12 May 2010

Community Service #9 - Detour Scotland

I can pretend all I want that I am making a difference to the Scottish music scene, but then sitting behind the anonymity of a computer screen only does so much. Thankfully though there are amazing folk like Detour Scotland out there making a difference (whilst also putting me to shame). If you haven't come across Detour Scotland before then you are in for a bit of a treat, to simplify it they are out there putting on live events, filming/kidnapping bands in strange places, broadcasting their own podcasts, plus a whole host of other amazing stuff. Basically they are out there doing the kind of things that I am sure many of us daydream about doing. These guys are giving the Scottish music scene a much needed kick up the arse with their innovative approach to everything they do. I am still gutted I missed out on the night they hired a stripper to gyrate along with the bands,,,,,,,,,,,,,

In your own words describe what Detour Scotland is...

Ally - Ahahaaaa well. We set out with the heart of the matter being the Podcast, a radio-shaped, adventure in Scottish music with myself and my partner in crime Weaver, aiming to promote, and really get to know the people behind the music we really like, in different, fucked-up and hopefully entertaining ways. Complimenting that we wanted to get as much video content from the features in the show online as possible, thanks to our super talented friends. Thirdly, to celebrate each months podcast we wanted to great a live night, that was more than a gig, but something for folks to come down to and not for a single band, or act, but the night to be live a twisted version of a live floor show, Jools Holland style, with surprises, guests, new ways to watch bands in the tiny but brilliant Bar Bloc+ a showcase for everything that we did in that months podcast. We're at month 7 now and we're at a real turning point. We've tried a lot of things, met a lot of brilliant folks and we're now making a lot of decisions about the direction we're heading in and have just about formulated some real plans.

Weaver - I would be far more succinct and say that Detour is just 'utter, utter, chaotic, loud madness, fueled by sheer enthusiasm.

Please introduce the Detour team...

Ally - Quite literally it is a cast of thousands, Detour would be nothing without the people and friends that get involved and excited about it. We can't thank them enough. There is a core team, which is where the talent lies in Detour! Ben Cowie and Joe Merrick are our main camera/editors/graphics wizards, who are tireless in their efforts and patience, Joe also designed our site and also drives us around. The drivers of vans and cars Euan Robertson (who also takes lots of lovely pics) and Fraser Swain, our brilliant pals Malky B and Sharon Stephens bestowing some wisdom on us. Scott Cassidy records and mixes all our live sound for our videos, occasionally with the help of Bruce Rintol fae LoFi studios, Scott has managed somehow, to record the equivalent of a full live studio sound.... on location for our Kidnaps, from the snow of the borders to 105m in the air at the top of the Glasgow Science centre tower... He is amazing. They all are. We are all recent graduates, or just setting out in our careers, and all gain some amount of experience through Detour, but there is something inherent in everyone that gets involved, a desire, which is magic, to be part of a real team effort. We've recently enlisted the help of Rich Preston, an old pal who now works for aunty Beeb and Crag Carrick manager from Bloc, who are two very talented and wise lads who are helping us with the Podcast, where there are big changes and plans afoot....
Weaver - The list goes on and on, it is humbling the help we get offered; everyone from ex-girlfriends lost to the cause, parents putting us up, bands saying yes to our ideas, people coming to our gigs, looking around and thinking 'what the fuck is this?', leaving with a massive smile on their face then coming back every month - that's the Detour team.

What was it that motivated you to start Detour?

Ally - A love of many things - music, friends, chaos, the people involved in Scottish music and the good times that can come from that, bankruptcy, the insatiable urge to make ridiculous ideas come to fruition, the idea of 'Shock and Awe' and shots of Balkan. Basically a desire to cause a party, bring people together and showcase the music we love and the adventures that takes us on.
Weaver - We started a radio show back when we were students on Air3 in Stirling, just because we knew how much good music there was in Scotland. We just wanted to play it to out mates once a week. We ended up getting bands in for sessions and gigs and making amazing friends - from The Xcerts, Twin Atlantic, Frightened Rabbit, very drunkenly at Belladrum and so many more - that once we left uni, we knew we had to keep doing something. Because a) we'd made so many friends and b) we had discovered so much good music that we just loved and wanted to get out there. Detour is just the natural progression from that. It's pretty much a reflection of us and our friends - passionate, chaotic, unfashionable and very drunken.

What would you say has been the best thing to happen since you started it?

