The Stagger Rats
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The Stagger Rats

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative




"Who says all the good songs have already been written?"

Meet Indie Rock Band: The Stagger Rats.
Editor in Chief Vivian Van Dijk had an interview with the intriguing band members of the innovative and amazing music band the Stagger Rats before they embarked on their European tour. This (video) interview will be published in issue 14 of EYES in Magazine. Vivian Van Dijk states: - Eyes In

"Scots band land gig with Guns N' Roses after crash in Serbia"

A CAR smash in the Balkans has put an unknown Scots band on the road to playing alongside Guns N’ Roses.

The five members of The Stagger Rats spent hours in a Serbian police station after crashing their tour van on a tour of the Balkans.

But they ended up boozing with the cops – and getting lined up for a slot on the bill of the Exit Fesitval.

Guns N’ Roses, fronted by Axl Rose, are headliners. Guitarist Craig McMullen, 25, of Dunbar, East Lothian, said: “When we crashed, the police took us to the station.

“But one of the officers ended up going to his house and bringing us back some of the local booze they drink there. The woman we crashed into has a friend who works for Exit Festival.

“She phoned her up at the time and she gave the phone to our manager so we’re probably getting a gig there.

“The four-day festival is one of the biggest in Europe and can attract 100,000 people.”

Band manager Bonny Squair is in talks with organisers.

The band covered 5500 miles in a Ford Tranist on their shoestring budget tour. Their debut album is out this year. - The Daily Record

"Scottish Rats and Romanian Dogs"

I can't stop listening to the new album by the Stagger Rats, a charismatic rock band from the small Scottish town of Dunbar. They remind me of all the best music I have heard over the last 30 years. Some critics use the word "Beatles" when trying to define their sound and you can see them on this surrealistic video which they made in Hungary last year. The Big Issue magazine describe them as "timeless, but also intriguingly fresh and unique" and Irvine Welsh said (on Twitter) "Great riffs and brilliant name for a band."

I saw the Rats perform at an Indie club in Bucharest, Romania. The basement room was packed and the performance was a sensation. I spoke to the band members afterwards and several of them said to me "that was the best gig we ever did", and I assume this is because of the peculiar magic of Romania, one of the most intriguing and unknown countries in Europe.

I asked Daniel Paylor, their lead singer, what he thought of Romania and he sent me an email that is so different from the usual travel writing that I thought it essential to reproduce it here.

This is what he wrote:

"We were treated very well by everyone in Romania. As soon as we crossed the border in our old van we found potholes and ill-kept roads. We dodged horses-and-carts and old, weather-beaten, head-scarfed women. We never went faster than 40 mph.

At Cluj-Napoca we were warmly greeted at the club we were playing at and helped with our equipment -- something which has never happened before or since. The club's promoter - Raul - gave us free drinks all night, let us all stay in his flat and even cooked us dinner. We found out later that this was not as uncommon in Romania as it would be in the UK.

After Cluj we embarked upon a journey through the Carpathian Mountains. We saw little clearings next to the Danube and promised ourselves to return and camp among the wolves and bears. We tuned the radio to a local station playing traditional music and it perfectly sound-tracked our jaunt through that wild and strange land.

The next town we came to was Craiova. We were struck by how rustic and poor it seemed compared to Cluj. There was an abundance of single-story buildings and derelict shop fronts. We came to the venue and met our hosts who carried on the wave of generosity by bringing us pizza and free drinks all night, and putting us up in a local hotel.

We met some very interesting locals, including a Romanian Simple Minds fan hell-bent on telling me that everyone in Scotland constantly walks around listening to and singing the band's eighties hits.

The next day we finally made it to Bucharest, a gritty city along the likes of Budapest and Berlin, although with a touch less grandeur about it. We burrowed through the side-streets in search of our hostel, which turned out to be a very charming apartment above a bar. The staff were golden and the rooms were simple, yet very comfortable.

In Romania, dogs are like a dominant species. We came across many roving packs of dogs. We saw packs of nine or ten just walking around town, seeing which way the wind blew, taking in the night. We saw dogs crossing major roads without the slightest alarm, looking for traffic both ways. I swore I once saw a dog waiting for the green man.

Our gigs went down well in each of the Romanian cities we visited: the crowds were large, they danced, they drank, they reacted, they said hello afterwards; very good crowds in comparison with other countries. We found the Croatians very aloof audience-wise, though the individuals we met were kind and funny. The German crowds were very appreciative even though I got the impression that we weren't their 'cup of tea'.

