Kid Canaveral formed in St Andrews, Scotland, in 2005. The original line-up consisted of: David MacGregor (originally from Glasgow, Scotland) on guitar and vocals; Kate Lazda (from Wokingham, England) on guitar and vocals; Rose McConnachie (also from Glasgow, Scotland) on vocals and bass guitar; and Dan Sheehy (from Bangor, Northern Ireland) on drums. The band played their first gig supporting King Creosote and The Pictish Trail in St Andrews. The band relocated to Edinburgh in 2006 in order to be able to play a greater number of gigs, and for the opportunity to play to a wider audience. In order to release their own records David and Kate set up Straight to Video Records and between 2007 and 2010 put out four 7″ singles (Smash Hits, Couldn’t Dance, Second Time Around and I Don’t Have The Heart For This), two cassette singles (Left and Right E.P. and You Only Went Out to Get Drunk Last Night) and their debut album.
Original drummer Dan Sheehy left the band after the release of their fourth single in December 2008, to be replaced by Clarke Geddes (from Cupar, Scotland). Clarke parted company with the band to move to Switzerland in June 2009 after the initial sessions for the band’s first album. Scott McMaster (from Girvan, Scotland) was announced as his replacement shortly afterwards.
Their debut album Shouting At Wildlife was released in July 2010, gaining all sorts of deserved positive reviews, accompanied by hugely entertaining live shows, all of the band land a contract with Fence Records in early 2011.
The following year saw the release of follow-up album, Now That You Are A Dancer, which again received rave review and in due course made the long-list for Scottish Album of The Year. In a perfect world, it would have catapulted the band to international stardom, but they had to make-do with cult status outside of home where their shows, especially in Glasgow and Edinburgh, sold out almost immediately and the new songs were aired very regularly on BBC Radio Scotland.
It took until 2016 before the band’s third LP, Faulty Inner Dialogue came out, by which time they had expanded to a five-piece with Michael Craig joining on keyboards. As with the previous two records, much critical acclaim, more fantastic live performances and an annoying lack of sales outside of Scotland.
It’s from that album that today’s song is lifted. It was wonderfully described by a reviewer over at Drowned In Sound:-
Faulty Inner Dialogue has yielded one of indie rock’s songs of the year. Bitingly funny and scintillatingly smart, ‘First We Take Dumbarton’ does what few songs can: distils our contemporary culture – and woeful lack thereof – into four minutes of pulsating, palm-muted thrum and scree. Continuing a headstrong, very Scottish, freewheeling tradition, it shows the paranoid, pointless, parlous state we’re in while still managing to be uplifting.
Click here if you don’t know anything about Dumbarton.
The band are currently on something of a hiatus just now, but lead singer David McGregor, performing as Broken Chanter, has just released an absolute belter of a solo album, the launch show of which was last night in Glasgow.
I really must get round to doing an ICA for Kid Canaveral, or else try and persuade Mike over at Manic Pop Thrills to submit one….he has long been one of the band’s biggest fans, probably seeing them live more than anyone else on the planet and putting his money where his mouth is by promoting live shows.