It’s way too easy to get wrapped up in your own little bubble, idly assuming that obscure wee band you’ve listened to on headphones for years “belongs” to you, only to have your entire worldview jolted when BAM! Bon Iver is somehow big enough to sell out the SECC and BAM! Frightened Rabbit is encouraging you to buy tins of Baxters’ spicy parsnip soup through the telly.
You’ve got two choices – either feign an irrational sense of disapproval or allow yourself to feel the sense of smugness that comes with extraordinary mainstream recognition of something you knew about before everyone else. Here are half-a-dozen Scottish examples to try it out with…
Twin Atlantic’s friends in high places
On October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner successfully leapt 128,100ft from space then landed on his feet – and more than 8 million people were watching the live stream, a YouTube record. The song chosen to soundtrack the closing montage was Twin Atlantic’s track Free (The Stratos Spaced Out Remix), which was created specifically for the historic event. So how did the Glaswegian rock quartet bag such a plum assignment? Quite simple, really. Felix’s skydive was called the Red Bull Stratos project in recognition of its sponsors, and it just so happens that Twin Atlantic are signed to the energy drink’s music label, Red Bull Records.
— sam mctrusty (@sammctrusty) October 14, 2012
The Imagineers chit-chat
When Craig Ferguson decided to take his popular Late Late Show from America to his native Scotland for a week, he needed a house band. With researchers tasked with seeking out a group the chat show host “would have wanted to be in 30 years ago”, they found their match in The Imagineers. And so, in May 2012, these unsigned Glasgwegians were beamed out over the CBS network for five consecutive nights, performing several of their own songs as well as a version of the show’s theme tune. Craig was so impressed he had The Imagineers flown over to the LA studio to perform live on a further two episodes. Little-known fact: Many years ago, Craig Ferguson was the drummer for a band called Dreamboys… and Peter Capaldi (!) was the frontman.
Singer Steven Young: “It’s hard to imagine how vast the audience is and how vast America is. It’s mind boggling, but we’ll take it.”
— Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) June 12, 2012
Popcorn with Panda Su
Guys, I’m sure you’ve often daydreamed about what music would be playing in the background while locking lips with Oscar-nominated hottie Jennifer Lawrence. Hollywood decreed it should be Panda Su’s Alphabet Song. The third track on the Fife singer’s I Begin EP can be heard in recently-released horror-thriller House At The End Of The Street when our Jen takes a breather from getting the bejesus scared out of her to kiss on-screen love interest Max Thierot. In keeping with such high-stakes glamour, Panda Su’s promo video for Alphabet Song was filmed at a Dundee laundrette.
Singer Su Shaw: “It’s very exciting and it was such a weird thing to see my name in the credits. Our sync agent asked if she could take the song to Los Angeles because she thought she could get it in a film out there. She told us it was going to be in Jennifer’s next movie which was great.”
— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) April 21, 2012
Belle & celebs
Belle & Sebastian are no strangers to being namechecked on Twitter by celebrities (e.g. Zooey Deschanel and Matt Lucas), yet few could ever have predicted Real Madrid footballer Xabi Alonso declaring himself an admirer. When his team beat fierce rivals Barcelona 2-1 at the legendary Nou Camp on April 21, 2012, the result all but assured they’d be champions of Spain and sparked wild scenes of celebration from the away fans and players. Sitting in the stadium long after the game had ended, basking in the glory, midfield superstar Xabi Alonso informed his 3 million-plus Twitter followers that he was listening to Belle & Sebastian’s Another Sunny Day and linked to an animated video of the song on YouTube. Class.
Generation X meets Biffy
Biffy Clyro might be one of the biggest rock bands around, but that didn’t stop a collective raising of eyebrows when Simon Cowell instructed Matt Cardle to cover their song Many Of Horror during The X Factor final in 2010 under the fluffy, PG-audience title of When We Collide – simultaneously opening up the Kilmarnock trio’s music to an ITV audience of 19.4 million and uniting their fans in a cesspit of rage. When Cardle subsequently won, this rage mobilised and manifested itself in the form of a Facebook campaign (obvz) urging people to buy Biffy’s original single rather than Cardle’s cover version. They didn’t. Biffy Clyro reached No.8 in the UK singles chart, Cardle became the UK Christmas No.1.
Singer Simon Neil: “It’s very surreal to think about our music being used on primetime British TV like that. I just hope no-one is too pissed off.”
Glamour puss Lana Del Rey and Baz fae Yoker might make for an unexpected couple but their relationship has lasted well over a year now, with Kassidy singer Barrie-James O’Neill admirably sticking by LDR during her rise from pre-fame obscurity to frenzied hype to multi-million album sales to inevitable backlash to lucrative modelling contracts. They have more in common than you might realise, though… both have triple-barrelled stage names that don’t match their passports, they both like vintage clothes and, um, they’re both fond of singing Video Games.
Barrie: “I’m not that bothered about keeping our relationship private. She’s an absolute darling, an angel. Her talents frighten me. But I still don’t know what she sees in me. I haven’t got a clue.”
Lana: “When we’re in Glasgow, we’re going to drive into the hills and see where it takes us. I can’t say it enough, Kassidy are just my favourite band. I went to their rehearsal and I just died for them, and since then everything they come up with I’m just enamoured with. I just think they’re wonderful.”