Dumb Instrument
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Dumb Instrument


Band Folk Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Single Review"

The first word that springs to mind is quirky, followed in rapid succession by unconventional and shrewdly observed. One of the easiest ways to raise the impact of an idea is to hide it's first blow in humour. Grab the attention in the punchline, make people think. "What If Cliff" is a fantastic satire, any song that features the line "What If Cliff, If Death's Not Cured By Facelifts?" Sheer magic. Dumb Instruments have a true sense of satire, satire enhanced by the quality of the performance. The folksy jazzy approach gives the whole project a kudos it would have lacked in a comedy style. - Fatea-records

"Single Review"

Another short single; about two minutes. This song is about the comic book character Oor Wullie (who in case you need telling is fucking awesome) as an 80 year old man. What a genius idea, and sounding really nice in a jazzed-up Johnny Briggs theme tune kind of way. This band is fun and good, a tougher combination than you'd think. Next up The Broons. - Alex Gale - New Noise

"Single Review"

Different, very different. That's cool! Dumb Instrument comprise Tom Murray (vocals), Mickey Grant (piano), Alex McCutcheon (bass) and Matt Harvey (fiddle)and together they sound like a cleverly comic, Scottish version of Tom Waits; strong songs put to impressively simplistic music, observational lyrics with a humorous slant, dark, mysterious sounding instrumentation that enhances rather than clutters. A touch of Nick Cave meets Gilbert O'Sullivan, if you will!

Murray's soft Scottish accent adds a distinct, natural warmth to the, not to be missed, lyrics. Grant's embellishing and vibrant piano work is exquisite and perfectly poised to enhance the sentiment of the words while McCutcheon provides the solid but sparse bass lines with Harvey providing beautiful fiddle fills at just the right moments. All-in-all, 'Songs Ya Bass Vol 1' is a magnificently put together piece of contemporary, musical story telling to enjoy at any time and in any place.

Dumb Instrument may not be the most commercial prospect on the scene at the moment but they'll definitely get loads of work based on this single release. With 'Songs Ya Bass Vol 1', Dumb Instrument leave a pleasant taste that begs to be re-visited. Charming, relaxing and very, very cool!
- Toxic Pete

"Single Review"

With the release of debut EP Songs Ya Bass Vol. 1, Dumb Instrument are being touted as champion surfers on a ‘new, and welcome, wave of Scottish music’.

As the CD title suggests, the band are certainly identifiably, idiosyncratically Scottish, right down to the heavily accented vocals and self deprecating, gallows humour inspired lyrics.

Piano sounds, bass and horn combine nicely to create a jaunty, music hall themed melody on ‘Oor Wullie’s Baldy’, juxtaposed with a nightmare vision of our nation’s favourite scamp all grown up into a drunken, suicidal old bore.

‘What if Cliff?’ and ‘Reverse the Hearse’ stick with the tactic of mixing morose musings with a wry, tongue in cheek delivery, respectively questioning Cliff Richard’s fervent Christianity and raging against death and a life not lived to the full.

The lyrics might be transparent, there’s no obscure existential ramblings here, but band founder Tom Murray and co are much more on the ball than their name suggests, offering a new twist on life’s small tragedies by combining caustic lyrics with genteel arrangements and fragile vocals.

They might not bludgeon us over the head with it, but this lot certainly know how to wield their instrument.
- Annie Mclauchlan

"Live Review"

Tonight I find myself stood within the heart of Glasgow's West End for Dumb Instrument's "Song Ya Bass" single launch . Having done a bit of groundwork on an act I was unfamiliar with, and finding myself presented with music that wasn't exactly my cup of tea, I entertain no big hopes of really enjoying the show.
Luckily however, the band thoroughly surprise me. Everything about them is unique, from the way they grace the stage, to the way in which their songs tread a fine line between ample tunesmithery and short social commentary. Covering topics ranging from Oor Wullie to Wheelie bins, and Death to Cliff Richard (a song so good they play it twice!) they manage to have the crowd listening intently one second then laughing at singer Tom Murray’s dry wit the next. There's little in the way of banter, and you get the feeling that Mr Murray isn’t entirely comfortable on stage , but the songs more than make up for that. The set draws sadly to a close only for the crowd to demand an encore which is albeit hesitantly obliged. After this the band politely offer a reminder that there is a single available to buy and exit stage to a rapturous applause. I walk away from Oran Mor feeling happy that my pre-conceptions about Dumb Instrument were entirely wrong. Having thoroughly enjoyed their melancholy yet upbeat set, I would recommend that anyone who has the chance to see them on their upcoming tour should take advantage of the opportunity.
- Lickmag.com - Oran Mor 22nd March

"Live Review"

The Bongo Club plays host to this Festival of colloquialisms and punchy cynicism tonight as Dumb Instrument snuggle up alongside Mouse Eat Mouse. Dumb Instrument, perhaps named so due to the fact that they are without a drummer, are unmistakably of these parts. 'Maw fetch a hammer, there's a fly on the babies heid,' croons the vocalist along to their 12 bar blues. A laid-back affair, the 'Instrument are talented musicians who can easily conjure up something to write home about. The distinct lack of skintight jeans and big hair is initially a shock to the system but once you get over the fact that they are above the age of consent (shock... horror and mortal terror) you will find substance, insight and passion. All of this without the aid of some strategically placed make-up. - The Skinny - Bongo Club 11th April

