The traffic to the blog slows up over the Festive period, and it’s therefore something of an opportunity to take a bit of a breather.

Over a period of 26 days, I’ll be posting a single never previously featured on its own before – it might have sneaked in as part of an ICA or within a piece looking at various tracks – with the idea of an edited cut’n’paste from somewhere (most likely wiki) and then all the songs from either the vinyl or CD.

Z is for Zorbing released by Stornoway as a single in July 2009

It really is incredible how quickly the way music is consumed these days.  Back in 2009, streaming didn’t exist, but there were a proliferation of websites and mediums through which unsigned bands could look to grab someone’s attention.

Stornoway had a brand of indie folk that was quite fashionable towards the end of the first decade of the 21st Century.  Two of its members – Brian Briggs (vocals, guitar), and Jon Ouin (bass) had met as students at Oxford University, and in due course they would be joined by brothers Oli and Rob Steadman on bass and drums, respectively.  Their debut single, as you can see from the picture at the top of the posting, was self-released with the contact info being via myspace and an e-mail address.

mp3: Stornoway – Zorbing
mp3: Stornoway – On The Rocks

In this instance, it worked. Stornoway came to the attention of a DJ at the local BBC radio station in Oxford, and from there things kind of snowballed, and by January 2010 they had signed a deal with 4AD Records who would release the debut album Beachcomber’s Windowsill in May 2010. The album was basically self-produced by the band and the record label was happy enough not to insist on the songs going through some sort of slick re-recording process.

The debut album did reasonable well in reaching #14. Zorbing was re-released by 4AD in June 2010, but it barely dented the charts at #74. It proved, however, to be the only single by Stornoway to breach the Top 75, but then again, such was the state of the music industry throughout the 2010s that the sales of physical singles were becoming increasingly irrelevant.

The band stuck around till 2016, releasing two more albums, Tales From Terra Firma (2013) and Bonxie (2015).

And with that, this extended break for the blog comes to its end. Tomorrow will see the return of the long-running Scottish songs series, while Mark E Smith and pals are back on Sunday, before things get back to full normality on Monday. There’s even some ICAs coming down the pipeline.