By Eamonn Keyes
Summer’s here at last.
No…not the usual Scottish summer, with midges and brief bouts of sunshine amid the downpours, but ’Summer’ the song.
It’s a tale of getting out of the city, motoring down the Kintyre peninsula to Campbeltown, drinking the town’s famous Springbank 15 year old whisky, heading to open-mike sessions and staying over in B and Bs. The sort of thing summer is made for. And sounding as if Van Halen have put their differences and mortality aside and returned for a final comeback song.
It all started when I was on Twitter and saw a post asking for a number of people each to sing a line of a song called ‘We are Scotland’. I answered it and got chatting to the writer, Edinburgh-born Dougie Bendall. I discovered he’d been doing songs in a loose musical collaboration, with everything under the name ‘The Bletherin’. Dougie was also based in the United Arab Emirates, where he’d been working for six years.
At this time Covid was just hitting. I’d finished my collaboration with Keith Gooch, releasing an album at the worst possible time, and my ongoing production of the new Electric Mother album was stalled because of lockdown. So, I was looking for something to keep me busy.
I’d no idea that my response would lead to a partnership that at this point has resulted in almost a full album’s worth of songs. And all without Dougie and I having ever actually met.
Usually, Dougie will send me a quick sketch of a song- usually with him singing and playing acoustic guitar. I listen a few times, get an idea of what it’s like, but whilst this is happening I guess my brain is working away subconsciously, and I start to hear the song in a slightly different way, and at that point, the changes start. This can vary from a single chord change to a major rework, with different versions bouncing back and forward between us, changing lyrics and style.
As this is going on, I start the recording process. Dougie and I talk a lot, have the occasional Zoom meeting, and emails fly in both directions. Usually when we’re Zooming, we have a dram or two, so eventually we decided to settle on the name ‘The Drammed’ in honour of our modus operandi.
Summer is our first release as The Drammed, and is available from all major online music stores as a download. The album, probable title ‘A Beginners Guide To Chaos’, will follow later in the year.