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mitchell museum

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Rock

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"The Peters Port Memorial Service - Album Review"

Right from the off, the “Scottish Beach Boys” tag applied to Mitchell Museum starts to make sense on The Peters Port Memorial Service, with the sunny harmonies and smooth swing of ‘We Won 2nd Prize’ helping to back up a statement that could very easily have been written off as over-excited hyperbole. The rest of the group’s debut album doesn’t quite stick to this, or any particular blueprint, though some of these key elements permeate its 13 tracks – again, namely the Glaswegians’ flawless, sugary harmonies as well as its many vibrant synth/organ hooks. Any fans of the consistent onslaught of American Indie exports will no doubt hear some familiar sounds and habits, though theirs is a sound seeming to look a bit further back and plucks more from the likes of The Flaming Lips and that perpetual touchstone, Pavement – though MM’s casual sloppiness comes in much smaller doses.

Second track, ‘Warning Bells’ is perfectly balanced on a chilled, yet fairly danceable beat, and in between its warm guitar melodies, it boasts some immediately repeatable lines, most notably the cheerily delivered: “I’ve been lying on the floor since Thursday night”; ‘Room For Improvement’ hurriedly waltzes through a barrage of squelching synths and hyperactive vocal lines; whereas ‘Take The Tongue Out’ could quite easily trump anything from the relatively thin Vampire Weekend back catalogue on account of it being considerably less skeletal in its structure and instrumentation and arguably much more colourful.

Now this is a mere cross section of what the album has to offer, and though it remains to be seen, even a rather brief analysis could bring together enough evidence to support any claims that Mitchell Museum could “go all the way” or “make it”. For one, it sounds as cohesive yet unpredictable as you could hope for a debut record. Though it seems to take great influence from many of the bands’ musical cousins from overseas, particularly vocally, The Peters Port Memorial Service is a consistently vibrant and above all, entertaining listen. Good stuff. - The Line Of Best Fit


"The Peters Port Memorial Service - Album Review"

Mitchell Museum – The Peters Port Memorial Service
4/5 stars
ALBUM REVIEW BY DARREN CARLE.
PUBLISHED 30 JUNE 2010
Glasgow’s Mitchell Museum have been ones to watch for some time now, but the unexpected brilliance of their debut album suggests we weren’t watching quite closely enough. Barely a moment of The Peters Port Memorial Service is bulging with less than fifteen ideas, yet it’s an album continually honed into three-minute, manic, off-kilter, carnival pop.

The neo-psychedelic blueprint of Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips are obvious touchstones, whilst Room For Improvement sees the band adopt the jungle ‘yadda-yadda’ mantras of Sung Tongs-era Animal Collective. The conscious-spewing abstraction of WHY?’s Yoni Wolf is another influence, particularly on the galloping, vocal somersaults of Mission 1.

Yet Mitchell Museum are far from being consigned to slavish idolatry. Maybe it’s the spine-tingling drum fills of Copy + Paste or singer Cammy MacFarlane’s idiosyncratic two-line coda about old folks' homes and baby-trainer cups. Maybe it’s Tiger Heartbeat’s bounding enthusiasm and humorous analogies on up-turned spiders.

Whatever it is, Peters Port stands as an album head and shoulders above its peers, one that belies its debut status and, crucially, sounds as if Mitchell Museum have only just started to flex their creative muscle. We’ll be keeping a much closer eye on them from now on. [Darren Carle] - The Skinny


"Warning Bells Single Review (by Kate Nash)"

This has a lovely video to go with it, with lots of really nice images that link up with the lyrics. I really wish I was in all of those films. The song itself is probably good for playing at festivals when the sun is going down. - NME


"Peters Port Memorial Service Album Review"

THIS Glasgow four-piece appear to have emerged from nowhere (located in a flat just above the venue Nice'n'Sleazy) with a contender for best Scottish debut of the year.

The Peters Port Memorial Service is a breath of fresh air next to their angsty, brooding peers and a joyful, adventurous album in its own right in that it takes on the restless mantle of wide-eyed sonic wonder and slightly surreal mischief which has mainly been the preserve of US psychedelic pop titans Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev with gusto, euphoria and discipline. - The Scotsman


"Peters Port Memorial Service Album Review"

The eagerly anticipated debut release from Glasgow’s gift to psych-pop has landed and what a beauty it is. Mitchell Museum specialise in producing magnificently melodious yet frenzied music, crafted in a dank flat above Glasgow’s Nice N Sleazy venue. The Peters Port Memorial Service brims with unsullied invention, unlike so many of their peers who merely genuflect at the altar of Wayne Coyne, Panda Bear etc.

