Family tree: Scotland's indie-pop scene

Featuring Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, BMX Bandits,The Vaselines, The Pastels and Franz Ferdinand. Mapping out the local music scene in Scotland, one sub-genre at a time

comments (10)
Family tree: Scotland's indie-pop scene

Scottish indie-pop scene-makers Belle and Sebastian continue to keep an active profile 18 years after their inception, with individual members (and former members) cropping up to perform DJ sets or solo engagements fairly frequently. They’re one of many Scottish acts with fingers in many musical pies, sharing their talents among various projects (Camera Obscura, Withered Hand, The Vaselines to name a few.) But do you ever find this musical bed-hopping hard to follow? As part of a new regular thing, we’re mapping out the local music scene, one sub-genre at a time, to show the cross-pollination and collaborations at work. We continue with the ever-morphing world of Scotland's twee-pop, C86 and melodic rock acts.

(NB: Space doesn’t allow this to be 100% comprehensive, but feel free to add your comments in the section below, about any omissions, personnel changes, web links, new side-projects etc. It's also worth noting that, due to their collaboration-friendly nature, some artists will also link in with other instalments in the Music Family Tree series, so you should check those out too.)


Post a comment
1. Ross Smith5 May 2014, 10:52am Report

Nice idea, but Duglas T Stewart did a better one. Biggest omissions for me would be Bobby Gillespie, Jim McCulloch, Sean Dickson, Sushil Dade, Joe McAlinden, Jim Reid, William Reid, Jim Beattie, Isobel Cambell and all their respective bands/acts. All of which have ties to those already listed in the family tree above.

2. Tim Footman5 May 2014, 11:30am Report

From Teenage Fanclub, Brendan O'Hare takes you to Mogwai, (collaboration with) Arab Strap and Telstar Ponies (which via Sushil Dade provides another line to BMX Bandits and also Soup Dragons and Future Pilot AKA). Do you want to see my collection of anoraks?

3. avatar 15 May 2014, 12:54pm Report

it is a very tiny tree as the author admits - very easy to construct something that encompasses the whole indie scene... the Vaselines easily link to Chemikal Underground via family and production connections (Paul Savage); Franz drag back into the 90s via the Yummy Fur, one of Withered Hand plays in the Second Hand Marching Band which itself links to many of today's underground acts, and the drummer Alun Thomas has worked with The Leg amongst others taking you to Dawn of the Replicants. Gavin from camera Obscura has drummed for and produced a load of bands which encompass everyone from the Hector Collectors to Danananaykroyd while the Bandits link into the Pearlfishers and if memory serves, St Deluxe (which via another family connection leads you to 70s pub act Sneeky Pete!)
I could go on...

4. Ronnie Borland5 May 2014, 1:01pm Report

I think that this family tree is just another reflection of the manner in which the Scottish 'indie scene' became a 'members only club' with little attention paid to those who didn't fit with the cliques.

5. Richard Bond5 May 2014, 1:20pm Report

Aren't we all 6 degrees from everything?

6. Charlie Friel5 May 2014, 2:21pm Report

No mention of The Reindeer Section which included Colin McIntyre, some B & S to name but a few.

7. BaronessHeather5 May 2014, 4:03pm Report

I know it's "not comprehensive," but no Arab Strap? The Reindeer Section also seems a pretty glaring omission, since it should basically be at the center of the chart with everything else leading to it someway or another.

8. Nancy Montalvo5 May 2014, 5:14pm Report

Amazing! I love indie scene.

9. Stewart Smith10 May 2014, 1:11pm Report

It would be nice to do more historical family trees, tracing the roots back to the '80s, but you'd need a book for that, or at least a very large piece of paper. As we only have half a magazine page and limited time we decided to restrict these to active bands (hence no Arab Strap, Yummy Fur, Reindeer Selection etc), in order to show the collaborations and cross-fertilisation that's going on now. And even then, we don't have space for everything. As noted above this is one of a series, so check out the other ones.

10. Malcolm Jack14 May 2014, 5:29pm Report

Nice to see lots of interest in this piece, and lots of comments, it was fun to do. I agree with Stewart that it would be great to take these family trees much further, historically speaking - I thought of countless other names/connections which could have featured while putting this together. But space on the page, and thus the remit, was limited - currently active bands/musicians only. I also tried to keep it restricted to firm connections only - mostly memberships/noteworthy collaborations etc. Not let it get too geeky, basically, else it would have run out of control. So, that explains why most of the above-suggested names were omitted - though one or two of them I do regret overlooking (Isobel Campbell for instance). Also, note that this is an "indie-pop" family tree - I'm not sure many people would consider Mogwai to be an indie-pop band.

Post a comment
RSS feed of these comments