Ally - we do this feature on the podcast and film it for online called 'The Kidnap', taking bands off to random locations to record a session, but nothing acoustic about it, Full band, backline, PA, generator, live recording set-up. For the fifth month we'd been all over the place, and fancied fucking with folk a bit so instead of kidnapping the band - we kidnapped the crowd at the live night at Bloc, set off the fire alarm midway through a set by Hey Enemy, they then led the crowd out, across the road and down a piss soaked alley - where we had a full backline set up, with lights and a camera crew. So there were 150 folks going mental, Hey Enemy echoing round the whole of Bath St. police drive up, do nothing, then the generator chokes out during the last song, cue delirium and everyone back into the pub for the next act. The videos online, it's a ripper. Aye, and the time we hired a stripper to dance onstage with Motherwell band 'The LaFonatanes' was no bad either…

Weaver - Argh, I'm going to sound like a soppy bastard here. Genuinely, the people I've met and become friends with, the bands that I've discovered and got into and seen and had the pleasure of putting on, the mad wee adventures we go on, and the general excitement it all adds to my life; it's impossible to identify ONE thing that's been better than the rest. Mind you, that stripper was briliant ahaha!

For you personally what artist/band has excited you most since you started?

Ally - Bronto fucking Skylift. They are where it all began. They complete us. All the bands have been champions and share a similar theme. They are the good sorts.

Weaver - One of the biggest things for me so far has been the fact, genuinely, every single band we have put on have been a band we personally love. From the folk brilliance of Kitty the Lion to the unbelievably passionate and heavy hardcore of Departures, these are people who we've not got because they've got a big following or because they're fashionable, but because they are bands we actually adore. I listen to them on my ipod, I got to as many gigs as possible - hard when you live in Inverness, but not impossible, and would just be massive fans of if we weren't involved in promoting. Having said that, one artist I am sooooooo happy to have finally go is Iain Morrison; I'd go so far to say he's the best Scottish songwriter out there right now. I've been a massive fan since he was in Poor Old Ben/Crash My Model Car, back when I was in school, and everything he's ever done is stunning. So to be having him to the next gig in Bloc is brilliant. He's going to make people cry. One of the most talented individuals this country has.

For all the folk out there that haven't heard one of your Podcast/been to one of your nights, then why should they give you a listen/come along?

It's election day so here's our manifesto! Get it up you Cameron. Detour Scotland is here to be your pal. Hosts Ally and Weaver bring the monthly podcast with our picks of Scottish music, from indie to folk to dubstep to metal. We create video and features to let you meet the bands and the people behind the music, in what we hope are not only unorthodox, but potential chatastrophic ways. Too much is bland, corporate and money orientated - we don't have any pennies or sponsors, we're not fashionable or part of any scene, we're just massively enthusiastic about the music we find and play. The bands and the people in Scotland put their lives and passion into their music and art, and sadly there may be no end product or record deal, or career to come out of that, so we want to make the journey the best part - there's a spark that we want you to get excited by it too. As for the live nights, words can't compute, find a video, picture or ask someone that's been doon....

Lastly, what can we expect to see/hear from Detour this year?

The rest of the year, we'll see, but we've got some pretty big plans for the summer. On the 30th of May we're holding a very special one-day event, basically a big day out in conjunction with Bar Bloc. 5 very, very good bands, 5 venues, all the punters walking between venues in unison - with a fairly large twist, we're keeping that and the acts under wraps, so you'll just have to get a ticket; it's free, details on our Facebook. 3 days after that - the 2nd June we are moving Detour to Glasgow's Buff Club for one night only, to host SONG OF RETURN and THERE WILL BE FIREWORKS, with some special guests and surprises, in what will double as us filming a pilot for our own TV show! Not to be missed. Then hitting Aberdeen and Edinburgh with Song of Return. Followed by GoNorth, Rockness and a couple more festivals during the summer - while always trying to improve the podcast and spread the word. Then we'll think about the rest of the year! No matter what, it will be involve bands that we love, with people we love. And with plenty of that alcohol that we love.

If that sounds like your boat, which is fecking well should, then get yourself down to Bloc in Glasgow tonight for the next instalment of the Detour live extravaganza.
They've got a belter of line up in store, including Midnight Lion, Iain Morrison and Carnivores. Their aim is to give you a night like no other, if their previous events are anything to go by, then I fully believe them.....



  1. Anonymous14/5/10

    Dtour 7 was boss. Carnivores ripped it, MARVIN destroyed it.


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