SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #315: SPARROW AND THE WORKSHOP

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A mix of wiki and my own words….

Sparrow and the Workshop were an indie three-piece based in Glasgow, consisting of the Belfast-born, Chicago-raised Jill O’Sullivan (vocals, acoustic guitar), Welshman Nick Packer (guitar, bass) and Scotsman Gregor Donaldson (drums, vocals). The band’s debut album Crystals Fall was released by Distiller Records in 2010 to critical acclaim, with the likes of Drowned in Sound and Clash Magazine awarding the album 9/10. The band was notable for their use of harmonies and bastardized instruments/FX pedals, and they have been compared to bands as varied as Jefferson Airplane, Talking Heads and Black Sabbath.

Sparrow formed in early 2008 and soon after caught the attention of Distiller Records, who offered to put out a single and EP for them in 2009. They have toured with many bands including British Sea Power, Idlewild, Broken Records, Sivert Hoyem (ex-Madrugada) and supported the likes of The Lemonheads and Thee Oh Sees.

In April 2011 the band released their second album, Spitting Daggers, which was again well received with Drowned in Sound and the BBC giving the album 8/10 and 7.5 respectively.

On 6 January 2013, the Scottish blog and label Song, by Toad Records announced it will be releasing Sparrow’s upcoming single, Shock Shock, and in due course would also release the third album, Murderopolis in May 2013.

The band took an announced break after the third album, but there hasn’t, as yet, been any reformation.  Jill O’Sullivan, however, has been ridiculously busy in recent times, playing and performing with a number of Scottish acts as well as recording, as Jill Lorean, an EP, Not Your First, which was released in 2020 just as the pandemic took hold, and an album This Rock, which came out earlier this year and has proven to be one of my favourite releases of 2022.  I’ll get round to writing about it, and many other new records, at some point, but I do prefer to keep TVV mainly as a place for nostalgia rather than contemporary music.

Here’s a couple of songs

mp3: Sparrow and The Workshop – Snakes In The Grass
mp3: Sparrow and The Workshop – Shock Shock

The former is from the 2011 album Spitting Daggers, while the latter was the band’s single from 2013.

JC

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