The Phantom Band take The Wants on UK tour

The Phantom Band take The Wants on UK tour

Glasgow Krautrock/alt.folk splicers play Glasgow Oran Mor show

Glasgow Krautrock/alt.folk splicers The Phantom Band have arguably bettered their 2009 end of year lists-scaling debut Checkmate Savage with their sophomore set The Wants, which is among the most critically-acclaimed albums of 2010 according to review aggregator websites. The List caught up with them during their first American sojourn, supporting Frightened Rabbit. ‘We played Detroit last night and the crowd was great,’ reports guitarist Duncan Marquiss down a crackly phone line from a diner in Chicago. ‘The city as well, it was like the set of 28 Days Later or something.’

A slippery, experimental masterpiece, The Wants’ sonic unpredictability may have something to do with the band effectively piecing together the songs blind in the studio. ‘A lot of Checkmate Savage was written over a few years and refined live,’ explains Marquiss. ‘This album, we went into the studio with just a few ideas, then fleshed them out and changed them as we went. We were only hearing full songs for the first time during the final mix.’

Marquiss concedes that there’s ‘no way we’d be here’ without the support of Chemikal Underground. They must be glad to be repaying their label’s faith in them? ‘Anything we can give back I hope we are, because they’ve done a lot for us and for a lot of musicians.’ He parries the suggestion that The Phantom Band may even represent the label’s biggest triumph since Aereogramme or even Arab Strap. ‘I’m very reticent to say that we’ve been a success where other Chemikal bands haven’t,’ he responds, cautiously. ‘I don’t want to tempt fate.’

Oran Mor, Glasgow, Sun 21 Nov

The Phantom Band

Glasgow's compelling Krautfolk ensemble.

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