Cammy, Dougie, Kris and Raindeer’s churn of watertight vocal harmonies, synth rhythms, sharp lyrics and joyous chaotic abandon make for a hugely enjoyable listen. Now and then, the layers of instrumentation can seem slightly over-cooked, but overall, this one’s a winner. Among the frequent high points are the infectious stomp of ‘Tiger Heartbeat’, the dense melodic sway of ‘Copy + Paste’ and ‘Warning Bells’, a track that Animal Collective would simply kill for. Who ever thought Scotland could be so sunny? Eamonn Seoige - I Heart AU


"Peters Port Memorial Service Album Review"

Right from the off, the “Scottish Beach Boys” tag applied to Mitchell Museum starts to make sense on The Peters Port Memorial Service, with the sunny harmonies and smooth swing of ‘We Won 2nd Prize’ helping to back up a statement that could very easily have been written off as over-excited hyperbole. The rest of the group’s debut album doesn’t quite stick to this, or any particular blueprint, though some of these key elements permeate its 13 tracks – again, namely the Glaswegians’ flawless, sugary harmonies as well as its many vibrant synth/organ hooks. Any fans of the consistent onslaught of American Indie exports will no doubt hear some familiar sounds and habits, though theirs is a sound seeming to look a bit further back and plucks more from the likes of The Flaming Lips and that perpetual touchstone, Pavement – though MM’s casual sloppiness comes in much smaller doses.

Second track, ‘Warning Bells’ is perfectly balanced on a chilled, yet fairly danceable beat, and in between its warm guitar melodies, it boasts some immediately repeatable lines, most notably the cheerily delivered: “I’ve been lying on the floor since Thursday night”; ‘Room For Improvement’ hurriedly waltzes through a barrage of squelching synths and hyperactive vocal lines; whereas ‘Take The Tongue Out’ could quite easily trump anything from the relatively thin Vampire Weekend back catalogue on account of it being considerably less skeletal in its structure and instrumentation and arguably much more colourful.

Now this is a mere cross section of what the album has to offer, and though it remains to be seen, even a rather brief analysis could bring together enough evidence to support any claims that Mitchell Museum could “go all the way” or “make it”. For one, it sounds as cohesive yet unpredictable as you could hope for a debut record. Though it seems to take great influence from many of the bands’ musical cousins from overseas, particularly vocally, The Peters Port Memorial Service is a consistently vibrant and above all, entertaining listen. Good stuff.
4/5 - The Line of Best Fit


"Peters Port Memorial Service Album Review"

In spite of their bookish, nigh-on twee designate, Glasgow four-piece Mitchell Museum swerve any suspected B&S insinuations and instead deliver a loveable bluster of swaggering, jangly rock’n’roll. ‘Tiger Heartbeat’ and ‘No. 3’ are particular stand-outs from a lively, auspicious twisted-pop debut.

Comparisons to US alt-rockers Animal Collective, They Might Be Giants and the Flaming Lips aren’t far off the mark, (Cammy MacFarlane’s vocals boast more than a touch of the Wayne Coyne at times), but nor are references to low-slung Brit rockers The Seahorses – no, come back – check out rousing current single and radio favourite ‘Warning Bells’ for further evidence.
4/5 - The List


"Mitchell Museum: National Treasures"

The road to their brilliant debut album has been a hard but worthwhile one for Mitchell Museum. Ahead of its release, the Glasgow quartet square up to rival museums, set the record straight on Nigel Godrich and cast aspersions on Bono's feet
If you grew up on shiny pop bands with expensive haircuts, beaming from the glossy pages of the teeny pop Bibles of the time, chances are you became a little dispirited upon learning that said acts could barely stand the sight of each other in real life, let alone hang out or live together. It’s enough to drive you to grow your hair, wear flannel shirts and hate yourself.

