Strike The Colours Dec 16, The Hug And Pint, Glasgow
Jenny Reeve is such a familiar face on the Scottish music scene it’s easy to forget she has her own band, Strike The Colours.
Having lent her ethereal vocals and emotive violin to Arab Strap – both in the solo work of Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat and the reformed band – lately Reeve has also starred alongside Moffat in award-winning film Where You Are Meant To Be.
She’s also a key musician on Ghost Stories
For Christmas, Moffat’s recently-released festive collaboration with award-winning guitarist RM Hubbert as well as being one half of Bdy_Prts, her slanted, hip hopflecked duo with Jill O’Sullivan.
Given too, that Davey McAulay, Graeme Smillie and Jonny Scott, her Strike The Colours bandmates, are all popular players on the Scottish music landscape, you can maybe begin to appreciate why it has take seven years for them to release third album Flock, a startling collection recorded back in 2011.
The release of Flock has been subject to so many postponements, Reeve says.
“It was becoming farcical. Every year since we’ve made it we’ve talked about how we had to release it, but we never had the time,” she says. “We just needed to do it. It’s here, and then we can do another record.”
With its themes of flight and escape, Flock was written during a time Reeve felt constrained by her own inner doubts. “I was going through a strange period of time, a bad patch,” she says. “I was frustrated that I couldn’t deal with things that were holding me back: my own fear, my own anxiety, and feeling really trapped and lost in a lot of ways.”
Recorded by Savage during a two-week stint during the summer of 2011 at Wales’s Monnow Valley Studios, Flock’s release has given Reeve a sense of liberation, Reeve says. She’s realised a vital personal priority – the value of playing with like-minded musicians.
“Between myself and Jonny and Davey and Graeme, I think what we have is quite unusual,” she says. “We have this really great musical understanding and symbiosis and trust and friendship. It’s never going to be time ill-spent, no matter what we do. For me, having that musical family is more important than anything else.”
Clockwise from left: Miriam Escofet’s An Angel At My Table, which won the BP Portrait Award; Jenny Reeve’s busy four-piece band Strike The Colours