SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #199 : MACROCOSMICA

The hard drive contains a substantial number of singers/bands of whom I have the foggiest. They are there because they have:-

(a) contributed to a compilation album/CD that I’ve got in the collection; or

(b) been downloaded from another blog or site and I’ve been too lazy or stupid to keep note of the original posting.

Today’s one off is in the former camp, with the one song being part of this CD that I picked up after a gig at King Tut’s back in 2004.

The internet has been my friend with the info that Macrocosmica formed in 1996 and prior to them dissolving in 2005 had released two albums, a mini-album, an EP and a single, as well as recording a number of radio sessions, including one for John Peel, back in 1997. The initial line-up consisted of Brendan O’Hare (guitar), Cerwyss Ower (bass), Gavin Laird (guitar) and Russell McEwan (drums), with the latter two being replaced a few years later by Keith Beacom (drums) and Gordon Brady (guitar). Oh, and Ms Ower had later become Mrs O’Hare!

They were musicians with a long and fine pedigree, all having cut their teeth in other bands, with the most famous being Brendan’s stint as the drummer with Teenage Fanclub. I was also saddened to read that Cerwyss, having had two children with Brendan but later separating from him, had tragically passed away at a very young age in 2013 after a battle with cancer.

I’m sorry I can’t offer up any more info on the band. And here’s the one song I have:-

mp3 : Macrocosmica – Torch Number One

JC

5 thoughts on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #199 : MACROCOSMICA

  1. A long reply but it may be interesting to some.

    I saw Macrocosmica live a few times (96/97) but they never did float my musical boat. My interest was piqued because one Gordon Brady was involved. An absolute linchpin of the ‘scene’ at the time he was a spectacular live performer and one that, unfortunately, never fully appreciated just how astonishing he could be.

    One of my all-time favourite Glasgow bands is Glen or Glenda, in which Gordon played drums with his bare feet. On first hearing them at the Kazoo I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was as if the band were channelling Big Brother and the Holding Company; replacing Miss Joplin with a growling, shrieking Marc Bolan wannabe. I was mesmerised and became something of a fan-boy. When the band split I was a wee bit crushed. I wasn’t crushed for too long …

    Hello, Bangtwister! Both Gordon and Keith were in Bangtwister. Poppier? Rockier? Gordon moved from drums to guitar (something he has continued to do with numerous bands over the years) and this to me was a revelation. A superb guitarist and drummer!? It’s just didn’t and doesn’t seem fair to me.

    Around this time Gordon joined one of my other favourites (I had quite a few favourites) The Poison Sisters (drums). The power given to the band (sans drum machine) was just immense. Gordon left The Poison Sisters and was replaced by Brad. Gordon returned to the Sisterhood and remains the drummer.

    Gordon bands (thanks to NC for his help in compiling this list)

    Glen or Glenda
    Bangtwister
    The Underground Apes
    The Poison Sisters
    The Social Lepers
    Macrocosmica
    Black Scorpio
    Bubble Wrap Holocaust
    The Brutes
    Vakunoht
    Ikarie XB-1
    Rocket Reducer

    Keith bands (may not be complete)

    Josiah
    The Dreaming
    Bleachie – Blondie tribute

    Macrocosmica has released the following. It may not be complete.

    a mini-album (‘Ad Astra’, God Bless Records, 1997),
    an e.p. (‘Space Geek’, God Bless Records, 1998),
    two albums (‘Art of the Black Earth’, Trepanner Headmusic Company, 2003 & ‘Farewell to Earth’, Trepanner Headmusic Company, 2005),
    and a single (‘Torch Number One’, Too Many Fireworks Records, 2003).

    They recorded a BBC Radio One Peel Session (1997),
    a BBC Radio One Session in Scotland (1999),
    and a BBC Radio Scotland Live Session (2003).

  2. NC has pulled me up on my inaccuracies. Bah!

    Gordon was not in The Social Lepers and he replaced Brad in The Poison Sisters.

    These days, at my age, I’m content If I can remember who I am.

    Thanks, NC!

  3. Had a poignant little moment late in the night. I dutifully clocked in to TVV to see what the Scottish song would be. Never heard of the band, but the blurry picture caught my notice. The bassist is playing a Fender Jazz. Judging from the size of the body against her, and where her arm extends to reach the middle of the fretboard, I’d estimate she’s less than 5 feet tall. I read down and saw she has an interesting name, Cerwyss Ower. Then I got to the bottom and read that she’d sadly passed away at a young age. I wanted to know more about her, and figured she’d be easy to find on the interweb with a name like that. So I spelunked around a little and discovered she was some sort of linguistic academic. She’d worked on a number of university press books on language and had written a paper titled “A Diachronic Investigation of the Semantic Field ‘death'” toward a masters degree in philosophy. I thought about this intelligent little woman, and saw some pictures of her with her cheerily pleasant co-workers, going off to present a book at some seminar. There are a few videos of Macrocosmica, and it was interesting to associate Cerwyss with this angsty post-punk band and then her later years in the company of sweater-clad, tea drinking literates. The obituaries were short and sweet. Lastly, I came upon her Facebook page. Not being on FB myself I couldn’t access her posts to see what she had to say. But on the home page was a short self-description: “I’m a bit wee.” I thought about this appealing, smiling, smart woman making light of her tiny stature–how much people would have liked her, and how sad they’d have been when she died at 43. Cerwyss. An interesting name for a clearly interesting person I’d have liked to have met. Just made me really sad.

  4. FFF/Jonny

    I’ve been out all day drinking alcohol with my good buddy Aldo. We talked about music a fair bit of the day and how this blog stuff has often thrown up info and observations that make everyone stop, think and go ‘wow’…….

    You’ve just both provided examples of all that. Thank you both so much

    JC
    xxxx

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