So it’s a pleasant surprise when The Skinny finds itself in a first floor flat in Glasgow’s Sauciehall Street, a domain that acts as a home, rehearsal room, album storage facility, play-pen and general doss-pad for Mitchell Museum, a quartet of young, upbeat, affable, ‘actual friends’ who live, play and breathe in each others’ pockets with nary a spiteful word or awkwardly flung fist in sight. Oh, and they just happen to have made one of the quirkiest Scottish pop albums for some time.

As The Skinny photographer ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ at the cornucopia of ramshackle delights the Mitchell’s dwelling presents for photo opportunities, the band opt for the rooftop garden as fit for interview purpose, if only to get away from the towering boxes of newly delivered vinyl pressings of their upcoming debut album. A variety of garden furniture chairs showcasing the changing fads of domesticity over the past few decades is fed through the kitchen window, warm beer is served straight from the off-licence, before Dougie, Raindeer, Kris and Cammy take their seats.

Getting to the nub of how all four got together as Mitchell Museum takes some time though, as, aside from brothers Raindeer and Cammy, they all met as friends first and so constantly veer off on genial tangents. “Me and Cammy both went to see Ben Folds Five on my nineteenth birthday,” begins bassist Kris on his induction. “We were both in the same car together.” However, lead singer and keyboardist Cammy points this out as something of a red herring in that they only figured out that their paths had crossed yesterday afternoon.

After five minutes of such banter, drummer Raindeer, a New Year’s party and alcohol emerge as the foundations of Mitchell Museum. “I’d been living in Manchester for a while, but one New Year I was back in Glasgow, trying to figure out whether to come back or not,” says Kris. “I didn’t know Raindeer at all but he came up and sat next to me and said; ‘See you, I like you. I think we could be pals. You know what? We should be pals.’ Then he gave me a hug – so I moved back to Glasgow.”

Apocryphal or not, the remainder of the evening saw the group gather around Raindeer who was “a bit drunk and hitting the piano,” according to Cammy. “We all joined in and then started doing it on a weekly basis after that.” As brothers growing up listening to Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips, Cammy and Raindeer were already well honed, the younger Raindeer owing his current drumming skills to the fact that his older sibling let him into his band in the first place, meaning he had to pick up his game. Dougie and Kris simply gelled with this set-up from the beginning.


The name came much later as the band playfully wrestled with each other on potential monikers such as Muscle Pony, now doubling as a side-project for Kris. However, the band claim it’s not a nod to the Native American museum in Illinois but rather an alliterative play on the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. “There’s also the Mitchell Fishing Reel Museum,” points out Cammy. “I’m desperate to knock them off the Google page,” rallies Kris. Cammy is less vehement towards his rivals though. “There’s some nice old fishing reels there,” he admits, much to the band’s laughter. “I’m not kidding.”

With all due respect to the history of fishing reels, Mitchell Museum’s upcoming debut album, The Peters Port Memorial Service, should see them rise a few places in the Google search engine. It’s a fresh, confident debut, bulging with experimental ideas, yet honed into some of the jauntiest and cerebral penetrating pop nuggets heard this year. Yet as much as it is a playful album, it is also one that sounds increasingly mature with each listen, an album that knows when to breathe and when to plough headlong.

Cammy picks up on this train of thought; “I’m not making a criticism as such, but a lot of bands bang out all the songs that they’ve got from their live set for their first album,” he says judiciously. “So it often ends up sounding like a ‘Best Of’ collection. For me, when it comes to listening to an album I want to listen to something that sounds like a whole piece, the same way as you might feel about a novel.”

Cammy cites Dark Side of the Moon as a ‘sort of’ influence, though not one of their more obvious ones. Peters Port is certainly far from being a prog epic, and in terms of na - The Skinny


"Introducing mitchell museum"

I am putting Mitchell Museum down as unsigned at the moment, but I doubt that will be the case for much longer. Labels are sniffing around them like flies round a honeypot, apparently, so I don’t think it’ll be long before we see them on a label; independent, boutique, major or otherwise. I know that Beggars Group are intending to scout one of their upcoming shows, but then Beggars comprises so many record labels that could mean almost anything. Personally I’d love to work with them myself on Song, by Toad Records, apart from the fact that in terms of money and time I wouldn’t be ready for a couple of months at the least, so I will probably have missed my chance by then. Still, they have a big, bold sound, so maybe a bigger, or at least a trendier, record label would be more suitable anyway.

