Little Yellow Ukuleles are a band I’m expecting big things from. They are still an extremely young outfit, but have already garnered a reputation as one of the best unsigned acts we have.
This is a band that have the potential to appeal to the masses as they have dissected the alt-rock genre and inserted many elements that make them stand out.
They have a nack for upbeat and danceable alt-music, and can slip into heavier sections with ease, but always present is that uplifting and hook filled spirit that makes listening a galvanizing experience.
The exciting thing is that this band just keeps getting better, with their sound developing and the newest batch of tunes taking the band to a new level. With a debut EP on the way everything is pointing towards a massive 2011 for The Yooks.
Have a listen to a personal favourite, Lost At Sea, while we see what Ross from the band had to say when answering a few questions for the blog.
First off, I’m sure you’ve been asked before, but where did the name come from?
Well the band formed properly when we were all still in school, so it was round about 5th year not long after we’d had a couple of practices together, there was a local music shop called Southside Music that some of us went to during some lunch times at school. Adam, Connor and myself went there one lunch time and just decided to buy a couple of cheap ukuleles, one pink and one yellow and went around the school playing them at lunch time…I think it was Connor that suggested the name “little yellow ukuleles” walking home from school that day…don’t think any of us really thought it would stick but there you go!
The band seems to have really stepped up a level over the last year, how do you feel you’ve progressed?
We’re definitely really chuffed at how 2010 has went for us, I think we’ve made an important “jump” in going from a band who would just play a couple of gigs in Glasgow every so often to knowing exactly what we want to do and where we want to go. It also feels nice to have people enjoying our music and taking an interest from further a field from home. We’ve also just finished our first proper EP and can’t wait to let people hear that so it’s pretty exciting stuff for us, we’re really hoping to build on the success we’ve had this year and carry it onto next year as a stronger and more focused band, I think next year you’ll really see us pushing ourselves.
You’ve been recording your debut EP recently, how have the sessions been going and what are the plans for the launch?
The EP is pretty much finished now, it’s taken a bit of time but thats mainly because we’re probably a bit too picky, we’re really happy with how it sounds now though and have a clear direction in our head of what we want “our sound” to be like. The recording itself was a laugh, we recorded down at Jamhut Studios in Irvine with Stuart Spence and Colin Keenan which was a new experience for us and we would definitely go back again. Late nights staying over in the studio, drinking so much you start belting out Enrique Iglesias songs and eating shitey tesco food pretty much sums up the whole experince, we had a great time and Colin has put loads of time into mixing the tracks so they sound how we want them to sound which we’re really grateful for. We want to do the EP thing properly so we wont hurry, the launch itself will most likely be early next year although I’m sure you’ll be hearing a wee track or two from it in the run up to it. We’ll have a big launch night for it in Glasgow and then go on a wee tour of Scotland to promote it, it’ll be our first proper tour aswell so we’re all really up for it!
Earlier in the year you did a BBC6 session with Tim Robinson, how was that experience? What are your thoughts about the importance of BBC6?
The whole BBC6 experience was awesome, the megabus to and back from London…. not so much. Everyone in the BBC6 studio was incredibly nice to us and Tom Robinson and the show’s producer gave us some invaluable advice on how to go about things which was real nice of them. When we were recording the show with Tom, Jarvis Cocker was in the studio next door recording his show, so I had a moment of being totally star struck, it’s definitely been a major highlight of being in the band and we feel really lucky and priveledged they asked us to come down and be part of their show. BBC6 is something that is incredibly vital to up and coming and small bands. The amount of exposure and positive feedback we got from our BBC6 session is an example of this. It’s a portal for unsigned bands to get their music out to a national audience, that kind of exposure is priceless and you can tell Tom Robinson and everyone who works on his show is passionate about helping unsigned bands getting their stuff out there.
You’re part of Define Pop 3 this weekend, why should folk pop along to see you?
People should come and see us at DP3 ’cause we’ll be playing all our new stuff! Our set is almost entirely all new songs minus a few old ones we’re sticking in so we’re really excited about letting people hear them, it’s also a wee chance for folk to get a feel for what the EP will be like. You should also come along because shuggy will proably have his baps out, Adam will be swinging about ridiculously, Connor will have some priceless onstage faces and I’ll be dancing around like a salmon (I’ve been told I look like a dancing salmon when I play bass). The line up at DP3 is awesome though, so there are loads of great bands to check out, I’m hoping to catch Trapped In Kansas, Campfires In Winter and So Many Animal Calls definitely.
Have there been any particular highlights in your musical career so far?
Going down to London for the BBC6 session was a definite highlight and is an experience I don’t think any of us will forget. The first time we played king tuts was a highlight aswell. We’ve been part of some great line ups which is always fantastic. We’re still pretty much in our infancy as a band I guess, it’s only now really I think we have a clear idea of where we want to go with our first EP coming out so hopefully there’ll be many more highlights to come!
If you could steal a song from an act on the Scottish unsigned circuit and have it as your own, what song would you take?
Well for me personally, even though they’re not technically a band anymore it would be ” I am a fin” by Jocasta Sleeps, Jocasta were my favourite unsigned scottish band by far.
If your music was to be the soundtrack to a film or TV programme which one do you think it would suit best?
hahaha it would have to be something ridiculous, in all honesty maybe a children’s tv programme? SESAME STREET! aye sesame street…..I’d like to think our music was cool enough to go into a Will Smith film, but that’s just wishful thinking…
A random question from Any Color Black: Who is John Galt?
John Galt is a fictional character in Ayn Rands novel Atlas Shrugged. Although he is absent from much of the text, he is the subject of the novel’s often repeated question “Who is John Galt?” and of the quest to discover the answer….. Wikipedia is a wonderful thing, however i woulod probably have said john galt rhymes with salt, so obviously is the creator of salt
And finally, how do you plan to finish off the year? and then what can we expect from you in 2011?
Well we have DP3 coming up and then we may possibly be doing a christmas gig in December to round everything off, in 2011 you can expect us to be spamming everyone and whoring our EP to everyone, we’ll be touring, playing as many gigs as possible…WE’LL BE EVERYWHERE. BOOM.
A big thanks to Little Yellow Ukuleles for taking the time to answer some questions and here’s how you can hear/ see more of them:
13th November – Define Pop Festival 3 @ The Admiral Bar, Glasgow
18th December – The Attic, Bathgate
Top photo by Michael Gallacher @ www.twistyfoldy.net
Middle photo by Fiona McKinley