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Band Folk Rock




"EP Review"

"Their melding of folk songs with sleek, modern pop proved invigorating to watch....Best of all, their material had a raucous nature that made it impossible not to leave in strident spirit." **** The Herald "With their debut EP, Washington Irving show a storytelling impetus similar to that of their namesake; considered lyrics paint a picture at the intersection between the past and the present." **** - The Skinny


“Washington Irving have found a wonderful balance between tapping into that beautiful Scottish habit of being completely miserable (think Frightened Rabbit’s seminal The Midnight Organ Fight for cheer level) and fantastically upbeat” - Rockfeedback

"The Scotsman"

It makes sense for us to be talking about Washington Irving.

Not only is their name being bandied about Glasgow town, a number of them are in bands we've covered recently (My Cousin I Bid You Farewell and The John Knox Sex Club), and to top it all they make music in the vein of some of Scotland's best and most successful indie-pop exporters.

Think Belle and Sebastian or Camera Obscura: simple yet poignant lyrics, sung in a broad Scottish accent, that sit nicely over the accompanying plucky guitars and flute trills.

Alongside the usual staples they have a unique mix of instrumentation that includes the singing saw, piccolo, mandolin and a mixture of melodicas, maracas and a bouzouki, which is a traditional, pear-shaped, stringed, Greek instrument (thanks Wikipedia).

But far from rendering them obscure or difficult, this folk sound is commercial enough to make a mainstream crossover seem tangible, as drummer, Chris McGarry, explains:

"We're more influenced by Scottish and Irish folk than American folk. Our songs lend themselves well to an energetic drunken hootenanny. Crowds have recently started flailing around frantically at our gigs. At the single launch of 'The Magician', Joe's (the singer) mum was almost crushed by a bunch of rowdy shinty players!"

When they're not playing host to potential parental murder the band have found time to record and release some of their material, recently working with Marcus Mackay, who put the first Frightened Rabbit album to tape.

"We also want to get lots of new songs into the set and onto record," McGarry says.

"We recorded a single with Marcus earlier in the year. He's just built a new studio, the Diving Bell #2, which we went to visit the other week. Hopefully we'll be recording there soon.

"We also plan to play more gigs outside of Glasgow, go back to Inverness, Edinburgh and Aberdeen soon. Tours hopefully, up and down the country, coast to coast, nationwide."

So there you have it. Now you get talking about them too.
- http://www.scotsman.com/under-the-radar-bands/On-the-radar-Washington-Irving.5800124.jp

"Live Review @ The Bowery, Edinburgh"

"Next up were Washington Irving, a full-bodied country-rock outfit. Bursting with frantic folk energy, and successfully avoiding the usual twee pitfalls of the genre, they captivate the packed-out room. Wielding a varied array of instruments, their songs blossom with a life seldom seen outside a full orchestra. Given the size of the room and the attendance, the end result was a joyous cacophony of noise, and an atmosphere of abandon." - Music-News

"November 2009"

“ ...rich Americana country-styled songs, led by personal yet universal lyrics that demonstrates a healthy confidence in their own voice and place." - The Skinny


The Magician Single
Little Wanderer, Head Thee Home EP
Abbey Gallop Single