Our four days in Romania showed me a country of indescribable beauty. The cities looked intimidating at first, but as soon as you had a drink or spoke to a local that feeling evaporated. There's a wonderful self-deprecating and pessimistic humour to the Romanians, which is an extremely Scottish trait we rarely see in other peoples. The Romanian dogs have the most character in the world, and the kindness of the people is unmatched by any I've seen." - Huffington Post

""We've learnt the limits of our livers and minds""

Edinburgh 5-piece The Stagger Rats share some lessons in life, festivals, and Hungarian ahead of their Wickerman appearance next month.

Imagine learning the limits of your liver and mind? Sounds like a pretty hefty lesson; maybe even life-changing. After teaming up with producer Owen Morris, The Stagger Rats learnt many things including the art of time efficiency. They may not be pros, especially if they were busy learning the limits of their livers, but they’ve certainly grasped the basics.

Signed to Budapest label WP Ents, the Edinburgh 5-piece is putting the finishing touches on a 13- track debut recorded in the Hungarian capital. This is one rock ensemble that wears their hearts on their sleeves. They’re not too bothered about the visual aesthetic but are realistic in their approach. After turning down a bassist in his fifities, the band had to deal with the consequences. “He started giving us a hard time and saying 'it's not a fashion show', ” - and as much as The Stagger Rats agree they’re also aware of the unwritten rules. Ahead of their Wickerman show The Stagger Rats share their life lessons and then some.

Your impending debut was produced by Owen Morris, how did that collaboration come about?
Our manager Bob was hounding Owen to come and see the band for a while and he eventually came, like over a year later, and thought we had some potential, so he came to a couple of practises and we took it from there.

Does the album have a name as yet?
So far we haven't agreed on an album name yet, there are a few options floating around but nothing is concrete at all yet.

What’s one thing you learnt while working with Owen Morris?
We've learned the limits of our livers and minds, and not to push the limits of either one. We also to be much more professional as musicians, both in the studio and on stage. We've learned that you have a time frame in which to carry out tasks and you do it within that time frame to the best of your ability. - Skiddle.Com

"Review: EH1 Live"

The Stagger Rats kept things rolling on this decidedly wild track with a 45-minute set that sounded like a party at the end of the universe. Their off-kilter brilliance goes down like a musical sorbet in 2012, sounding fresh, fun and completely nuts. ‘Fuzzy Fuzzy’ remains their finest work to date, creating a whirlpool of perfect pop harmonies and vibrant guitars. - The Edinburgh Reporter

"Review: The Stagger Rats – Mystery Masquerade EP"

Edinburgh five-piece The Stagger Rats prefer the road less travelled.
After being signed by a Hungarian record label the Scots decamped to the former Eastern bloc to set about recording a debut album of what they describe as ‘psychobilly’ music.
With producer Owen Morris (of Oasis and Verve fame) at the helm their 13 track album was dispatched, with this Mystery Masquerade EP serving as a taster for the full length main course.
‘Fuzzy Fuzzy’ kicks off this offering with some infectious hooks and vocals from Daniel Paylor that sit somewhere between magical and maudlin. Some attractive snare work by drummer Kai Wallace adds a shuffling beat to the track culminating in a sound that’s distinctly more leftfield than the majority of The Stagger Rats indie contemporaries.

The following track ‘I’m In Love’ presents another side of the band’s sonic patchwork, sounding distinctive but always uniquely themselves. Perhaps their most straight-up rock offering, the song is still given an off kilter feel by some dizzying vocals and combination of freewheeling guitars and wicked organ lines. Callum Easter’s proclomation of “I’m in love though/It ain’t easy/I can’t remember when I fell” tells you all you need to know about the recesses from where this track emerged.

EP closer ‘Sleeping Of Ecstasy’ is no doubt intended to show their softer side but still contains more than enough melody to get your foot tapping. Back with guitarist Daniel Paylor on lead vocals, his tender offerings of “All your candles of mercy/Why don’t you blow them all out/My darkness and misery/Go on and give me a shout” would strike a chord with even those with the blackest of hearts. Again the group’s guitars sit perfectly, mirroring and mimicking the mood of the song.

