters would consider reforming for one night only? Count me in! Oh, the ‘tension’. Oh, the ‘nostalgia’.

    I’ve just had another thought … a triple bill: The Blisters, The Karelia and Franz Ferdinand. I can hear the stampede for tickets now.

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