Light Guides and Make Sparks have got together to release a split single, and this collective effort brings together two of the finest bands in Scotland. They have both just played the T Break Stage at T in the Park, but I doubt that will be the last visit to Ballado for either.
Musically they are cut from very different cloths, but both have the same ability to write breathtaking music that is striking, completely infectious and hard to believe has come from an unsigned band.
Make Sparks deliver anthemic indie-rock, soaked in affecting three-part harmonies. The atmospheric delayed guitars compliment and expand expertly crafted tracks that build up to glorious choruses. The melodies are laden with hooks making this a band that will stick in your head, and you won’t want them to go away.
LightGuides’ alt-rock is full of verve with alternating guitars taking you through a musical maze with amazing results. The intricate and driving riffs bounce off the insightful lyrics which are delivered in a Scottish accent with the heart and soul shining through. They have the ability to send the tempo rocketing and the night and day of their music leaves you constantly amazed.
In the run up the single launch Craig from Make Sparks and Dave from LightGuides were kind enough to answer some questions for the blog (tracks will be up soon too), here’s what they had to say:
What is it that made you decide to release a split single together?
LightGuides: I think it was about a year ago we first played a show with Make Sparks and we got on really well together, since then we’ve played together more times than I can remember and so far we’re not sick of each other, so to put out a split single and play a bunch of shows promoting it with the guys seemed like a great idea.
We also wrote a Christmas song together before a show in Stirling last December, and I think it was then that we knew when we work together, something special can happen. Looking back I’m not sure if it was how special the song was or how special the beer was making us feel, but we’re here now!
MakeSparks: Mark just has the most amazing hair. It looks and smells fantastic. Honestly there are not a lot of guys who can rock the ‘Teri Hatcher’ but this guy just nails it. And then sprays it with perfume or something equally delicious. That was the first thing that made us want to do a release with LightGuides. Then we heard their music and kinda liked it.
We’ve gigged with them a lot this past year and have had a good time. It was just a chat that turned into gig talk that turned into release talk and all of a sudden we’re getting right in each others business and doing a split-single. I don’t want to give Ally Burton (Glasgow PodcART) the full credit but he was the first person who ever mentioned a split release to me so he’s gotta get some credit!
We’re putting on two tracks ”The Question” and ”The Answer” and LightGuides are doing two tracks ”The Casting Call” and ”The Lion and the Pocketwatch ”. They’ll be available to download from everywhere on July 22nd and we’ll be selling them at all of our shows.
Any big plans for the split single launch night? can we expect a collaboration in the form of Make Lights or SparkGuides?
MS: If you are lucky enough to get a backstage pass you will see a lot of collaborating going on!
We’re doing the launch night at King Tut’s on Thursday, July 22nd. We’re playing with Oliver Stays and Penguins Kill Polar Bears then we have a bunch of other dates coming up straight afterwards (see below for details).
LG: There are ideas being thrown about which will definitely materialize into something, you’ll just have to come along to the single launch to see for yourself! We are actually looking into recording a collaboration with Sparks in the next couple of months (a cover of an old pop song which our good friend Scott Cassidy is organising for charity), so maybe this will be ready to showcase at the single launch too.
How was your T in the Park experience?
LG: The whole T experience was incredible. We spent the weekend at the festival, and as it came closer to our show-time we had already had such a good couple of days we weren’t worried about the show. We were on at the same time as the headliners so expected the tent to be pretty quiet. To have that many people show up to see us was really quite liberating. I think the 3 of us are still buzzing from it.
MS: It was incredible! We started off a little nervous that no one would be around to see us by 10pm and the crew and production team made us even more anxious by telling us that we would probably be playing to a very small crowd. Then LightGuides went on to a pretty big crowd so by that point we were absolutely shitting ourselves! We thought they’d all bugger off straight afterwards! And they did! But then they came back and it ended up being the best gig we’ve ever played.
The rest of the day was fun too, doing the press interviews and radio spots etc. We’ve done a few things like that before but not like the ones at T. It felt nice. Here’s to a few more!!
If you could have a track from the other as your own which would it be?
LG: Oooooh that’s a tough one, especially as all their songs sound the same! JUST JESTING, I love ‘Light In The Sky’, the song’s pumpin’ and the chorus is especially super. When Make Sparkles decide to stop playing it live, that chorus will be ours.