All in all Mystery Masquerade leaves you craving the arrival of their full length album. The novel idea of bringing together three pre-album singles definitely works for The Stagger Rats. Their sound has been imbued with some of the idiosyncrasies and influences of their Eastern European apprenticeship. The combination of Scottish vocals and gypsy-sounding guitars gives them an edge over other UK debut acts and sets them apart in a sea of guitar blandness. Bring on the main event ! - The Edinburgh Reporter

"Jaw Droppingly Good"

Fuzzy Fuzzy - "Sometimes a track comes along and my jaw drops followed by a grin as wide as the river clyde, this is one of those tracks... I'll let the music do the talking"
- Jim Gellatly

"Bestival Review"

"Gypsy death funk is how The Stagger Rats pigeonhole themselves. Although that might be hard to imagine, it sort of makes perfect sense. Their entire set wavered across choppy guitar riffs and spooky solos. Song titles like ‘Sleeping Off Ecstasy’ and ‘Fuzzy, Fuzzy’ seem fitting to certain aspects of The Stagger Rats, but their eclectic sound meant there was something for everyone. Dreamy ballads and gypsy punk." -

"This Stuff Is Really Rather Good"

“With their Scottish accents, sharp suits and unmistakable swagger, they are quite unlike any other Scottish band in this list. This stuff is really rather good.” - The Sunday Times

"They Have It All"

“They have it all – the look, the chemistry, stage presence, a unique sound and with no obvious front man they swap vocals freely giving each track an inimitable sound. Underlying Scottish accents which surface to full effect in “Small Town Tale” and “Fuzzy Fuzzy” coupled with a lack of affection add a soulful edge and pull the band out from the indie jeans masses. They have fashioned together a sound that is timeless, but also intriguingly fresh and unique. There is a real, unsinkable feeling that this band could do something truly remarkable this year. ”
- Beth Eckersley, The BIg Issue

"Music-News New Favourite Band"

“Music-News new favourite unsigned band, The Stagger Rats are definitely a Friday night party band. With energy and enthusiasm to rival The Fratellis or The View, The Stagger Rats capture in their set tonight, all that is good about the Scottish unsigned music scene."” - Music-News

"This Band Can Be Superstars"

“...after seeing the band live last night I want to record them. This band has the potential to make an incredible first album: real, timeless, proper rock n roll. Great songs. Great songs with two distinctive vocalists. This band can be superstars (in the best possible way...) ” - Owen Morris

"The Stagger Rats"

"It is 1955, Fonzy is King and they are still making movies like they used to: this is the type of feeling that you get while watching The Stagger Rats. This is not to say the music is archaic, rather that it pays homage to the music of the past whilst keeping in touch with modern influences of today. This is carefully orchestrated music, with every baseline depicting the feel of the tempo and the keys depicting the tone of the lyrics. Everything here is done for a reason and as a result the Stagger Rats come across as one of the most musically talented bands in the Scottish music scene today. Their attention to detail and pride in their sound aids them in every way and with a live show as powerful as this you can be sure that when the crunch time comes this is a band that will definitely not stagger…" - YROCK (O2 Academy)

"Cabaret Voltaire"

"Supporting The Ray Summers this evening is Music-News new favourite unsigned band, The Stagger Rats. It’s quite odd listening to the band on a Wednesday, because The Stagger Rats are definitely a Friday night party band. With energy and enthusiasm to rival The Fratellis or The View, The Stagger Rats capture in their set tonight, all that is good about the Scottish unsigned music scene." - Music

"The Swagger Rats"

"One look at Edinburgh’s The Stagger Rats and there’s already a misnomer at play. The Stagger Rats? More like The Swagger Rats. This five-piece are suited and pointy-booted (except for the organ player sporting a cosy red onesie) and their retro-tinged sound is similarly doused in stylish clamour. The venue for tonight’s show lays meekly on the edge of a salty The North Sea, and by day is an angling club. Nearby stands tall massive landing sites for fishing boats, one of Shetland’s main exports, but thankfully tonight there ain’t no pungent fish aroma lingering in our nostrils – more like the yeasty musk of beer, vodka and anticipant punters waiting to grubby up their dancing shoes. Engaging cuts like ‘Comprehension Suspension’ show this band acknowledging their strengths, with fluid vocals swapping as freely as amorous Romeo and Juliets exchange saliva on a Saturday night whilst the sleazy organs nod back to bygone days. It is the festive time, so naturally this crowd are pretty squiffy, so by the time these chaps from Scotland’s capital wind up their set eyes are blurred and bopping feet are sore, but ears have been treated with some stellar, self-proclaimed ‘gypsy death funk’. A darn more pleasant belated Christmas present than those socks you got on Boxing Day." - Click Music


Fuzzy Fuzzy - release August 2011

Im In Love (It Ain't Easy) - release October 2011

See Through Spiders (Single) - release June 2010

Also had three songs on feature film, Pimp.

