They say inspiration can hit you anywhere, but the title of Broken Records’ debut single ‘If The News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It’ came to singer and guitarist Jamie Sutherland in the shower.
“It’s almost a hymn to apathy,” he says. “But it’s like the least apathetic song the band have done. I just spent a lot of time watching the news and generally getting more and more fed up. We are constantly bombarded by negative images.”
The single, out on Young Turks on 14th April, has an epic sound, reminiscent of The Verve in their prime and it’s all thanks to Broken Records’ impressive seven strong line-up. As well as the usual guitars, drums and bass, the group’s musical palette also includes cello, accordion, trumpet and violin.
Broken Records have been slowly developing a strong live following, particularly around their native Edinburgh, since they started in December 2006.The original line-up was Jamie Sutherland, brother Rory Sutherland (violin, guitar and accordion) and Ian Turnbull (guitar, piano and accordion). After playing a series of gigs, they expanded the band with Arne Kolb (cello) Dave Smith (piano, trumpet) and a rhythm section of Andrew Keeney (drums) and David Fothergill (bass).
“We had been playing around Edinburgh for a couple of months before we picked up a rhythm section just through acquaintances,” says Jamie. ‘It just fitted together in the first five minutes and we wrote a couple of songs at the first meeting.”
“We were desperate to do something a little bit different,” he adds. “Traditional instruments are in vogue at the moment, but it had always been at the back of our minds.”
The group soon started attracting attention and last year played sixty gigs, including live sessions for Radio 1. Jamie did confess to having a “bit of a moment’” at the Maida Vale studios when they saw Nirvana’s signature on the walls of Studio 4.
Along the way, they also managed to sell out the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh and play the T in the Park festival. They also managed to support Idlewild, Emma Pollock and their biggest gig to date, Editors at the Carling Academy Glasgow.
“Editors was pretty much the biggest show we’ve played,” he says. “We were the first support. As soon as Editors came on, you realise they have a staff of fifty people and you realise that’s what it takes to play to that crowd.”
“We just want to play music,” he adds. “None of us want to be millionaires. But none of us wants to go back to an office and do thirty-seven hours of photocopying a week.”
“We drove down to Leeds last week for a mini-festival. We drove five hours there and five hours back and played for half an hour,” he said. “For a ten hours drive it did not seem worth it. But it’s one of those things where you just wake up the next morning and smile, ready to do it again.”