- Ryan Drever
- 17 March 2009
Haight-Ashbury: Freeman Town
Channelling the musicality and psychedelic nature of the late-sixties, along with a healthy dose of grungy noise and shimmering harmonies, Glasgow trio Haight-Ashbury - named after the district of San Francisco most commonly revered as the epicentre of the hippy movement - make for an unusual sight when compared to the bulk of the city's music scene. As the band continue to spread their good vibes across their native city, here's guitarist Scott Reid with the basics on Haight-Ashbury's story thus far.
So, how did Haight-Ashbury come together?
Jennifer (Thompson, vocals/drums) and Kirsty (Reid, vocals/bass) were previously in a signed band called Acoustic Love Experience. To help with their live sets I started to play guitar for them. Gradually their sound started to change though, and it was clear we wanted to go in a different direction, so they split up and then we started Haight-Ashbury. Myself and Kirsty are brother and sister, and Jennifer and Kirsty have known each other since they were tiny, so we all go way back - It was a pretty natural progression.
There is a fairly bold psychedelic element to your music, is this something you're all into?
The psychedelic vibe started to come from a few long songs that we had, then it started to gradually become our thing. Its nice to avoid the classic song structures and mix it up. People seem to become more interested at our live shows through it.
What are your collective influences?
Our influences all surround either harmony based vocals or bluesy, riffy guitars. Vocal wise we're mainly coming from CSNY and Stealers Wheel. For the guitar it's mainly coming from a guy called Chris Whitley who's fairly unknown, but a big favourite of ours.
What was the first song you wrote together?
We've worked with Steven, a writer/producer, from the start, as a fourth member. I think our first song was 'Freelove', but it doesn't make the set nowadays, although it should! It made the late sixties vibe quite obvious which was good.
What would say has been your favourite gig so far?
One of the first shows we did was supporting The Waterboys at the Barrowlands. That was brilliant for us because we'd been to the venue as fans so often and had barely even started. But since then it would have to be T in the Park last year. Our live set up had changed a lot and progressed since we started and it was nice to get a chance to play our set at that level.
Haight-Ashbury play Nice 'n' Sleazy on the 29th March