Published: 02/05/2014 10:53 - Updated: 02/05/2014 16:21

BREW ACTS: Call To Mind's epic soundscapes return

Written byBrew At The Bog

Call To Mind return live - and with debut album The Winter Is White.
Call To Mind return live - and with debut album The Winter Is White.

On Saturday the third Brew At The Bog one-day music festival brings some of the most exciting new Scottish music to Inverness, sold out for the first time. As well as bringing local music together with the best of the hottest indie acts from across Scotland, this year sees the return of Call To Mind, the Ardersier /Glasgow band which has just launched its debut album. Below, the band’s Jamie Ross talks about their return – and we also provide a handy guide to who’s on which stage when at the Bogbain Farm festival.


by Margaret Chrystall

Call To Mind might not have been able to launch their debut album with a Highland date – but their Brew At The Bog set on Saturday is a good substitute.

Call To Mind are set to return for an exciting live performance later in the year – watch this space.

But first, Brew.

Jamie Ross – one of the core members with his twin Martin, the regular singer in the band, said: "I was at Brew the first year and loved it. So it’s really exciting to be part of it this year.

"It’s a festival that’s been building up a great reputation and the line-up is a snapshot of new Scottish music at the moment – and for the future too – so it’s exciting to be part of that.

Their Ardersier connections are still important to the band, though now based in Glasgow – some of the members from as long ago as 2003.

But they’ve even managed to get a little bit of Ardersier on the album.

Jamie explained: "There’s a little bit of birdsong you hear on one of the tracks Sightlines and I recorded that on my iPhone, on a hill at the back of Ardersier near Carse Woods."

And there’s the song Passing Drumochter. Jamie doesn’t know if it’s the only song ever dedicated to the place, but said: "I think the title for it came from literally listening to the demoes of the track on the train up to Inverness.

"We did a little video trailer for the album online filmed there and it just absolutely fits perfectly."

Quite a few of the reviews have said we’re from Ardersier or the Scottish Highlands and a lot of them have been saying they can picture the landscapes of the Highlands, with a track like Over The Machair, that’s absolutely the vibe we have been going for."

Steven Gribbin and Joe Smillie now join Jamie and Martin plus fellow Highlander, bassist Andrew Masson.

Jamies explained why Call To Mind almost disappeared for a while.

"The band last did an EP in April 2010 and did lots of gigs and then we just kind of grew apart and grew up a little bit. Stevie Gribbin joined and then Martin, Joe and me started playing together again and we got ourselves a rehearsal room at the bottom of Buchanan Street.

"We played for about six months then Andrew and Joe – can’t remember who said to who – ‘Let’s get together and see what happens’.

The Winter Is White album cover designed by Iain Smart.
The Winter Is White album cover designed by Iain Smart.

"We never intended to do an album. – we already had tracks like Breathe."

But the album grew anyway, though Jamie feels the music has retained its original qualities.

"We’ve never really changed," he said.

But the world seems to have caught up with their sound – often dubbed "glacial" – as bands like Sigur Ros made the idea of epic soundscapes a more familiar experience.

Stevie won’t be at Brew with the band – he’s just had his first baby – though it’s the second for the band, drummer Joe Smillie’s the first band dad.

"But this is it, we’re all getting older," laughed Jamie.

"We’ll be doing festivals throughout the summer and we’re really chuffed – the main one after Brew for me is Belladrum. Obviously it’s a festival that – for everyone near Inverness – is close to their hearts.

"The last track of the album finishes with the line ‘Taking just a step at a time’."

"With the band, we’re very much of the attitude, ‘let’s see what happens’.

Call To Mind play the Barn Stage at 8.30pm. See the trailer for The Winter Is White below:

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