Anyhow, here is another song, the b-side to their single Warning Bells (buy it from their website), which has appeared on their MySpace page recently. It’s very much of a piece with their general brand of thumping spastic mentalism and, as such, is bloody brilliant. I still haven’t seen them live, but Nick from Sparrow & the Workshop reckons they are a band I have to get through to Glasgow and check out as soon as I can, having seen them a couple of times himself.

Given I am now aware of ‘the buzz’ I do wonder slightly if I’m getting caught up in it a bit too much, rather than making this call on my own judgement alone, but I certainly think this band are capable of big things, assuming the rest of their songs are as good as the ones we’ve heard so far. Definitely one to keep an eye on in 2009 I would say. - songbytoad.com


"The Soctsman - On the Radar"

Ever since Merriweather Post Pavilion mainlined into the public sphere, the music press's haggard scribes have prefixed every avant-garde pop ensemble with one languid tagline: 'the next Animal Collective'.
It was inevitable, really. Those wilting quills needed fresh meat to replace New Rave's demise and, let's face it, 'the next Pigeon Detectives' just wouldn't pass muster with trend-hopping hepcats.

Yet many of these knob-twiddling upstarts find the bar of expectation set too high for an inaugural leap. Not Glasgow quartet Mitchell Museum, however:

"We're very flattered that people compare us to (Animal Collective]," says band frontman Cammy Macfarlane. "I think that we're kind of a hard band to categorise. We don't sound exactly like Animal Collective, but I do think that since they've started attracting a larger audience they've become a good reference point for people that haven't heard us before."

But the comparison is unavoidable. Mitchell Museum's aural tidings are a whirlpool of melody swooshing giddily against inane dog-yelped lyrics and frantic percussive swathes that pummel solar plexus' into a nervous, twitching pulp. Sound familiar?

Despite such damning indictments, Mcfarlane maintains the band's inspirations are more opaque: "I'm probably mostly influenced by the day to day things that happen to my friends and family," he insists. "I've started to feel like whenever I play a new demo to somebody that I should issue a disclaimer that reads: 'Don't worry. I didn't write this song about you.' Everyone seems a bit worried that I'm writing about them. Maybe I am….they'll never know."

Formed little more than a year ago, Mitchell Museum are now one of Scotland's most innovative new acts. Mcfarlane attributes this ascendancy to the band's unique blend of instrumentation: "We use gas canisters as musical instruments (drums] - I've not heard of another band doing that yet," he says. "We use a lot of unusual instruments in our recordings but we've yet to bring the gas canister to a live gig...I think there might be a health and safety issue."

Currently gestating in the bowels of Glasgow's Lofi Studios, Mitchell Museum's debut LP looks set to alleviate everyday toils when it drops later this year. "Essentially we want to entertain people...," explains Mcfarlane. "We would like to be the kind of band that helps people forget about forget their boss shouting at them at the end of a long day - I think that we can achieve that." - www.scotsman.com/under-the-radar-bands/


"Warning Bells Single 7" review - The Skinny"

“According to Michel Foucault, medieval folk would deal with their mentally ill by chucking them on a 'ship of fools' and letting them set sail together into the sunset. If such a ship was ever looking for a cabaret band, then it could do worse than Mitchell Museum, who cheerfully sing about nearly drowning in a hospital of razors, whilst sounding like Mercury Rev jamming with Panda Bear (and presumably laughing hysterically and twitching lots). But the line between genius and madness is very flimsy indeed: with this lot channeling the spirit of Animal Collective into slabs of power-pop, there's probably real method to the madness.� [Ewen Millar]
4/5
- The Skinny


"Warning Bells 7" review - Rough Trade shops"

“This is the magic new sound of young scotland. This is the debut single from mitchell museum and soon every major independent label will be fighting for their signature. a side 'warning bells' is a great and straight forward pop song but it's the b-side 'take the tongue out' were the magic happens. It's a potent mix of the flaming lips, wolf parade and animal collective. It has energy, intrigue and shouts 'massive potential'. limited 7" on mister tramp records.�
- Rough Trade.com


"Sleepwalking.com review"

