State Broadcasters:
The TVD First Date

“Like most people around my age (I’m a child of the ’80s), the cassette was the musical format that formed my early taste. Our dad refused to play “children’s music” in the car, and instead made compilations of music he liked that would be palatable to young ears (though I do remember my parents talking loudly and pointing out the car window to distract us during a couple of Pogues songs containing lyrics we shouldn’t have been hearing at that age.)”

“This is a decision I will be eternally grateful for – being played an eclectic mix of music at that age left a real impression, and definitely influenced the music I listen to today. One tape would contain a couple of Ry Cooder tracks, followed by some Link Wray and Paul Simon, then some traditional Scottish and Irish folk tunes and some jangly pop from Zimbabwe, and closing with some John Martyn and the Pearlfisher’s duet by Bizet.

When I was 7 I got a bit obsessed with an Elvis record in my dad’s vinyl collection. I couldn’t work the record player, so would nag my parents to put it on then look at the back cover of the sleeve as it played. The sleeve had small pictures of all the Elvis records, and I would imagine what it would be like to have them all and which ones would be my favourites, based on the cover picture.

I suppose that hasn’t changed too much today – at the moment I’m slowly accumulating all of the original Smiths albums and singles, imagining what it would be like to have them all and which ones would be my favourites (“There Is A Light…” and “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side,” if you’re wondering).

So there you go, I’m basically still a 7 year old record collector. That Elvis record was quite important in my career path actually – my parents talked me into going to piano lessons by telling me that I’d be able to play Elvis songs someday. I remember excitedly arriving home after my first lesson and trying to play “Hound Dog” and being really disappointed that it sounded no different to my previous efforts. I still can’t play it. It’s really hard.

After spending all my money during my teenage years on CDs, I bought a record player at the start of my second year of university. Since then I’ve accumulated about 10 years worth or records – one of my great pleasures is browsing through second hand records shops, looking for wee gems. I can spend entire afternoons in those shops. My crowning glory is probably an original pressing of The White Album, complete with posters and 4 postcards of each Beatle. It was £8 – what a bargain!

It’s been really good to see a revival in vinyl sales, especially at a time when the music industry seems to be struggling. It seems like a bit of a backlash against Mp3 technology. I think music fans miss the solid artifact in a time when you can download an album with the click of a mouse. I’ve bought a few things from Itunes, but found it a bit unsatisfying. I love going to a record shop then heading home and putting a new piece of vinyl on the turntable for the first time. It’s a bit of a cliche to say it but I really enjoy a well constructed album too, rather than a collection of individual songs, and the record really is the best format for that.

Labels like Fence Records are doing a great job of marketing themselves and their artists through records too – their current ep series is entirely done on vinyl (with a download code enclosed), with gorgeous little sleeves. It feels like the way forward for more independent minded music. Recently I went to buy the new Withered Hand EP in my local record shop and that excitement felt the same as when I’d take the bus into Aberdeen as a teenager to go and blow my savings on music.

Our first single “Let’s Make T-Shirts” came out on vinyl. The day they arrived in the post was so exciting. A friend of ours had done a great job on the artwork, and putting the needle down on a single that we’d recorded in my bedroom was brilliant. I’ve got the white lable test pressing of it too, which the 7 year old record collector geek in me loves.”
Pete MacDonald 

State Broadcasters’ Ghosts We Must Carry was released via Olive Grove on September 17th, 2012. 

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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