Cause for celebration - Vulture Party’s Dickson Telfer is keeping on smiling - and keeping on making music
There’s not much to laugh about at the moment, but Dickson Telfer can still take a joke.
“They’re going to have us stand on street corners doing solos to encouragepeople to stay at home,” laughs the bassist from Falkirk quartet Vulture Party.
“Bass isn’t the instrument to do a solo on so I fully endorse this!”
Perhaps Telfer can laugh as his life isn’t defined by four strings – aside frombeing heavily involved in the production side of his band, he divides his time between the day job – a university tutor currently setting up online learning for students – and as an author, with several novels, plus a children’s book ‘Christmas Pancakes’.
However, being signed with an American publisher, the weak pound following Brexit caused some problems.
So music is for now the main focus – given that his ‘other’ band, L-Space, arealso releasing an album on the same day as Vulture Party’s self-titled debut.Still, at last there will be no double gig to worry about.
“Once the world’s back to normal we can get the album in HMV and Fopp,” he says – the current concern being getting the vinyl pressing out to their fans.
That launch show was to take place in their hometown with a guest set by AdamStafford – the polymath musician who has lent his award-winning talents to Vulture Party’s remarkable videos.
“They’re different parts playful and sinister, that’s the brief we gave toAdam. We let his imagination take over from there.”
And Stafford indeed let his creative talents run wild.
“I like the Wickerman feel of the ‘Sundance’ video – the way he’s lit and shot it, and ‘New Humans’, me in a dinner jacket and mask and Peter Andre dance moves.”
I confess to Telfer that I’d imagined he took the vocal on that track.
“That might be because in the video for ‘Sundance’ I’m in shot when the male vocal comes in – that’s because I was up for getting dressed up and dancing and David wasn’t!”
Indeed it’s guitarist and principal songwriter David King who is responsible for the bulk of the band’s male vocals.
“He’s a bit of a song machine – Louise (Ward) writes three songs on the album as well and I have a couple of things but as far as the album’s concerned, seven of the ten were by David.”
King has a few releases under his belt already, as part of alt.country band Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo, although not so much of this Americana feel carries through to his new band.
“Talking Heads and Nick Cave and Low are quite big influences,” Telfer muses, “all dark pop – so he’s minimising the amount of country coming through!”
So more Lana del Rey than Taylor Swift, I suggest.
“Louise wouldn’t mind it being Taylor Swift – she’s a bit of a pop princess!”
“David has always maintained that the second album which we’ve juststarted working on – will have more obvious ‘hits’ ... whatever a hit is these days.”
But work on the next album is under way, Telfer planning on how the band can exchange ideas.
“We’re sending demos over WhatsApp – I have a wee desk I can mix stuff on and send it back again.”
The band are also taking part in Last Night From Glasgow’s ’Isolation Sessions’ – where bands from their record label perform cover versions of each other from their own locked-down home studios – Vulture Party taking on a tune by Starless (aka Love and Money keyboard player Paul McGeechan).
“Louise is leading on that, she’ll send me the piano and vocal, I’ll put it into the desk.
“Drums are going to be an issue, the idea we’ve got is Roddy’s going to come to my porch and I’ll feed some cables out. We’ll do gloves and wipes and keep our distance through a window.
The band’s newest recruit – taking over from Lee Burgoyne after the album was completed – will be truly isolated. Of course, the distancing rules may have changed since our chat.
“He is a key worker,” the bassist insists. Ah, surely Telfer is referring toCampbell’s day job, otherwise the drummer will be getting ideas above his station?
“I know,” Telfer laughs, “always hanging about with musicians!”