This week’s offering has involved a bit of detective work behind the scenes and hopefully, it all makes sense.

I’ve one song by Ostle Bay in the collection, and it came from its inclusion on one of three CDs sent to be a number of years ago by Phil Hogarth, a friend of the blog going back many years.  Indeed, there’s every chance during the next down period when/if I manage to get away on holiday that three of the days will be devoted to Phil’s 3 x CDs as they came packed with great tunes, many from singers and bands that were totally new to me.

I had an idea that Ostle Bay might be Scottish as the name is taken from a picturesque but fairly remote part of the country called Ostel Bay on the west side where the mainland and the isles seem to almost merge as one.  But trying to find out info on the band was a tough job until I eventually spotted there was a connection with The Trash Can Sinatras which led me to see if the excellent Five Hungry Joes website could help…and it did!!

Discogs was my initial port of call where I learned that Ostle Bay released one album, Love From Ostle Bay, on Play Records in 2002.  The first four singles on Play were the work of Johnson, described on Discogs as a British indie rock band who recorded at Shabby Road Studios. This latter snippet was invaluable as that was where Trash Can Sinatras did all their early work in Kilmarnock, a town some 25 minutes drive nowadays south-west of Glasgow.

Five Hungry Joes threw up this info:-

Johnson…were a moody sounding Nick Cave/Scott Walker-esque 5-piece fronted by Peter Rose – co-engineer on ‘Cake’ and also the main man behind ‘Ostle Bay’, a collaboration with TCS.

The first of their singles, ‘Tripping With The Moonlight’ was a limited 7-inch release of around 500 copies and was recorded and produced by Frank Reader at Shabby Road Studios in Kilmarnock.

The second single, ‘Savoury Body Show’ featured Stephen Douglas on drums and backing vocals. Limited to 500 copies this 7-inch release again, was recorded and produced by Frank Reader at Shabby Road…

Third single ‘Skin & Gold’ was again limited to 500 copies and features Stephen Douglas on drums. ‘Skin & Gold’ was recorded and produced by Frank Reader, whilst the B-side ‘Paradise’ was recorded by John Douglas, both at Shabby Road.

Love From Ostle Bay is the work of Peter Rose.

Peter Rose was co-engineer on the ‘Cake’ album and also fronted the band ‘Johnson’.

John, Paul and Stephen play on this album, as does Grant Wilson and ‘In The Music’ collaborator and long time associate, Jody Stoddart.

So basically, Ostle Bay was a talented sound engineer on vocals, backed by three of the four musicians who made up Trash Can Sinatras;  but from what I can gather, the album was recorded in Glasgow and not at Shabby Road.

I also found a singular on-line review of the album

“this is rather lovely – occasionally it wavers too close to “smooth AOR”/ bad kitchenware circa 1988 rip off territory, but then it suddenly sort of… clicks together and you realise that it’s actually far closer to something like edwyn collins/ animals that swim territory. some of the time. other bits still just pleasantly, boringly waft by in a sort of forgettable mug of scottish niceness but those *other* bits can be really strikingly lovely”

The song offered up by Phil was Track 2 on the album:-

mp3: Ostle Bay – Dusting The Sun

Over to anyone out there who can fill in the blanks.


3 thoughts on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #230 : OSTLE BAY

  1. I can’t help at all with filling in the blanks, but thanks for highlighting the song and band. The harmonica teasingly reminds me of Lloyd Cole & The Commotions’ “Perfect Blue” but doesn’t quite go there. A lovely song for a Sunday morning (I know, I’m a day late!)

  2. Would love to have Peter Rose’s contact details , i called him in the late 90’s and he sent me another 7 inches & postcards from Johnson ! With love from Belgium ,regards Frank

  3. Hi Frank

    Sorry that I can’t help with this one. The Shabby Road Studios in Kilmarnock might have been able to help, if not for the fact they closed down many years ago.

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