Glasgow quartet Errors embark on UK tour
Explorers of the sonically literate instrumental - Errors interview
With a celebrated new album, a UK tour with The Twilight Sad and now a headline slot at The List’s 25th birthday party, the future looks bright for Errors. They might even have a go at singing, as David Pollock discovers
‘When a taxi driver asks us what kind of music we play,’ says Errors’ Stephen ‘Steev’ Livingstone, ‘it’s pretty hard to describe.’ The instrumental Glasgow quartet are certainly versatile, having been talked up in Mixmag for their dancefloor-friendly beats, given kudos by NME for their guitar-pop savvy and adopted not long after they formed in 2004 by Rock Action, the label belonging to those fellow explorers of the sonically literate instrumental Mogwai.
Their second album Come Down With Me (after 2008’s It’s Not Something But it is Like Whatever and the 2006 mini-album How Clean is Your Acid House?) came out earlier this year, and the band consider it their best work yet. ‘If you’re in a studio where you’re spending a fortune a day, you rush things,’ says the band’s Simon Ward, ‘and I don’t think you’d ever come out of that situation totally happy. But we like to be totally involved in our own recording and production, and having our own studio for this album meant we were able to take a lot more time over it.’
Although demo sessions for the next album are already underway, the band don’t have much free time right now. Keyboard player Livingstone, laptop operator Ward, guitarist Greg Paterson and drummer James Hamilton (who all ‘swap round and play each other’s instruments badly’ during shows) will be midway through a tour with fellow Scots The Twilight Sad at time of going to press, their headline appearance at The List’s 25th Birthday Party will be their only Glasgow date for the remainder of the year and the triumphantly named remix album Celebrity Come Down With Me will be released shortly after.
‘We were really pleased with the response from the artists we asked to contribute to it,’ says Livingstone of CCDWM, citing people like Dam Mantle, Gold Panda, Moon Unit and Mogwai themselves. ‘We enjoyed the process too, because it was Simon and I who were getting in touch with the remixers. I was speaking to Ceephax Acid Crew (Essex’s Andy Jenkinson, brother of Tom, aka Squarepusher), who was a big influence on us when we started out. He told me how his computer had packed in and he had to buy a thirty pound PC off the internet and sit up all night drinking tea so he could finish the remix. It became a bit of an insight into the ramshackle lives of all these people we’d been inspired by.’
Remixes also inspired the forthcoming co-headline tour with The Twilight Sad. The latter have reworked Errors’ ‘Bridge or Cloud’ for the vinyl version of CCDWM, while Errors created a new version of ‘Reflection of the Television’ for Twilight Sad’s recent ‘The Wrong Car’ EP – the plan is to play it during these shows with The Sad’s James Graham guesting on vocals. ‘They’re obviously more of a guitar based band than us,’ says Livingstone, ‘but what they do is interesting in that their guitars often sound like synthesisers, kind of like what My Bloody Valentine used to do.’
As to what the future holds, Errors have their eyes on South By South West next year and possibly a longer US jaunt. Ward also muses over the possibility of using vocals on the next album. ‘We’re none of us good singers,’ he says, ‘so maybe we could get guest vocalists in. Then again it would be hard to tour that live, but even if it was only a recorded project it would be something new to try.’
Errors play the Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Tue 12 Oct (with The Twilight Sad) and The List’s 25th Birthday Party at The Arches, Glasgow, Fri 22 Oct. Celebrity Come Down With Me is released in Nov.
Also appearing at The List: 25 years
We’ve invited a few buddies to take part in The List: 25 Years. Here are just a few of the performers and collaborators who’ll be making the event magnificent
Human Don’t Be Angry
Malcolm Middleton recently debuted his spellbinding solo project at Fence’s Away Game festival, and The List has been hooked on Malc’s newly obtuse, noodling guitar work ever since. He has commented that it’s difficult to avoid doing a slow head-shake like Knopfler on those suspended guitar notes. www.malcolmmiddleton.co.uk
Kris Wasabi’s club night is a regular fixture at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh, giving the capital a monthly shot of weekend electro-disco. Kris cut his teeth DJ-ing with electronic outfit xvectors and DJ duo Optimo, and is expected to showcase his expertly eclectic style. www.myspace.com/wasabidiscoclub
Come on Gang!
Since drummer/singer Sarah Tanat-Jones appeared beaming on our cover back in February we’ve been firmly fixated CoG! fans, and were particularly buoyed by the recent release of their excellent ‘Fortune Favours the Brave’ single. www.comeongang.co.uk
Graeme Ronald, who records as Remember Remember, released his self-titled debut album in 2008 – a tremendously lovely mix of looping samples and twinkling instrumentation. New EP ‘RR Scorpii’ is released on Rock Action, 1 Nov. The EP launch party is at Stereo, Glasgow on Fri 5 Nov and will feature a newly formed seven-piece band. He plays solo for us. www.myspace.com/rememberremember
Not since Extreme slapped their way through ‘More Than Words’ have a guitar’s percussive abilities been more ably demonstrated. Glasgow’s Hubbert – guitar virtuoso, bleak-banter peddler, creator of the ‘will play for food’ scheme – captured our hearts with his fancy fretwork on debut LP First & Last.