Vic Galloway: 'It's music for people of any age who fall in love with that visceral thrill of great pop music'

Vic Galloway: 'It's music for people of any age who fall in love with that visceral thrill of great pop music'

credit: Laura Meek

Having teamed up with Saleem Andrew McGroarty and 'Philly' Angelo Collins as CHECK MASSES, Galloway discusses the newly minted trio's origins and future plans

As origin stories go, bonding with your future bandmate while collaborating on an award-winning performance art piece on seminal retention and sexual energy at the Fringe is fairly left-field. But it was the 90s, after all, back when Vic Galloway was a musician about town and Saleem Andrew McGroarty was helming Scotland's first hip-hop club, the Big Payback. The pair have been friends ever since.

'Scotland's music scene is a relatively bijou affair at the best of times,' says Galloway. 'Edinburgh's even smaller. We all went to Café Graffiti and Lizard Lounge, all these clubs that would be a bit of a melting pot. You'd dance to funk and soul and jazz but you'd also hear hip-hop.

And I'm a rock'n'roller so I was going to see Nirvana at Calton Studios and playing in noisy bands, but I would still go and see hip-hop and dub and reggae because I've got an insatiable musical curiosity and I love to absorb all of the different kinds of music that I fall for.'

Since then, Galloway has forged a successful career as a radio DJ, presenter and champion of new music from Scotland and beyond but, like McGroarty, he has continued to make his own music. The pair have now hooked up with another old compadre, vocalist and songwriter 'Philly' Angelo Collins, as CHECK MASSES, pouring all those diverse influences and backgrounds into their sound.

The single 'Dripn Angel' is the first fruit of their collaboration, an indie blues incantation with stealthy low-slung rhythms, twanging guitar and gnarly vocals.

'There's a magic to that track. We just think it's a head turner,' says Galloway. 'We worked really hard on it but we kind of stumbled upon it as well. I suppose all bands say the same thing but I genuinely believe there is a real chemistry and synergy between the three of us.'

The newly minted trio – supported live by a rhythm section – already have an album in their back pocket for release later this year. In the meantime, there is a hometown single launch to throw their hat in the ring.

'I know how much music is being made, I know what the competition is like,' says Galloway. 'We wouldn't be putting this out unless we felt it was really strong. We're not trying to be pop stars, it's music for people of any age who fall in love with that visceral thrill of great pop music.'

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Fri 31 Jan. 'Dripn Angel' is out now on Triassic Tusk Records.

CHECK MASSES Single Launch

CHECK MASSES a new Leith based trio who mix up beats, psych, dub and soul across well-crafted, self-produced songs. Their LIVE debut as a 5-piece band was at the acclaimed FRESH PRODUCE night in a packed-out Sneaky Pete's in October 2019. They release their debut album NIGHTLIFE in May of 2020, with taster singles…