What are your plans for the next year?
LG: Well we have a couple of dates booked in London over the next few months (one with Make Sparks) and we are looking at arranging more dates down south to coincide with these shows. Over the next year we want to play as much as we can in as many different cities as we can, and try and build a fun-lovin’ fan base. I think we will record again before this year is out, whether it’s an E.P. or an album we’ve yet to decide, but we will definitely put out new material by the end of the year too.
MS: We’re talking about that a lot right now. I think we’ll finish up the summer gigging and touring up and down the country. Then take a couple of months to put the finishing touches on new material and get an album together ready for the winter. We have some exciting stuff coming up soon so hopefully we’ll know more in the next few weeks about albums and all the rest. The plan will always be to gig and record though. Always!
A random question: If there was to be a celebrity death match (clay model members, MTV style) between LightGuides and Make Sparks who would win?
MS: Well having a considerable weight advantage (bobby excluded) over the mal-nourished LightGuides I can only predict one outcome: a complete and utter skull fucking for the LightGuides. We would use Dave’s anklet (that’s jewellery for your ankle!!) as a noose and strangle him straight off. Pick off the weakest first.
Then I reckon bobby would shave Mark’s perfect (sigh) hair off and ram it in Muff’s mouth. Mark is running around crying ”my hair, my hair, my perfect hair!” and Muff is choking on the sweetest smelling locks in Glasgow. We sit back and watch them struggle for a bit then take out our guitars and start chopping legs! Muff first. He’s now lying in a heap choking to death as Adam squats over his face and drops a 2-bomb (that’s his special move) right on him! Muff dies alone. He chokes on hair and faeces.
There’s only Mark left. Bald, hysterical and overcome with grief. He offers himself to us. He approaches the three of us on his knees with his mouth open asking to worship at the altar of Make Sparks. We put him out of his misery with a swift kick to the nuts and samurai sword to the head. Then bobby and I combine our special moves. I eat what’s left and he smokes the rest.
And what do you call it? The Aristocrats!
LG: LightGuides by a country-mile. I mean the Sparks boys look pretty tough with their leather jackets and all, but they are from Carnoustie. While we were growing up on the mean streets of Glasgow they were playing golf and sipping Pimms.
I think upon entering the ring, Make Sparks would crawl into the foetal position screaming for their mummies and daddies, until the ref would make them get up for his obligatory “Let’s get it on!”. I think Adam would be the easiest to take down, he just looks cowardly, always hiding behind those big drums of his. Let’s impale him against one of the corner-posts using drum sticks through the eyes. We’d torture and kill Craig by carving tribal tattoos into his skin using the broken old bones of his beloved pooch Wilson (who we “took care of” earlier).
I think taking down Bobby would be by far the hardest, I mean, so handsome, intelligent, and so stong. Rumour has it he was offered Gerard Butler’s role in 300 but turned it down because his heart belongs to music. What I would do to have a guy like Bobby in our band. We’d allow Bobby to perform Seppuku, the honourable and respectful form of suicide reserved mainly for Samurai warriors. This is the death Bobby deserves. Then we would take their playdoh carcasses and hang them as the backdrop at every show we played, so people would know how hard we are, but more importantly what little bitches Make Sparks were. Boom.
Here’s how you can hear/see some more of both bands:
The split single will be available from the 22nd July, check the bands websites for details
22nd July – King Tut’s, Glasgow, Split Single Launch (LightGuides + Make Sparks)
23rd July – Wickerman Festival, Dumfries (MS)
28th July -Harleys, Bathgate (LG + MS)
29th July – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh (LG + MS)
30th July – Cape, Stirling (LG)
1st August – Birnam Arts Institute, Perth (LG)
4th August – Buffalo Bar, London (LG + MS)
5th August – Hope And Anchor, London (LG)
13th August – Big Gig, Carnoustie (MS)
14th August – Live In The Den, Kirriemuir (LG + MS)
18th August – 3 Sisters, Edinburgh (LG + MS)
8th September – The Tunnels, Aberdeen (MS)
26th September – Cape, Stirling (MS)
31st October – Oxjam @ Classic Grand, Glasgow (MS)