"Live Review"

Really glad I made it down in time to see Dumb Instrument, as they were AMAZING. A stripped-down trio with piano and no drums would not normally be my cup of chai. These guys did not attempt the boring balladry initial impressions might have suggested, instead making an interesting bass-driven jazz noise with some truly beautiful singing from their hirsute frontman. This on its own would have been pretty unusual within the confines of the 13th Note, but their lyrics were absolutely stunning too. Like a more playful and poetic Aidan Moffat, Tom Murray's words seemed to be describing the most tortured depths of his own soul, I noticed him wiping tears away at the end of a few songs. They were given added poignance by the casual sprinkling of Glasgow vernacular to describe the tragedy of roadside flower tributes or the demise of friends...indeed, their single on Hackpen Records is entitled 'Songs Ya Bass', which is neddy shorthand for 'Songs for Illegitimate Children' in case you didn't know.

So aye, Dumb Instrument. Check them out, I'll definitely go and see them next time they come to Glasgow.
- Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy

"T break heats 2006"

A suitable curtain-raiser then for the superb Dumb Instrument (4/5), who, by the luck of the draw, deservedly close proceedings. Doing what any showcasers should do with only 20 minutes to communicate to an audience, these ragtag, folky Ayrshire balladeers leave me wanting to hear a lot more. Their grey bearded singer’s soft Scottish burr conjures novelistic impressions of modern west-coast Scotland, alternately hilarious and genuinely poignant. A definite victory for the beards over the “bands”. - The Skinny


Reverse the hearse is probably the best song about death that I've ever heard - Jim Gellatly

"BBC Radio Scotland"

Outstanding, Unique! - Tom Morton


Current releases Jan 2007- Songs Ya Bass Vol 1 - Hackpen Records

Forthcoming May 3rd 2008 - Nobody knows what it's like to be me! - Bad Tool Records

Jaffa Baws Video Link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYr3sie6Y7U

Main Stage Performance at Edinburgh Fringe Sunday 2008



Dumb Instrument began with the lyrics of Tom Murray, the Jazz/Ragtime influenced piano accompaniment of Mikey Grant and the solid bass of Kieron Campbell. The amalgamation is impossible to pigeonhole into one particular genre although "Jakey Rock" would be a decent attempt.

Its "all about the lyrics" (Rick Fulton - Daily Record 16/12/05) with Dumb Instrument and these are enriched with simple yet poignant accompaniment from piano and bass. The songs are tinged with melancholy and have been described as mini comic tragedies.

The bands first gig was at the T break auditions for T in The Park in May 2006 at Edinburgh's Liquid room and earned great reviews being described as "a breath of fresh air" (Fiona Reid) by T break journalists. Since then the band have made their debut TV appearance filmed at Glasgow's Classic Grand venue as part of BBC2's The Music Show. The performance was hailed by Jim Gellatly as “Mighty good” and the band have remained a firm favourite of the XFM DJ ever since.

At the start of 2007 the band signed a 6 year record deal with Hackpen Records of Andover, Hampshire.

The year began with an invitation to perform at the Celtic Connections Winter Festival held at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall which the band played to a full house and received a standing ovation for their portrait of West Of Scotland life. This was also the bands 1st live radio performance (Celtic Radio 106.6fm) which was followed by a live BBC Scotland interview in February dedicating a show to their music. The debut single released on March 22nd 2007 enjoyed good radio airplay and was on XFM X-posures top 10 singles chart for April. More recently the band have been featured on XFM as band of the week in the build up to the album launch.

Last year the band played over 40 gigs and among the highlights were appearances at;

i) Celtic Connections @ The Royal Concert Hall,
ii) BBC2 ‘The Music Show’,
iii) TigerFest (Glasgow),
iv) GoNorth (Inverness),
v) Workhouse Festival (Oswestry),
vi) Dunstaffnage Festival (Oban),
vii) Belladrum Festival (Inverness),
viii) Darvel Music Festival (Darvel),
ix) Supporting The Twilight Sad at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival
x) Playing the Main Stage at Edinburgh Fringe Sunday.
xi) Winning The ‘Burnsong’ and playing live on BBC Radio Scotland

The band were selected by the PRS organisation to be one of 4 new artists to feature on the monthly podcast for May 2007. It features Britain’s best new acts and is chosen from 50,000 members.

In November 2007 the band were announced as winners of the bi-annual Scottish songwriting competition Burnsong with their song Reverse The Hearse. As a result the band performed at the new BBC studios (Pacific Quay, Glasgow) on St Andrews day to a live studio audience which was broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland. Following on from this the band made the Radio 1 late playlist with the track ‘Exterminating Angels’. To end the year, the bands debut single was nominated by Is This Music as one of the singles of the year.

2008 promises much with the long anticipated debut album ‘Nobody Knows What It’s Like To Be Me’ due out on May 3rd.