Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Scottish BAMS Awards 2011

I'm posting this with a slight sense of smug satisfaction, which is probably more down to luck than any genuine music critiquing skill on my part. Lloyd 'Peenko' Meredith compiled his third annual Scottish BAMS Awards (Scottish Blogger And Music Site Awards) totting up votes from 47 of us music type people across the country.

After posting my Top 30 International Albums and my Best Scottish Albums (here and here) the more observant of you will noticed that my top two Scottish albums (The Moth And The Mirror and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat) are both in the BAMS top 10.

So without further ado, here's the list in full, plus a lovely interview with Messrs Wells and Moffat.

=8 - The Moth And The Mirror - Honestly, This World

=8 - PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

=8 - FOUND - factorycraft

=6 - Conquering Animal Sound - Kammperspiel

=6 - The Son(s) - The Son(s)

5 - King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine

=3 - Mike Nesbit - Vagrant

=3 - Bon Iver - Bon Iver

2 - Adam Stafford - Build A Harbour Immediately

1 - Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - Everything's Getting Older

Congratulations Bill and Aidan, you are this years' winners of the Scottish BAMS award, how do you feel? Does this rate as a career highlight then?

Aidan - I think it might be the first award I've ever been presented with, with the exception of the joint 4th Year English Prize at Falkirk High in 1989, so it's very exciting indeed. Not sure about a career highlight – that accolade is always reserved for the work itself, and Everything's Getting Older is certainly one of my favourites, yes.

Bill - Feels good - though when it dawned on me, obviously quite some time ago, that awards are only ever decided upon by other people, not by some almighty, all knowing, arbiter of taste and quality looking down from the clouds, I thought it always best to never get too excited about any of them coming my way, not that there's been much occasion to, right enough.

How did you end up collaborating together in the first place?

Aidan - Bill says we found ourselves at the same table in a pub and I immediately asked him to play on some Arab Strap songs. I have no recollection of this at all, but at the time I was very much in love with his Also In White album so I've no reason to doubt him. After he played on the Monday At The Hug And Pint album, we did one song together and then took years to book a studio to do some more. We always seemed to have other things to do, but I'm glad we waited because I can't imagine the album any other way. It would've had an entirely different theme and tone if we'd finished it in 2005, and I really don't think it would have been as good from my side.

Bill - Indeed this is what happened - I was very surprised and flattered actually because although I was a huge Arab Strap fan, and though we were all from Falkirk, or, more likely, because, it never occurred to me that we'd ever all be in a studio together, so it did, for me at least, even at the time, feel like quite an occasion, and looking back, even more so now.

I am guessing that you've spent a lot of time in each others' pockets this year; has this bonded your love for each other, or are you sick of the sight of each other?

Aidan - We haven't really spent that much time together at all, to be honest. We haven't done a lot of touring, although what we did do was quite hard work. There's more gigs being planned for next year, so hopefully we'll have more to do, but it's not as though we're a young rock band out on the road and in the NME every week, there's not a lot of fuss or constant attention to deal with; there's been a minimum of upheaval, thankfully.

Bill - Yeh, sorry, you're guessing wrong.

If the love is still there, are there any plans to work together again in the future?

Aidan - We've just started talking about our second album now, so it will happen but we're not sure when. Certainly not next year, we've both got a couple of albums each planned for 2012, so we might try and have it ready for 2013. There's no rush though, it'll be ready when it's ready; the last thing i want to do is dive into it and force it out, that's why a lot of second albums these days are a bit shit. Bands and labels are desperate to hold onto any momentum and profile a new band has, but we're lucky in that respect because we're not really a new, young band; we've both been making records for ages and there's no pressure on us at all. So 2014 at the earliest!

Bill - Just to add that I'm really looking forward to this, the musical ideas for first album were pretty much all on one cdr I gave Aidan ages ago, then the EP happened pretty quickly this year so, personally, I'm more hopeful for the 2013 result but, whatever and whenever, it'll be great to get working together in the studio again.

Seeing as we are on the subject of albums of the year, what have been your personal favourites of 2012?

Aidan - I would've said Slow Club's Paradise a couple of weeks ago (which I still love) but it's been pipped at the post by the last-minute release of Josh T. Pearson's limited live LP, The King Is Dead, which I think is far superior to his studio album. There's been a lot of very good music this year though, but my memory can never work when it's put on the spot, sorry!

Bill - I look at these end of year lists and realize I haven't heard so many of these records, so it feels like a very uninformed opinion. The last time I was asked I said the re - release of Annette Peacock's 'I'm The One' which is truly one of the greatest records ever made. However after writing that I realized that "That's Reality' by Yumbo, which is Koji Shibuya's (bass player in Maher Shalal Hash Baz) Pop masterpiece, came out in Japan in early 2011.

A huge thanks to Lloyd for including my somewhat dodgy opinions in his poll, and do check out Peenko on a regular basis.

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