Broken Chanter

Broken Chanter

In just a couple of weeks, Chorus Of Doubt – the new record by Broken Chanter – will be released on Glaswegian label Chemikal Underground. It doesn’t take much to ignite my feelings of homesickness for Scotland, but filming this session with David MacGregor sure did. At the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August last year, we invited Broken Chanter to the tower of Kilkenny Castle where he played So Long! (I’m Not Around) and covers of The Delgados’ American Trilogy and R.E.M.’s Don’t Go Back To Rockville.

“They’d stuck two fingers up at London and the notion of having to move there for a career.”

Asked why he chose American Trilogy by The Delgados as one of his covers, David MacGregor says: “One of my very favourite songs by my new bosses at Chemikal Underground. I bought The Great Eastern for myself when it came out and loved it so much I bought other copies as birthday presents. I was a music nerd.”

“Chemikal were a huge inspiration in the way that I approached music when I was starting out. Here was this incredible label that was just down the road. It looked like they’d stuck two fingers up at London and the notion of having to move there for a career in music and their DIY attitude meant they just got on with it and made things happen. They’d proudly stated that we are based in Glasgow, Scotland and that is A Very Good Thing, and they reached out to the world from there rather than via the bloated and dying Britpop landscape down south.” 

MacGregor discovered R.E.M.’s earlier work and sweetness followed.

“When I was wee, my mother had a copy of Automatic For The People in the car. Half a decade-or-so later and on holiday when I was 14, I found a definitely ‘legitimate’ cassette of The Best Of R.E.M. in a wee shop that mostly concerned with inflatables and sunscreen, and it was full of songs I didn’t recognise. Pre-internet being absolutely everywhere, and being the age I was, I’d no idea about the majority of their eighties releases and this album introduced me to a whole new side of them.”

“I almost made my old band take a detour on our first US tour to get a picture at the sign of the city limits in Rockville, Maryland. Not a popular suggestion.” 

“Ruminating on the cycles folk end up stuck in.”

Broken Chanter can be David MacGregor on his own or, more often than not, with an array of musicians joining him. He spent 2007-2017 as the principal songwriter of Scottish Alt-Pop darlings Kid Canaveral and released two critically acclaimed albums as Broken Chanter – 2019’s eponymous introduction to his new guise and 2021’s award-winning Catastrophe Hits.

So Long! (I’m Not Around) is from my second album as Broken Chanter; Catastrophe Hits. I wrote this after doing a lot of late night driving and thinking after shows during the promo for the first LP before it got cut short during the pandemic. I was ruminating on the cycles folk end up stuck in and that whenever they are too exhausted to object they’re told that that’s just the way things are. I’m a lot more succinct live – “This is a song about telling your boss to jump up their own arse” – which is a tad reductive but it’s a cheap laugh, innit?” 

The Influences in Ireland.

In August 2023, The Influences traveled to Kilkenny, Ireland, to film sessions during Kilkenny Arts Festival. Over the course of two weekends, I filmed eleven sessions, with acts on the festival’s line up, and other Irish musicians that I admire. You will find all these sessions gathered on the Ireland page. More will will follow in the weeks and months to come. So, please subscribe and keep coming back!


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Photos


Originals

American Trilogy (The Delgados)
Tidal | Apple Music

(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville (R.E.M.)
Tidal | Apple Music

Broken Chanter

Website
Bandcamp
Apple Music
Tidal

Credits

Filmed by Matthijs van der Ven & David Lawson Froggatt
Edited by Matthijs van der Ven.
Audio recorded & mixed by Matthijs van der Ven.

Location
Parade Tower of Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny, Ireland

Thanks
David Lawson Froggatt
Marjie Kaley
Kilkenny Arts Festival
Kilkenny Castle
Aisling Doyle
Rollercoaster Records
Paul Mahon
David Thompson

There is no better way to discover music than watching great musicians cover the songs they love. The Influences has been producing these videos ever since 2008.

Read more.

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