Exposure: Julia and the Doogans
- Thomas Meek
- 30 September 2009
All timid, lovely folk pop, Julia and the Doogans are as blissful and beautiful as a band can be. Ever evolving, and embracing new sounds and instruments, this collective is united by the voice of Julia Doogan - both hopeful and heartbreaking when the mood calls for it, and always welcome. Currently playing the acoustic circuit across Scotland, chances are they're playing in a venue near you soon. So get going. Here's some words from Jula for encouragement.
What’s the back story of Julia and the Doogans? Who are the Doogans and how did you get together?
Julia and the Doogans are:
Julia Doogan – Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Alan Daly – Vocals, Guitar
Ian Clyne – Bass
Carolann Mullin – Flute
Jennifer Hamilton – Piano
Renata Pilikinaite – Cello
Tadas Labudis - Drums
I did three years of music at college and in my last year I started to play lots of different instruments and become really creative. At the time a lecturer came up with the name Julia and the Doogans for a band I was in at the time and the name became associated with me. After college I started a new band with the same name and asked Alan and Carolann to join.Renata joined after I read online that she had just moved to Glasgow and was looking for a string quartet to play with. I thought I’d see if she was up for joining a band instead and she then introduced Tadas to the band. Both Ian and Jennifer joined a short while after. We are odd in the sense that we don’t have a concrete line up – if we write a song that we think is perfect for an instrument none of us play we are open to having other musicians come on board here and there.
When did music become an important part of your lives?
Music is something that was interesting to all of us and something each of us were introduced to and explored at different stages of our lives. It’s something that generally is seen as more of a hobby and was something most of us got to experience when we were at school. I think after school you have to make a decision as to what to do with your life. Generally, creating music isn’t seen as an ideal career path but it’s something that was important to me to pursue. Luckily I bumped into the rest of the band along the way and realised there are people out there who love it as much as me and would like to go somewhere with it.
It’s a very beautiful, natural folk sound you have. Is that what you were listening to when you were growing up?
To be honest it wasn’t something I think any of us were that into when growing up whatsoever. Classical pieces were more a factor for Renata (cello) and Carolann (flute) as they’ve been playing for years. But as for the majority of us, it is definitely a style of music that we have learnt to appreciate more as we got together and realised that without trying to contrive and force a sound, we tend to always come up with something quite natural. I love pop music and pop melodies but love the organic sound that you get with folk music so it has become a sort of combination of the two.
Two of the Doogans are originally from Lithuania. Is there an Eastern European element creeping into your music?
Unfortunately no, I think if it were to creep in we would be all for it. There is still time for that though!
And you’re based in Glasgow. Is it a city you love?
We are all based in and around Glasgow and it definitely is a city that we all love. It sometimes can get quite negative press but I think anyone who is from here or spends time here falls in love with it. It’s quirky and full of personality. I think our song “Glasgow” sums it up pretty well. It’s a great place to be.
How is the folk scene in the city?
It’s fantastic. We are certainly more main stream and leaning towards the pop end of the spectrum but folk music is a term that can be applied to most music. I think the music scene in Glasgow is great; it’s a good place for a new band like us starting out to be. There’s bands playing every night and some of the best new bands are from here and after a while you all get to know one another. There’s an audience for whatever kind of music you do in Glasgow.
What about physical releases? Are there plans for albums/EPs at all?
Just now we are concentrating on playing more live shows and writing more songs. I think there are plans to release something next year but for now, it’s about getting out there, enjoying the shows and being creative.
Why should people listen to Julia and the Doogans?
Because it’s light hearted and might cheer you up on a dull day!
Julia and the Doogans play Captain's Rest, Glasgow on 12 Oct; King Tut's, Glasgow on 2 Nov, and Liquid Ship, Glasgow on 5 Nov.