Debut album to be released November 2012.



The Stagger Rats are an Edinburgh five-piece recently signed by
Budapest-based record label WP Ents, who engaged Owen
Morris to produce their debut album 'Scorpio Leisure'. The album
was recorded over 4 weeks in an abandoned KGB phone tapping centre
in Budapest. Morris has previously produced albums for international artists
such as Oasis, Ash, The Verve, The View and Kaiser Chiefs. He had this to
say about the band - “The Stagger Rats are the best band I've
worked with... this band can be superstars, in the best possible
way...real, timeless, proper rock n roll...these boys are so well
rehearsed it made life easy for me...The Stagger Rats are at the
forefront of the new wave of major Scottish bands."

"Fuzzy Fuzzy" and "I'm In Love", the first two singles from The Stagger
Rats' forthcoming album, have been extremely well received. Since
the release they have caused a flush of interest within the
industry. There has been a sharp increase of new fans in terms
of attendance at live shows and hits on social network sites, regional
and national, resulting in three sell out shows at prestigious venues in
the UK. The band has featured on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC 6 Music, ForthOne,
Clyde FM, Amazing Radio and Pure Radio following the release. Jim Gellatly,
pioneer for new Scottish music, has been overwhelmingly supportive of the
group, repeatedly playing the single as well as recording a live
acoustic session for his slot on Clyde FM. Mr.Gellatly had this to
say about the single, Fuzzy Fuzzy - "Sometimes a track comes
along and my jaw drops followed by a grin as wide as the river
clyde, this is one of those tracks... I'll let the music do the talking".
As well as the radio play The Stagger Rats have had some fantastic
press reviews including articles in NME, The Sun newspaper,, Scotsman Magazine,, The List, The Metro,
Eyes In, The Daily Record, Evening News and single of
the month in The Scotsman newspaper. The Fuzzy Fuzzy video has
also been played on MTV Hungary, Voce (Sky Italia), Propeller
TV (Sky UK), Vox Africa as well as Virgin In Demand. The Single is
also in 15,000 duke boxes across the UK. The third single and the
album will be released in November 2012.

Their first single (self funded) ‘See Through Spiders‘ – drew the
attention of film industry professionals and was subsequently
used as the title track for the independent film ‘PIMP’, released
in 2010, starring Danny Dyer, Billy Boyd, Robert Cavanah and
Martin Compston. The Stagger Rats performed live at the premieres
of PIMP in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London in June 2010.

Since May 2010, they have achieved notable success on the UK
music circuit performing at some of the most well known music
venues alongside some of the biggest names in contemporary
British music. In 2011 The Stagger Rats played 12 music festivals,
sharing stages with the likes of Gomez, The View, Gill Scott-Heron,
80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster and British Sea Power. Last year the
band graced the stage at Bestival, which featured artists such as
The Cure, Bjork, PJ Harvey, Fatboy Slim, Crystal Castles and many
more, as part of Replay’s Road Trip To Bestival. They were selected
from thousands of bands from across the UK and have received
great exposure through co-sponsor As well as this, The
Stagger Rats had the privilege of playing main stage at the
Wickerman festival alongside The Coral and Feeder. 2011 also seen The
Stagger Rats play The Secret Garden Party, Knockengorroch,
The Garden Party At Kelburn Castle, Linklea Festival, Strawberry
Fields Festival and Shetland Tall Ships. The group have previously
supported Alabama 3 on two occasions and have built up quite a rapport.
They also supported Pengu!ns, Zak Starkey's new band, on two of their tour dates.

In May 2012 they completed a self funded EP Launch Tour through
central Europe. Over 5 weeks the band played in France, Holland,
Germany, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Italy. Playing to packed
out venues almost every night, The Stagger Rats generated hundreds
of new fans resulting in over 10,000 hits on Facebook and Youtube.
The tour was a massive success and as a result the band are in
the process of booking another European tour for early 2013.

The Stagger Rats were also picked to take part at the prestigious
GoNorth showcase which resulted in the band being selected to play at
Belladrum Festival in Scotland.

The Stagger Rats have a lot planned for 2013. Aswell as touring
Europe they also plan to tour the US. The band are in the process
of writing their second album and will record it in 2013. They have
been asked to record the soundtrack for an animated film by SE-MA-FOR
Studio's.This is one of the oldest studio's in Europe and has previously
produced two Oscar winning animated short films.

The Stagger Rats' sound is versatile while maintaini