Falkirk musician Ross Fairweather is about to move back into the spotlight with a new band and his best album to date.
It’s probably unfair to say this a comeback for Ross, because, since the demise of his last band The Last Saloon a few years back, he has been constantly playing and singing up a storm in pubs and clubs throughout the area.
However, doing an excellent job of belting out other people’s songs is not as rewarding as belting out your own songs with a cracking band around you.
Now with Fairweather and the Elements, Ross has the tools at his disposal to make music that really means something – to him and to others.
Made up of Ross (vocals/guitar), Deborah Lang (vocals), Iain King (guitar/vocals), Gary Neill (bass) and Scott Young (drums), with Roger Shepherd adding some keyboard magic, Fairweather and the Elements’ will release their debut album, Elements, on May 27.
Ross said: “I’ve been writing this album for the last year and we started jamming in November – just the four of us at first then Deborah came on board and people started saying we sounded a lot like the Beautiful South or Deacon Blue with the male and female vocals.
“I’m sharing vocals on this new album with Deborah and Iain. It’s the first band I’ve been in which has had three strong vocalists and Deborah has added a lot of different dynamics to the band’s sound.”
The band has yet to play live and are looking forward to a prestigious date at The Tolbooth in Stirling on June 25 with Ghost Writer and Three Blind Wolves.
“It think it’s a good idea to record the music first,” said Ross. “Then you go out to play live with something to give folk. We’ve just got the one gig at the Tolbooth just now.
“It’s an amazing place and we will pretty much play the whole album live. The band is already experienced when it comes to playing live.”
As with previous bands Ross has been in like Mr Nice, The Billy Shears and The Last Saloon, the line-up reads like a who’s who of local musical talent.
Iain also plays guitar with Ghost Writer, Scott drums for Elwood and Gary provides the low notes for The Insomnia Project, which also features vocals and synth from Deborah.
Ross said: “This is he strongest material I’ve written, it’s got a theme and it’s got three different voices singing it. We recorded the album on tape because I used to like listening to my dad’s Kinks albums in stereo and I wanted to record something that sounds like those 60s and 70s albums.
“You can only get that sound,that kind of warmth, using tape – It’s all about live performance on tape, whereas digital has more overdubs.
“Elements is all about relationships, though not necessarily the usual relationships between a man and a woman you get in a lot of songs. It’s about relationships with your family and friends and even people you meet on a daily basis.
“It’s about realising the importance of all the different wee things that come together to make up your life. It’s an album to be listened to with earphones – an album that tells a story from start to finish.
“It’s not like I’m looking for attention from folk, but I feel I’ve got something to say and with this band and the album, I’ve got the means to say it.”
Ross rates local bands like Ghost Writer, Fly Jackson and the Nickajack Men highly and believes there is a resurgence in the live scene in Falkirk with talent levels akin to a decade ago when The Ray Summers, Ice Cold And Alex, The Leads and Akolayd walked the earth – and Ross himself, when he was supporting the mighty Zutons. “Everyone thinks it’s all about rivalries between bands, but that’s not true. What you need is bands working together and supporting each other, that’s what makes a music scene.
“When you listen to good music it makes you want to make good music. It makes you want to pick up your guitar and play.”
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