SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #266: THE REINDEER SECTION

From last fm:

The Reindeer Section was a Scottish indie rock supergroup formed in Glasgow in 2001 by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, which released albums and gigged in 2001 and 2002. The Reindeer Section grouping was somewhat ad hoc, and so it is uncertain if more will be heard from them. While currently considered defunct, in a 2006 interview with “Times Online” Gary Lightbody did not rule out making a future album,

The Reindeer Section arose – according to Lightbody – out of a chance get-together of musicians at a Lou Barlow gig in Glasgow in 2001, at which Lightbody drunkenly laid down the challenge to others to “make an album together”, to which everyone said “yeah yeah”. Lightbody “went home and next day wrote the album” and later convinced Johnny Davies of Bright Star Recordings to fund a recording session and release the proposed album. The group met over three days of rehearsal and ten days of recording to produce the first album. The album, Y’All Get Scared Now, Ya Hear! was released with a mini tour, the first venue of which was Belfast’s The Limelight venue.

A second album, Son of Evil Reindeer was released ten months after the critical acclaim of the first, with a slightly different line-up. The single, You Are My Joy appeared on US show, Grey’s Anatomy, and on fourth season of US TV series Queer as Folk. The song Cartwheels appeared on “The Second Chance”, an episode of The O.C.. The band’s most recent gig was on 14 December 2002 at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow. The project has never officially split up, but from that time it has been considered in a hiatus.

Artists who contributed to the project so far are::-

From Alfie: Ben Dumville, Lee Gorton and Sam Morris
From Arab Strap: Colin Macpherson, Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat
From Astrid: William Campbell, Charlie Clarke, Neil Payne and Gareth Russell
From Belle & Sebastian: Richard Colburn, Mick Cooke and Bob Kildea
From Cadet: Iain Archer
From Eva: Jenny Reeve and Sarah Roberts
From Idlewild: Roddy Woomble
From Mogwai: John Cummings
From Mull Historical Society: Colin MacIntyre
From Snow Patrol: Gary Lightbody, Mark McClelland and Jonny Quinn
From Teenage Fanclub: Norman Blake
From The Vaselines: Eugene Kelly
and Michael Bannister, Roy Kerr, Paul Fox, Marcus Mackay, Gill Mills and Stacie Sievewright.

My own thoughts are that the project, as a whole, never got close to matching the sum of its parts.  Here’s the closing track of the Son of Evil Reindeer album, with Aidan Moffat on lead vocal:-

mp3: The Reindeer Section – Whodunnit?

It’s a strange one in that while it sort of sounds like a mid-tempo Arab Strap song, it’s not Malcolm Middleton on guitar (although he played on two other songs on the album);  nor were the lyrics penned by Aidan Moffat.  It really does lack a certain chemistry, and that’s the way I feel about the rest of the album.

JC

3 thoughts on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #266: THE REINDEER SECTION

  1. I thought the 2nd lp was a big step up on the first and I still play it quite a bit . Thought the songs flowed and the whole thing has a relaxed melancholic feel

  2. An album I haven’t thought about for a good few years, but was pretty hooked on for a while in the early noughties. Must dig it out now for a proper spin.

  3. I’ve only heard a few songs by The Reindeer Section, they’re all from Son Of Evil Reindeer and none of them moved me enough to explore further. This is another example, good song, but you’re right in that it feels like an almost-but-not-quite Arab Strap outtake.

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