Some of you might recall that I gave a couple of previous mentions to Lonely Tourist, including as Part 190 of this ridiculously long-running series.
Lonely Tourist is the name adopted by singer-songwriter Paul Tierney, and for years it has been bugging me where I ought to know him from. The fact that this series has finally reached the letter ‘O’ provided me with the solution.
Odeon Beatclub were a Scottish indie band from Glasgow, formed in 1999 by friends Gerry Callaghan (vocals) and Paul Tierney (guitar). Initially the band included Paul’s sister Joanne Tierney (bass) and Des McCabe (drums). The band received support from Steve Lamacq for their self-released single, “Past Gone Mad”. Callaghan left the band in 2000, and vocal duties were taken over by Paul Tierney.
The band continued as a three-piece until Joanne Tierney left in 2001, to be replaced by James Pritchard (guitar), and eventually his girlfriend Sarah Brand (bass). The band’s first label release was I Need More Time through the Glasgow-based independent record label, Play Records.
In 2002, the band won a place at T in the Park after playing the T-break heats. The band was selected for Best Of T-break and the gig was later broadcast by long term supporters Vic Galloway and Gill Mills on their BBC Radio 1 show. One of the judges of the event was a pre-world fame Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, who subsequently asked the band to support them later in the year.
The band released a number of self-released, mail order only, CD singles from 2002-2003. In 2003 they released “Behind My Eye” through Stow College’s Electric Honey label.
In 2004 they contributed the track “1000 Arguments” to the Glowing Underground EP on Fierce Panda, and played as support to Ballboy, Camera Obscura and Half Man Half Biscuit. The band also released The Midnight Service Station EP on their own Polyester Records.
After a change of management, and a couple of false starts in 2005, the band started work on their debut album. Kenny Patterson was chosen as their record producer as he had worked with The Coral, Ian Broudie and Swayzak. The album was recorded at Goldtop Studios in London, in 2005. The band filled in at the last minute for a support slot in Greenock with Pete Doherty’s band, Babyshambles, in September 2005, and were subsequently asked to play the remaining Scottish dates of their tour. This led to the band supporting Babyshambles on another Scottish tour in 2006.
The much delayed first single, “Last Gasp”, from the debut album was released in August 2006. Brand left in September 2006 to be replaced by Rob McKinlay. Due to personal commitments, he was replaced in the summer of 2007 by Jon Paul Brownlow. The band’s self-titled debut album was released on Beatclub Recordings in March 2007.
Pritchard left the band in January 2008 to pursue his own solo work. He was replaced by Jim Lang. The band released “The New Kate Moss” in May 2008, and picked up airplay on numerous radio stations including BBC Radio 2 and 6music. This was followed by “How to Kill a Man” in November 2008, with a session on Radio Clyde’s Billy Sloan show the same month.
The band released another single, “Strike Me Down” in mid-2009, splitting up shortly afterwards.
I must have caught Odeon Beatclub at least once given the number of support slots they undertook over the years, but I can’t be certain. I do recall them being written and talked about a fair bit which is why, when I saw it for sale in a second-hand store, I picked up a copy of a 7″ single which, as it turns out, was the debut mentioned above:-
Think back to 2006 and there’s a great deal of this sort of music all across the airwaves and it felt that we were on the verge of another period when indie-pop with guitars was about to be fashionable again with, as it turned out, Arctic Monkeys leading the way. Last Gasp is a more than decent enough record but it just doesn’t do enough to make it stand out and become a memorable one. There must be a substantial number of musicians out there, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers and keyboardists alike, who had a fleeting brush with fame and sniff of success back in the mid-00s who are now fast approaching or just turned 40 who will be looking back and wondering just why it didn’t last. The office or factory job now being held just won’t cut it in comparison.
The same thing goes for those who are a little bit older and had similar experiences in the 80s and 90s. It must be hard not to get a tad bitter about things but all I’ll say is that those of us who were never talented enough to get near a stage or recording studio will always be jealous of what you did actually achieve. And that applies to everybody associated with Odeon Beatclub.