Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My Chemikal romance

As we explored in Episode 2 of Sounding Bored, Glasgow has an extremely rich musical heritage. That heritage is underlined by Niall McCann's recent documentary Lost In France, which serves as a portrait of the Chemikal Underground label and its associated artists - and which I've recently reviewed for Buzz. If the film at times inflates the importance of the trip, the label and those on it, it's excusable - and it'd be worth watching even if only to hear Mogwai's signature song 'Mogwai Fear Satan' at fearsome volume in an auditorium and to see the word "bawbags" written in enormous capital letters across a cinema screen.

Set up by the Delgados to release their debut single 'Monica Webster', though always with the intention of putting out the work of other artists too, Chemikal Underground celebrated its 21st birthday last year. To mark the occasion, the Daily Record invited Stewart Henderson to name his 21 favourite records to have been released on the label. Unsurprisingly, Bis' 'Kandy Pop', Arab Strap's The Week Never Starts Round Here and Mogwai's Young Team all feature, having been instrumental in the fledgling outfit finding its feet, but there are also mentions for And The Surrounding Mountains by the Radar Brothers (who hailed from the US rather than Glasgow), Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat's collaboration Everything's Getting Older, the Delgados' own Mercury-nominated The Great Eastern and the 2007 compilation Ballads Of The Book, the brainchild of Idlewild's Roddy Woomble, which brought Scottish musicians and literary heavyweights together for some fruitful collaborations.

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