IT’S been a bit of a long time coming, but Lewis band Stuttgart Traffic delight in launching their début album – Pantagruel – tonight (Friday, April 5th) at a gig in the Woodlands Centre, Stornoway.
“It’s been a long and drawn out process until recently,” says Stuttgart guitarist and singer Calum Fraser of the album. “Recently it’s been a case of ‘let’s knuckle down and get the job done well, write come new stuff and release an album’.
“But in a way the fact that it’s taken so long has allowed us to change songs and add stuff to them as they evolved through live performances, so the final product is something we’re really pleased with.”
The ‘we’ is Calum, joined by bandmates and brothers Andrew (drums) and Sean (bass and vocals) Harrison.
Yet the album credits five local music-makers – with the input of former members Kenny Maclennan and Scott Macleod still very much a part of the Stuttgart sound; as well as a large nod to Keith Morrison (Wee Studios) and Paul Matheson with whom ‘Pantagruel’ was recorded.
“I sometimes think in the first songs it was easy to try and emulate our favourite bands instead of being ourselves, but after the initial recordings we made a conscious move to be less conscious – to just play and jam and let the songs do what sounds and felt right and fun,” continues Calum, “‘Cos if it’s not fun what’s the point.
“I think that attitude is apparent on the 11 tracks on the album that haven’t featured on a previous EP – and the final product is a collection of songs that, we feel, sound free and not at all contrived.
“Whether that means they’re any good or not is not for us to decide, but hopefully someone will enjoy it and manage to connect with it.”
And that’s exactly what island music-lovers can get up to tonight as Stuttgart Traffic launch the long-awaited ‘Pantagruel’.
Tickets for the show are £6 on the door and support will be The Sea Atlas and Pandejo.