It's been a while in coming but i'm finally giving a heads up about Stornoway. I first became aware of them at a local Oxford festival where they played a tent and it was absolutely packed, you couldn't even see them there were so many people, my first taste of "Stornomania"...
O.K maybe that phrase isn't particularly cogent when referencing a folk band from Oxford but they're passionately revered around the town. The first time I actually got to SEE them was on my birthday, in the oxford botanical gardens-
It was as picturesque and intimate a performance as you could ever wish for. My education from that day I have to pass on is thus; the name was chosen as it's a place none of them had ever been. The lead singer Brian Briggs had become engaged the night before which is why there is champagne in the bottom left of that picture.
It was a weird thing because the whole thing was go to see stornoway then go to another gig at the academy later on but after this I just thought nothing could top that and went home happy about 5pm.
I love a band who play unique venues, when Long Blondes played a library back in 2005, Gaby Young playing vintage clothes stores and recently Stornoway became the first band to play the Sheldonian- Yeah that's right, a gig in the sheldonion-
The real reason for the timing of this post is that Stornoway's album has recently become available. The first thing that struck me was that I've got all of the songs already and I don't know whether it's because i'm local as most are from different sources but my thoughts on this are as follows. An album ideally should capture a period of a band's career and rather than being some huge production the original opus should ideally chronicle their rise to releasing their debut and having listened to these songs for a while now I think it captures that perfectly.
My favourite track is "you don't know anything" complete with three way harmonies and local references. Zorbing and Unfaithful are the two other tracks that I tend to point people towards when originally getting into them but the style of "Pupil of your eye" really is worth a check out.
4 months ago