Strike The Colours Dec 16, The Hug And Pint, Glas­gow

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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

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