Edinburgh and Fife-based band Shambolics celebrate record deal with Scruff of the Neck Records

Edinburgh and Fife based five-piece sign up with Scruff of the Neck Records

Scottish indie band Shambolics signed a two album deal with Manchester indie label Scruff of the Neck Records on Friday (October 21). Edinburgh-based singer Lewis McDonald, 27, is delighted with the deal, as is Creation Records legend Alan McGee, the man who discovered Oasis, who has supported the band since 2018 through his Creation management company.

He said: “It means a lot because we have grafted for the past four years to get to where we are just now, with so many ups and downs. I wouldn’t change any of it though as it’s got us to this point. I think we have just got the right boys now, we are tight as a unit and we are on an up, it's great.

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“Scruff of the Neck seem great. Mark Lippman (Scruff of the Neck founder) is such a sound guy and he reminds us of a young Alan McGee or Tony Wilson. He loves our tunes and he really seems on the ball. We went down to Manchester for a live stream and that was the first time we met him. I could tell he was into us but also that he was very professional. We are in safe hands.

Shambolics. Left to right: Drummer Jake Bain, keyboard player Scotty (Paws) Williamson, bassist Ben Sharp, singer Lewis McDonald and guitarist Darren Forbes. Photo by Lewis Baillie.

"Our manager (Jamie Kelly) thinks it’s the right move and McGee thinks it’s 100 per cent the right move. It’s great to have someone like McGee in your corner after everything he has done for some great bands, some of the biggest bands ever. He is somebody to look up to. We want to be one of the biggest bands in the world. If you don’t have that in your head when you start a band then why do it at all?

"Jamie has helped us a lot and believed in us since day one, through thick and thin. The two of them back us 100 per cent. They spoke to Mark and they saw what we saw. That he is a great guy and he knows his stuff. The label got bands like the Reytones into the charts, which is great for an indie label.”

With the dream of signing a record deal now realised, what next for ‘The Shams’ as their fans call them. Where could they be in a year’s time?

Lewis said: "I would like to be playing the Barrowlands in Glasgow this time next year. And we hope this record deal lets us do that. The album will be out and more people will get into our music. I haven’t been to the Barras as Forbes (Shambolics guitarist) and I promised ourselves we wouldn’t go there until we are playing it. I’ve missed some great gigs by other bands to stick to that. But I know we will get there.

Scottish indie-rockers Shambolics have signed to Scruff of the Neck Records. Photo by Lewis Baillie.

"Then it’s obviously Knebworth!” he joked. Looking forward, the band are now dreaming of recording their debut album, after a recent trip away for Shambolics songwriters Lewis and Darren Forbes to Spain with one of their heroes.

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Lewis said: "We have got the songs there, some golden oldies which are too good to throw away. But we have been writing lots of new songs also. We are just back from a songwriting camp in Spain with Kyle Falconer from the View. It was so productive. A good change of scenery, it was just class. We got as much done as possible. Including a few songs with Kyle. Whether we use them or not we don’t know but it was great to have him there.

"It was quite surreal. Growing up I was a massive View fan, so playing with them in the past was weird. But to go to Spain and write songs with Kyle, it’s just mad. They were one of the reasons I started playing guitar, so it’s mad to think he is a friend now.”

The band, originally from Kirkcaldy in Fife, will also support the View for the third time, in December at the O2 Academy in Glasgow. "It’s great to be supporting them at their comeback gig,” said Lewis, "I’d be going anyway as a fan. They’ve sold out four nights which shows they are still big. I can’t wait.”

Shambolics in Manchester signing to Scruff of the Neck on Friday.
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Lewis added that Shambolics are currently working on a six-track EP due out early next year, their first release with Scruff of the Neck Records, and hope to have their debut album completed in the next year.