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Musician Steven Barclay leaves Glasgow music studies behind for Highland solo gig in Inverness on Friday

By Margaret Chrystall

PLENTY of people will have seen Steven Barclay play in different guises in the Highlands – from bands The Stellars and Ralia to his latest incarnation the Chosen Lonely.

He started back in 2012 at 16 and has done things most musicians would love to say they had done in their careers – like playing in the O2 ABC in Glasgow with Culloden band The Stellars!

As frontman later with Ralia, Steven says he signed a couple of management deals, but soon had become frustrated and decided to set up his own label 37Live, allowing Ralia to try and promote themselves.

They released a double-A-sided single and played shows around Scotland supporting musicians including Lewis Capaldi, The Sherlocks and Edinburgh band Vistas.

Steven Barclay aka the Chosen Lonely plays on Friday.
Steven Barclay aka the Chosen Lonely plays on Friday.

New single MadKat Mary follows up on the summer’s single and video Tenerife. There’s also a chance to see him play live on Friday in Inverness.

Now based in Glasgow, Steven talks about promoting through his 37Live identity.

He has enjoyed putting on his own gigs down there, also working on his own music at college in Glasgow.

“I like to be in and involved in music and that started when I was in Ralia,” he explained.

“We started doing more running of our own shows – I guess it gave us more control.

“But in periods when I wasn’t playing that much, I thought I’d get experience running shows, so I started working with other bands for that.

“I guess the dream is to make a living out of performing all the time and having the ability to be able to lend a hand in a few different areas, I guess.”

Chosen Lonely.
Chosen Lonely.

Steven said often the promoting side of putting on a gig is the part that bands don’t know too much about at first.

“A lot of the time there can seem like a wall where those two – bands and promoters – they are just destined not to get on. But when you actually do things from a promoter’s point of views, you see just how stressful it is from their side!”

It’s finding out more about the whole picture of how everything fits together in music that maybe now makes Steven say: “I think I was a bit naïve when I was just starting out in thinking that I just had to turn up and play! In the past, when I was based in Inverness, we were taking on gigs where we were making promises to sell out venues in Glasgow which really – looking back – wasn’t in our capabilities. And promoters, at the end of the day, they want to put on a good show as well.”

But having heard Steven’s enthusiasm for helping put together the video for his last single and learning about doing things himself, it isn’t much surprise to find him say: “I quite like the DIY method!

“It’s quite exciting when you’re making your own scene and that means you get to play with bands you like as the 37Live thing is not pigeonholed to any kind of show.”

The Chosen Lonely plays The Tooth And Claw tonight (Friday, December 27 with Sam Cain, Roddy Johnson and Donald & Peigi Barker. Details: http://facebook.com/thechosenlonely MadKat Mary streams on Spotify, iTunes etc.

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