“The first time I heard Mitchell Museum I felt like a metaphoric baseball bat had hit me in the face.
Let me set the scene, we are on a moving train and in one carriage, we have Super Furry Animals, Oppenheimer, Grandaddy and Flaming Lips. They are having a jamming session, this my friends is the greatest musical orgy ever and it is encapsulated in one band, Mitchell Museum.
‘Take The Tongue Out’ is a fast paced and irregularly brilliant track. It is psychedelic enough to make you curious and upbeat enough to make your heart race with excitement.
‘Warning Bells’ was previously released and grabbed the attention of listeners, including BBC Radio 6’s Steve Lamaq and Mark Riley. This was one of my most underrated tracks of last year, one of the reasons being it is as bold as singing your national anthem.
Mitchell Museum are one of my personal tips for 2009, Scotland is in for a hypnotic trip and I have booked first class for this ride. This band are going to blow your beautiful little minds.�
- Halina Rifai


Discography

'Warning Bells / Take the Tongue Out' - 7" vinyl single (Mr Tramp Records) - 2009

'Warning Bells / Novels and Diaries' - CD single (Broken Friend Records - 2009

'Tiger Heartbeat / Into the Bloodwind' - C10 cassette limited edition single (Electra French Records) - 2009

'Tiger Heartbeart' - CD Single / Digital Download (Electra French Records) - 2009

'We lost 1st Prize' - Digital Download (Electra French Records) - 2010

'The Peters Port Memorial Service' - CD Album / Digital Download / 12" Gatefold Vinyl (Electra French Records) - 2010

'The Closer We Got The Harder We Fell' - Digital Download (Electra French Records) - 2010

'What They Built' - Digital Single and Ltd Edition Promo Keyboard Release (Electra French Records) - 2011

Considerable UK national radio play on BBCRadio1, BBC6music with Steve Lemacq, Huw Stephens, Marc Riley. and Radio Scotland with Vic Galloway and Jim Gellatly. These include recorded live sessions with HUw Stevens, Vic Galloway and Marc Riley. Other Radio plays include RockRadio, Xfm, Virgin Radio (France), Radio Weser (Germany), Contactfm (New Zeland), Ceilo Liquido (Spain).

Photos

Bio

Scottish Fiction are pleased to announce the release of Skinny Tricks from Glasgow's Mitchell Museum; released 15th May 2020 on digital download, CD, and gatefold vinyl.

Three years since their last release, album Everett Trap, Mitchell Museum find themselves back with renewed purpose and a whole bag of new tracks.  The Glasgow experimental pop trio have been working away in the studio to create an album that is both fun and reflective of 21st century living.  With punching guitars, off-kilter synths and innovative use of conversations with the bands family and friends weaved throughout, Skinny Tricks provides a thrilling listen that immediately makes you want to go back and start all over again.

Speaking of the album's origins, frontman Cammy Macfarlane explains, “Skinny Tricks features my friends and family as cut up, reversed samples from loads of WhatsApp or Facebook videos.  I warped a lot of spoken audio to turn everyone into a collective instrument; we've got nephews as synth chords, and mums as percussive loops all over the album.  The original idea was to do with the fact that we are all constantly documenting our lives via social media apps and I wanted to emulate that constant chatter throughout the album.”

 

Lead single Freakbeak slaloms through its gloriously meticulous arrangement, fusing itself into an art-pop gem that at once bewilders and fascinates.  Follow up single Footsteps 101 immediately pulses with spiky guitar lines, through which noisy vocal harmonies reverberate around like a sonic whirlwind held together by a tight rhythm section. 

Singles aside, the album is fervent with creative ideas; invoking the influences of the likes of Animal Collective and The Flaming Lips. Opener The Oldest Instant builds throughout with powerful synths and Macfarlane's soaring vocals reminiscent of Aracde Fire, while Grandfather Tapes' stomping bass drags the listener into a darker, eerier direction.  As the album closes, the last three tracks form almost a mini-album starting with commentary on the internet and media in Double Doubting Preacher, with it's infectious, uplifting chorus leading into the joyous 100 Types of Sorry..  The album ends in a rambunctious climax as Alex Kidd blasts with multi-layered effects, samples, and chiming 8-bit like keys before the noise clears to a slow and peaceful end.


“One of the most interesting and innovative bands around” – Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music)
“Scotland's answer to The Flaming Lips” – Vic Galloway (BBC Radio Scotland, BBC 6Music)
“Gloriously eccentric psych-pop” – Uncut
“Happy-clappy hooks dovetail with beguiling skill" – Mojo
"A dense, but wonderfully tuneful, dream-pop racket" – The Guardian

Band Members